Shannon Martinez is the head chef and owner of Melbourne’s Smith & Daughters and Smith & Deli.
Born and raised in Fitzroy, the meat-eating vegan chef brings excitement, passion and new techniques to vegan cooking – something which is shaking up the Australian foodservice landscape.
As one-third of Australians are now consuming a reduced meat or flexitarian diet, the foodservice industry will have to make changes to its menus.
“The drive in vegan food is huge and it’s only going to get bigger. It’s really time that restaurants start focusing on it for the sake of your customers and your business,” said Martinez.
Over 70 per cent of diners at Smith & Daughters are meat eaters, which proves plant-based and vegan menus appeal to a much broader audience then just vegan diners.
“My advice for chefs who might not have touched on vegan cooking much before is to not think of it as something scary or new. It’s just a matter of having a play, finding your substitutes and applying that to what you know already,” said Martinez.
Martinez has developed a series of recipes featuring the CHEF range of intense flavour concentrates and pastes. The entire new CHEF range is vegan, with the exception of Red & Port Wine Reduction, which is vegetarian – with no compromise to flavour.
“The thing I love most about the CHEF range is that it can be added to any kind of dish at any point; it can be diluted into stocks or simply thrown straight into a dish to boost the flavour,” said Martinez.
“So, instead of having to focus for a year on learning new cooking techniques, you can turn something from ‘yum’ to ‘epic’ in a second; getting those big, bold flavours that you are used to getting from your non-vegan menu into vegan dishes.”
Click here to view Shannon Martinez’s recipes.