Greetings, I'm Beverly Lynn Bennett, and I'm passionate about vegan cuisine! I've been working in restaurants, in one form or another, for most of my life. At the age of 12, I started out helping wash dishes at a club that my parents belonged to, and the rhythm and pulse of working in a busy kitchen began to get in my blood. I would later work my way up through the ranks of various restaurants, and I eventually became a certified foodservice operations manager as well as acquiring a culinary arts degree from the University of Akron.
In 1987, I became a vegetarian, and a few years later I went completely vegan, and it was the best decision I ever made! I never felt healthier, and knowing that I was no longer contributing to animal suffering made me feel even better. As a vegan, I can bake and sauté with the best of them, and I'm passionate about showing the world just how delicious and nutritious food can actually be when it's free of animal ingredients.
In the early 1990s, I was fortunate enough to discover that a few vegetarian restaurants actually existed in Northeast Ohio, where I lived at the time. There, I was finally able to put my culinary talents to work without compromising my values. I worked at several vegetarian restaurants in the years that would follow, my favorite of which was the famed Zephyr vegetarian restaurant (now a non-vegetarian pub) located near Kent State University, where I worked for four years as chef. From 1998 to 2000, I was the vegan chef at Tabor's Thyme Cafe, formerly a mostly organic, vegetarian restaurant in Berea, Ohio.
In 2002, I became a regular columnist for the best vegan publication anywhere, VegNews Magazine. My column, "Dairy-Free Desserts," features some of my recipes for vegan goodies that aren't available on this site or anywhere else. Unlike most other mainstream veg-related publications, VegNews is completely vegan-oriented and is on the cutting edge of reporting on what's happening in the world of veganism.
Also in 2002, my partner Ray Sammartano and I relocated to the very vegan-friendly city of Eugene, Oregon, and we're still loving it here! From 2002 to 2006, I worked for a long-established local natural foods store, creating a daily assortment of fresh, organic vegan dishes and desserts. In 2007, I began to devote more time to writing, developing recipe ideas for upcoming cookbooks, and spreading the vegan message online and through cooking demonstrations, and as a consultant and contributor to various media projects.
I am very proud to have written several books in recent years. In 2005, I wrote The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Living with Ray. It was the first book on veganism in the popular Idiot's Guide series. In 2008, we wrote a follow-up to the book titled The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking, which features over 200 new recipes and variations as well as being loaded with vegan cooking tips, advice, and information.
2008 also saw the release of a cookbook that I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to write for the respected publisher of vegan and vegetarian books, Book Publishing Company (Summertown, TN). It is titled Vegan Bites: Recipes For Singles, which, as the title suggests, features recipes that call for smaller numbers of servings that are perfect for those who are cooking for one (or two).
In 2011, I teamed up with plant-based dietitian extraordinaire, Julieanna Hever, to write The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking. Due out in December 2011, this book will feature over 200 gluten-free, plant-based recipes, including a recipe for gluten-free seitan and many others that I am really excited about!
If you are interested in having me appear at your veg-oriented event, or if you would like me to write an original column or article focusing on some aspect of vegan cuisine, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be thrilled to discuss it with you!
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