The owner of world-renowned plant-based cooking school Demuths talks all-things vegan…
When did you first notice an increase in popularity of vegan classes at your cookery school?
I reckon our vegan classes have been building since 2015. We ran our first vegan diploma in 2015, before then they were all vegetarian and now we run four Vegan Diplomas a year.
Why do you think veganism has gained such momentum recently?
Veganuary has been a great motivator for people to try vegan for a month in January and then realise it’s not so difficult and that they have become far more creative cooks. There are also excellent vegan cookbooks, magazines and blogs, so you can easily find vegan inspiration.
Which is your most popular vegan cooking course?
Vegan Gourmet, where you make a full three course meal, restaurant style, with lots of emphasis on how the food looks, as well as tasting delicious.
What do you find are the most common problems people have with vegan cooking?
For new vegans I think it’s replacing eggs in baking and the challenge of getting aquafaba (bean/chickpea water) to whisk up into perfect white peaks.
What are your top tips for a well balanced vegan diet?
Eat a varied diet with plentiful fresh vegetables and fruit plus pulses, grains and nuts. Do remember that you may need to take vitamin B12 as a supplement.
What response have you had to the five-day cookery course?
They are very popular, it’s a great way to spend a week and immerse yourself in vegan cooking, you learn all the building blocks on which to build your cooking career. Bath is a beautiful city, so it makes for an enjoyable holiday, combining cooking with sightseeing.
Which countries do vegan food the best in your opinion and why?
I hear that Berlin is the best city for vegans, as to countries, for me it has to be India, where in the south you can happily eat iddlies and dosas every day.
Tofu gets a lot of criticism for being bland and tasteless – how do you make it delicious?
It’s all in the marinade, ours is made with shoyu, fresh ginger, garlic and chilli.
Who is your advanced vegan diploma aimed at and what does it cover?
For those vegan cooks who plan to make a career out of vegan cooking, who want to open their own restaurant, café or pop-up and learn restaurant style chef skills.
What do you think will be the big trends in vegan cooking this year?
It looks like it’s going to be fermentation, learning how to make kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir and tempeh.
What does the rest of the year hold for you guys at the cookery school?
We will be putting on new vegan courses. This summer we have new evening workshops making tempeh and tofu and nut cheeses and a relaxing fun vegan weekend in the summer making our favourite vegan dishes.
We are planning more cooking holidays abroad and, for those who can’t join us in Bath, we have our Demuths Facebook Cookery Club open to everyone and a great place to share vegan recipes and show off your vegan achievements.