Meet Jean-Christian Jury - he's a vegan!
And he's looking good! But it wasn't always this way. On World Vegan Day our author reveals how heart failure made him reassess his diet for the better. Want to give it a go? Vegan: The Cookbook will show you how
There are just so many misconceptions about vegan cuisine we almost don’t know where to begin busting them. So, on World Vegan Day we thought it would be fun to catch up with Jean-Christian Jury, the author of Vegan: The Cookbook, and let him try.
A little back-story to Jean-Christian before we begin. He’s an internationally acclaimed chef from Toulouse, France. While working in the restaurant world in London, he suffered heart failure, which he attributes to his relentless work schedule and poor diet. Heeding this wake-up call, he began delving into the study of raw and vegan food and embraced a healthy diet and lifestyle. In 2007, he opened his first vegan restaurant, La Mano Verde, in Berlin, to much critical acclaim. He's now based in Los Angeles but continues to travel the world, exploring global vegan cuisine.
What are the most common misconceptions about vegan food? Well, first of all, you don’t have to be 100% vegan from day one. The transition can be gradual and smooth. Also, many non-vegans have a preconception of plant-based cuisine as being bland and unsatisfying. There is no reason why vegan food can’t be as delicious as non-plant-based cuisine! When food is fresh and brimming with flavour, it will leave you feeling sated.
When and why did you become a vegan? In 2001, I moved to London, where I ran several restaurants and kitchens. In 2005, I was running a restaurant, a cocktail bar and lounge, and a private club there. My eating habits, like those of many chefs, were erratic. Often, the food was anything but healthy. After years of working sixteen-hour days, with no holidays, a poor diet, and very little sleep, I had my first heart failure, and just a few months later, a second one.
After a couple months of recovery, I got a call to visit an innovative detox center that had plans to open in London, Munich, Dubai, Stockholm, and Paris. The concept was very new and the approach to healthy food, fresh smoothies, and juices seduced me. I completely changed my diet and lifestyle and have devoted much time to the study of raw and vegan food ideas and best practices since.
Why is Vegan: The Cookbook a book for both vegans and non-vegans? The most efficient way to get the enzymes, minerals, fibers, vitamins and calories that are essential for us to maintain a high level of energy is to eat the right food. Our bodies and immune systems require garden-fresh vegetables and fruits. Vegan food, when cooked with fresh ingredients, keeps us healthy and helps us to age gracefully and stave off many common diseases. For years, my goal has been to surprise non-vegans with delicious vegan recipes, to show that meat isn’t necessary for a flavourful and satisfying meal. Vegan: the Cookbook offers recipes to satisfy all tastes. At the root of it, vegan food is just food: vibrant, flavourful, fresh and varied.