Here are the chefs presenting in 2017:
Ramses Bravo had worked in numerous hotels and restaurants in California, Hawaii, and West Virginia over a 14-year period when he joined the True North Health Center in 2007 as their executive chef. At that time he adopted the challenge of creating an exquisite SOS (salt, oil, and sugar-free) cuisine for the clients at TrueNorth Health Center. These recipes can be found in his cookbook, Bravo! He is also the author of Bravo Express! and The Love Kitchen e-books. He teaches adults and children how to cook healthy meals in many parts of the country and enjoys it very much.
Makini grew up vegan. Her mother, Niombi, taught her children how to farm in a backyard pea patch, and created sauces and seasoning mixes that would be the foundation for a new way of experiencing the plant world. In 2005, Makini left a high-pressure job as a graphic designer and men’s denim designer in New York City, to return to her hometown of Seattle, with an idea for a warm, inviting restaurant offering delicious vegan food. Plum Bistro opened in 2009 and has rapidly become a destination restaurant on Seattle’s Capitol Hill. Makini has since opened Plum Pantry in Seattle Center’s Armory, Plum Burgers, a vegan food truck, and Sugar Plum, a vegan creamery and sweet shop. Her cookbook, Plum: gratifying vegan dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro, came about through popular demand, as so many customers asked how to make such delicious food.
Kristie Middleton is the senior food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States and a leading figure in the movement to reform our global food system. She’s the author of the forthcoming book, MeatLess: Transform the Way You Eat and Live—One Meal at a Time, a sought-after speaker, and thought leader on the topic. Middleton and her work have been covered by national media, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, CNN and countless others.
Middleton directs the HSUS’ efforts to increase plant-based eating. She’s partnered with some of the nation’s biggest school districts—including Los Angeles Unified, Detroit Public Schools and Boston Public Schools—to implement Meatless Monday. And she’s helped some of America’s top universities develop and implement programs to add more plant-based options to their menus and train culinary staff in plant-based food prep.
Miyoko Schinner, vegan chef, cookbook author, and television cooking show host, has been promoting delicious, decadent, and healthful plant-based foods for the past thirty years. Her most recent cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese, is a top-selling book on Amazon, and has been called “The holy grail of the culinary world.” She is a co-host of Vegan Mashup, a new cooking show on public television, and stars in her own whimsical online show, Miyoko’s Kitchen. As a cooking instructor, she teaches regularly in the McDougall Program, and at festivals and events around the country. She is a former restaurateur (Now and Zen, San Francisco), and food developer, and has had her vegan products distributed nationwide as well as on United Airlines. She has appeared in publications, television, and radio, including VegNews, NPR, ABC World News Tonight, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Washington Post, New York Post, Eating Well, and many other media outlets.
Heather Reseck has over 35 years of experience as a registered dietitian, specializing in integrative vegetarian nutrition focusing on whole food plant-based diets. A lifelong vegetarian, she has a passion for palatable, healthy foods. She loves teaching cooking classes and helping people learn how to cook delicious, tasty food. Many of the recipes in her book, Fix it Fast have been tested dozens of times on her family and friends and she loves to give gifts of food!
She gives regular cooking classes and wellness coaching in Port Townsend and Sequim, through her Veggie Makeovers program.
Sunita Shastri was born in the South Indian state of Karnataka. Her passion for good food started early from watching her mother cook. She came to the U.S. after marriage. Ms. Shastri has an M.B.A. from City University in Seattle, and has always dreamed about starting her own food company, which she did in June 2003 under the name “Meghana Foods” (named after her daughter). This company is now a growing food products enterprise in the Pacific Northwest under the brand name Taazaä.
Sunita is very passionate about spreading the secrets of Indian foods. She has shared some of her favorite recipes in her cookbook “Indian Vegetarian Delights”. Her background in vegetarian South Indian cooking adds a unique element to this book, since most Indian cookbooks tend to focus on North Indian recipes.
Chef Archana is from a university town 300 miles from Delhi, India. She grew up in a home with health-conscious parents and a rich heritage of Punjabi North Indian cuisine; healthy eating and an active lifestyle were as important as adherence to flavorful recipes.
Archana moved to the United States in 1990 as an engineer, and for the last 10 years she has tailored her mother’s recipes for her busy lifestyle as a full-time working mother. Food is her second vocation and she is excited about making Indian cooking easy, fast and accessible. She teaches regularly at PCC Natural Markets.