I met Doug McNish at the 2015 Vegfest in Toronto where I tasted his life affirming vegan polenta poutine (pictured above). I was new to veganism and at the point where I was admittedly weary of anything that looked savory and cheesy (rookie mistake). I asked him if the dish was vegan, to which he smiled and replied, “I am a vegan chef!!!” (and then asked about the movie I’d just seen…my ticket stubs were on the counter). He was friendly and personable and the kind of guy you want to sit down with and talk about all things vegan.
His inspirational business has hit the nail on the head. A Public Kitchen offering up healthy, organic and vegan foods, a market booth at Evergreen Brickworks, cooking classes, corporate speaking, award-winning cookbooks (including a few colouring books – for the kid in all of us). Check out his latest book here.
I’m honoured that this super busy chef (add, “new Dad” to his credentials!!) agreed to answer a few questions for my blog. Read on to get to know Doug a little bit better (and then head over to his kitchen!!).
1. What’s the last thing you ate? Tempeh tacos!
2. Which vegan chef do you most admire and why? Matthew Kenny. With his classical training, he has been able to bring organic plant based food to nearly every continent since I started following his career 12 or 13 years ago!
3. What’s the one dish you’ve created that’s scored you the most high fives? Butternut squash mac and cheese! (Editors note: must acquire this)
4. What do you want to be when you grow up? An organic farmer!
5. What’s the one ingredient can’t you live without? Wheat free tamari
6. Do vegans have more fun? I think good hearted, positive people in general have more fun!
7. What kitchen item do you most often buy for wedding gifts? A spiralizer of course, who cant live without zucchini noodles! J
8. Where’s the last place you went to on a date? (and what did you order?) We have a 7 month old child (that I love more than anything) what is a date again?
9. Did becoming vegan bring out any unexpected character traits in you? i.e. are you funnier now than ever before? I now love olives, mustard and hot sauce, none of which before I was vegan!
10. What’s the one thing you wish more people knew about vegan food? That when done properly, it tastes better than the standard food most of the world consumes daily, AND, its good for you, the earth and the animals! (editor’s note: I totally agree!!)