Chefs

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Our chefs program provides a valuable opportunity to experience innovative vegetarian dishes prepared by a selection of leading vegetarian and vegan chefs.

Here are the chefs who will present in 2019:

ramses-bravo

Ramses Bravo

Ramses trained as a regular chef in San Francisco, before moving to the East Coast to complete a 4-year chef training program. There, he learned all about cooking meat, with lots of salt, oil, butter, cream and cheese.

Returning to California, he became the chef in a high-end hotel for 4 years, and found himself gaining weight rapidly.  After the hotel was sold, he hoped to start his own business, but he was offered a job as a vegan chef, which he took as a temporary measure, knowing nothing about vegan cooking.  He couldn’t believe that not only was he expected to shun animal products, but he was expected to cook without without oil, salt or sugar as well! But he was enticed by the opportunity to start a whole new kitchen, and so he stayed, and learned a whole new way of cooking, while getting a whole lot healthier.

Fast forward 10 years, and Chef Ramses has become an expert vegan chef for the TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa.  He has written two cookbooks, Bravo and Bravo Express to share his knowledge and expertise with the world.

 

Ellen Jaffe JonesEllen Jaffe Jones

Ellen Jaffe Jones is is an inspiring motivational speaker, personal trainer, running coach, author, and instructor of healthy cooking classes designed by respected doctors and registered dieticians.

Ellen was a popular, award-winning TV investigative reporter and anchor for 18 years in Miami and St. Louis. She became known as the “Earth Mother in a Suit” when she left TV and became a successful financial consultant at Smith Barney for 5 years. She wrote “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day” after seeing too many news stories saying eating healthfully was impossible on a budget.

Ellen has since written 5 other books, including Kitchen Divided, Vegan Fitness for Mortals, and her most recent book, Vegan for One.

Michelle SchwegmannMichelle Schwegmann

Michelle Schwegmann co-founded the Herbivore Clothing Company in 2002 with the hopes of spreading the positive messages of veganism, animal rights, and environmentalism. She and her husband and co-founder Josh Hooten live with their vegan daughter Ruby and two ridiculous rescue dogs, Sassy & Ace, in Portland, Oregon. Portland is a vegan hub and home to The Herbivore Clothing Store, located in the world famous Vegan Mini Mall — a destination for vegans and the vegan-curious that visit from all over the globe. Michelle and Josh give back by donating products, time, and design work, and in 2015 wrote a book called Eat Like You Give A Damn, a cookbook and vegan how-to guide to help those starting out in their new cruelty-free life. Their goal has been and always will be, animal rights, social justice, and well, if vegan burritos get involved, that’s pretty great too.

 

Archan Verma cropped

Archana Verma

Archana Verma

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.