About the Author

Jean-Philippe Cyr

Books by this Author
The Buddhist Chef

The Buddhist Chef

100 Simple, Feel-Good Vegan Recipes
edition:Paperback
More Info
Excerpt

Introduction

The tastes, textures, and aromas of food have fascinated me since I was little. As I was growing up, I found myself wanting to experiment with these elements, so I made sure to be in the kitchen as often as I could. Later, I studied culinary arts, and then spent years working in restaurants of all kinds, where I learned how to perfect my skills. I then set off to Asia in search of adventure, new flavors, and cooking techniques.

There, I discovered the Buddhist philosophy and its principles of nonviolence. I briefly toyed with the idea of becoming a monk and never coming back home, but the woman whom I would later marry was waiting for me in Canada. When I returned, my interest in Buddhism kept growing. I took part in meditation retreats where I would meditate and work as a chef. Since the meditation centers served food that used no animal products, I found these retreats to be the perfect opportunity to learn how to cook with plants and grains and test out new vegan recipes with a focused yet very willing clientele.

As time went on, it became more and more difficult for me to continue cooking with meat as part of my job as a chef. My values had changed, and I was miserable working in a system that promoted principles that contradicted my own. One evening, after cooking lamb for 400 guests at a banquet, I realized I could no longer be a part of an industry that took advantage of the weakest beings. I could not go on like this.

I knew I had to do something—but what? Interest in vegan cooking was growing at the time, which was wonderful news for our health, the environment, and the animals, but many people did not know where to begin. My wife then gave me the idea of gathering all the knowledge I had acquired during my culinary career and using it to promote vegan eating. A blog seemed like the perfect venue because readers from all walks of life would be able to find simple, delicious recipes that use no animal products. And that is how The Buddhist Chef was born!

To this day, I love sharing my recipes with anyone and everyone who wishes to learn how to cook vegan. I try to make veganism accessible and show how simple it is to make a delicious meal using plant-based ingredients you can easily find at your grocery store.

This cookbook, my first, is my way of helping you to cook vegan simply and flavorfully.

It contains my “classic” recipes, the ones my virtual community members appreciate the most. It also features brand-new, fun, and mouthwatering recipes that everyone at your table will love. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to decrease your meat consumption, I hope you’ll enjoy these easy-to-follow and, above all, delicious recipes!

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Excerpt

From the Introduction

When I was a child, my mother and grandmother made it their mission to make me as self-sufficient as possible. It was out of the question that I’d be “pampered and spoiled,” as they put it. By the age of six, I was a feminist by proxy and they were training me to become the most helpful husband someday. I learned to cook standing on a small bench between these two passionate cooks. They had me cleaning pots and pans before I even had time to call for help. This was far from a punishment; as it happened, I loved spending time in the kitchen. As I look back on my childhood, I realize how lucky I was to grow up in a time when the pleasure of cooking and eating was paramount. There was no online food delivery, and smartphones weren’t at the kitchen table. Instead, we kids would hop on our bikes to go pick up strawberries or apples from the local stands or do a grocery run for our parents. What a time. While we would cook out of necessity, we would still enjoy preparing foods in the kitchen and eating together as a family, free from distraction. It was a time when we enjoyed getting seconds and thirds . . . without worrying about calories or fats. A lot has changed since then. We now live in a digital world and have access to information at our fingertips. We also have a better understanding of where our food comes from and how our dietary choices impact the planet.
 
As for me, I became a classically trained chef, a Buddhist, and a vegan, in that order. I used my culinary training to veganize meals. I launched The Buddhist Chef blog and have loved sharing my vegan creations with you online and in my first cookbook, The Buddhist Chef. It’s been great to see all of you—whether you are trying to reduce your meat intake or are a long-time vegan—embrace these plant-based recipes. 
 
Well, I’m so excited to share even more vegan meals with you. These recipes are inspired by the nostalgic comfort foods I enjoyed growing up, as well as by popular foods from around the world. I hope they make veganism easy for you and your loved ones, while bringing back memories of simpler times.

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