INSIDER The latest news VEGAN IS NOT A DIRTY WORD reviews
GORDON Ramsay reckons he’s allergic to them, Anthony Bourdain famously compared them to a “Hezbollah-like splinter faction”, and only last month, high-profile Italian chef Gianfranco Vissani declared he’d like to “kill them all”.
Mo Wyse and Shannon Martinez know vegan is a dirty word. But the masterminds behind Melbourne vegan mecca, Smith & Daughters, are revolutionising plant-based eating beyond the pleather-wearing hippie stereotype.
They say about 80 per cent of diners at their Fitzroy restaurant aren’t vegan and many don’t even realise they’re eating vegetarian dishes.
Opened in 2014, the 70-seater was an instant hit and within a year spawned spin-off Smith & Deli, offering vegan “meats” and sandwiches. Now, the tattooed talents, who met in 2012 at Collingwood’s People’s Market (Wyse was operations manager, chef Martinez ran its vegan food truck), have released a cookbook.
Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (That Happens To Be Vegan) features Wyse’s words and recipes for about 80 of Martinez’s big-flavoured Latin American-leaning dishes that have wowed diners, such as the garlic “prawns”, the breakfast burrito, “crab cakes” with mango salsa, and Spanish doughnuts. “It’s another piece in the puzzle for us,” Martinez says. “People ask for recipes and I was always reluctant to give them away because they’re unique and it’s taken me a long time to perfect them all. It’s like giving away your babies in a way, but it’s a good time to start sharing.”
Wyse says she hopes the book further smashes preconceptions of vegan food as boring. She turned vegan on her 16th birthday for ethical reasons. Martinez, on the other hand, is not vegan, something militant meat dodgers find controversial.
“We’ve designed a place where vegans can bring friends and know everyone will have a positive experience and maybe say, ‘Vegan food isn’t so bad’ or, ‘If I could eat this way all the time, I’d go vegan’,” says Wyse. “We hear that daily, which is the highest compliment.” Smith & Daughters: A Cookbook (That Happens to be Vegan),
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