VEGAN CHEF GAZ OAKLEY
Vegan chef Gaz Oakley is a cookbook author, blogger, and YouTuber from the UK. Even though he is only 27 years old, he has already published two cookbooks. He also has a massive following on Youtube and Instagram.
PREDESTINED TO BECOME A CHEF
Gaz seems to have been predestined to become a great chef. He got his first job as a chef at only 15. After that, at only 19, he began working at one of the most famous restaurants in Cardiff, called Le Gallois.
One day, after watching the speech by Gary Yourofsky (see Gary Yourofsky – Best Speech You Will Ever Hear), he decided to go vegan.
From that moment on, I knew that I had to use my cooking skills as my way of promoting veganism.
HIS RISE TO FAME
In February 2016, Gaz started his Instagram page @avantgardevegan. While working on new recipes, he was also trying to improve his photography skills. As a result, his Instagram posts were getting more and more likes and, most importantly, people loved his recipes.
Following his Instagram success, Gaz started doing pop up dinners at restaurants and stalls at vegan festivals.
‘AVANT-GARDE VEGAN’ YOUTUBE CHANNEL
In December 2016, after reaching 35.000 Instagram followers, he launched the Avant-Garde Vegan Youtube channel.
I knew just sharing food pictures & writing recipes wasn’t enough, I had to physically show people how to make my food. I was creating all these incredible dishes using ingredients like seitan which I learned just through trial and error. There weren’t any outlets, no vegan tv cooking shows, hardly any youtube videos. I knew I had to fill that gap to help people. However, I forgot how camera shy I was. The first season of videos I filmed was a real struggle, and the videos came out very bad – I hardly smiled!!
With over 8 seasons of videos, more than 1 million subscribers, and a total of 39,405,464 views, Avant-Garde Vegan Youtube channel has turned into a brilliant resource for not only vegan foodies but foodies in general.
He puts a lot of effort into each video: he rents a super cool kitchen studio, has a complete film crew, and the most awesome food photography props. Every little detail is well-thought-out.
Seeing the reaction to my videos & food is worth all the early struggles & is very similar to the amazing feeling I got when I would see a nice review of my food during my time in the professional kitchens. People tell me often that I inspired them to go vegan and that’s simply why I do what I do.
His debut cookbook Vegan 100 was released in January 2018. It is sold worldwide & translated into 5 different languages. His second cookbook, called Vegan Christmas, was released in October 2018.
Writing my first cookbook was an unbelievable feeling, Vegan100 is filled with all the recipes I had created between the first day I went vegan up until the day I handed the book text in. I wanted to make sure there was something in there for everyone & packed with dishes that will appeal to non-vegans. If I get them interested & cooking my food then it will be fewer people eating animals.
- Vegan 100: Over 100 incredible recipes from @avantgardevegan
- Vegan Christmas: Over 70 amazing vegan recipes for the festive season and holidays, from Avant-Garde Vegan
- Plants only kitchen – Over 70 delicious, super-simple, powerful & protein-packed recipes for busy people
Gaz recently became an executive chef at a London vegan burger restaurant, The Vurger Co. He also did a collaboration with Wagamama, the Japanese inspired restaurant chain.
His plan was to open his own vegan restaurant once he reaches 1 million subscribers on Youtube, he reached that goal beginning of April 2020. We are waiting for the next step!
Visit his web page avantgardevegan.com to read the full story about his journey.
SELECTION OF OUR FAVORITE RECIPES FROM GAZ’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL
- Vegan Jamaican curry
- Vegan macaroni and cheese, 3 ways!!!
- Vegan ‘meatballs’
- Tastiest chickpea curry
- How to make a vegan omelet
Credit: All images and videos are the property of Avantgarde Vegan