Here are the chefs who presented in 2018.
Ellen 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.
Hannah Kaminsky began experimenting in the kitchen at a very young age, as nothing pleased her more than the smiles she received from sharing a homemade dessert. Before long, Hannah’s passion for vegan baking took hold, propelling her ideas and results to the next level.
By her senior year in high school, Hannah was producing award-winning sweets.
My Sweet Vegan is a delicious culmination of Hannah’s most sought-after treats, each created, tested, and photographed by Hannah herself. She has since published Vegan a la Mode, Vegan Desserts, Easy as Vegan Pie and her latest book, Real Food Really Fast.
While her culinary talents are nothing short of amazing, Hannah is constantly busy with a diverse range of projects. Not a day passes where she isn’t testing new recipes, staging a photo, writing a short story, or breaking out her knitting needles.
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.
As the youngest boy in an urban family of Bangkok, Chat was often left behind to help his aunt prepare the family dinner while his older brothers and sisters ran off to play. At first, he despised the cooking task but later learned to enjoy the knowledge and skills. Cooking became his passion. He gradually fine-tuned the skill and continued cooking as commendation and praise were his only rewards and encouragement.
He came to the US to pursue higher education in a design field, while cooking and training in a French restaurant a part-time as a hobby; his first big step in the culinary profession. Later, he followed his yearning culinary passion by apprenticing at La Cagouille in provincial French cuisine in Rayon, France. Returning to the US, he offered his French cooking always with a twist of Thai, or perfected his Thai cooking with a hint of French techniques to fit the western kitchen. He traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and again became an apprentice, this time of Southeast Asian cuisine and easily mastered the skill with his Thai cooking background. He’s now doing what he likes most: cooking, teaching, traveling, writing, and making sure that people who come in contact with him have a full stomach and a good time. His books include Asian Fusion, Buddha’s Table, and Vietnamese Fusion.
Sarah Taylor started her journey as a vegan author long before her pen ever hit paper. With a background in sales and research in the field of ophthalmology, she learned to think critically, decipher good research from the rest, and spot when statistics were being used erroneously. So when the day came that she picked up a copy of John Robbin’s book, Diet for a New America, she was convinced by its sound reasoning and research, and went vegan overnight.
Over the years, friends and strangers alike noticed her good health and her dietary habits, and began asking questions: “Where do you get protein if you don’t eat meat? Where do you get calcium if you don’t eat dairy? How do you eat vegan when you travel? How do you eat at friends’ houses as a vegan? How can you possibly survive without cheese?!?”
With the same questions coming up over and over, she finally decided to write a book, and Vegan in 30 Days was born. With its practical approach and step-by-step plan, it has since become a favorite for people interested in trying out the vegan diet without becoming overwhelmed in the process. She has since become a popular speaker on all things vegan, and had written another book, Vegetarian to Vegan.
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.