I originally hail from the Chicago area and currently live in Los Angeles with my filmmaker husband, Ryan Suffern, and our problem child dog, Omar, and she-thinks-she’s-a-princess cat, Maya. I’ve always loved to bake, but when I began to learn about the benefits of a vegan diet (for my health, for the animals, and for the environment), I quickly adapted my baking style and started making all of my treats without any animal products. To my surprise, they were just as good as “traditional” treats made with dairy and eggs, and having been totally won over, I have never looked back.
For three years, I worked as a professional baker at Leda’s Bakeshop in Los Angeles, before it closed its doors in late 2008. During my time there, I was eventually able to convince the owner that vegan baked goods don’t all taste like cardboard, and she agreed to let me start a vegan line of pastries at the shop. By the time Leda’s closed, I knew that vegan baking was the path I needed to pursue, so at the beginning of 2009, I started my own direct order vegan baking business - C’est La V Bakeshop.
I’ve always loved food, and I mean LOVED food, but I was never as good a cook as I was a baker – until I became vegan. I taught myself how to cook by watching cooking shows, working my way through cookbooks, and a with lot of good old fashioned trial and error. My passion for good food and desire to try new ingredients (as well as a limited budget for eating out) kept me going, and now I’m proud to say that I can hold my own in the kitchen. I don’t have any formal training, which I hope proves to everyone who reads this blog that they’re just as capable of making these dishes as I am. If I can do it, you can do it!
I’m truly passionate about food and about showing people that vegan food can be as delicious, if not more so, than the standard American diet. Most people think that being vegan is difficult, bland or just not worth the trouble and what they see as sacrifice. As a girl raised on steak and pork chops, I can tell you that anyone can make this change. I loved meat and was a super picky eater, so I was by far the kid least likely to end up vegan or even vegetarian. I was so against vegetables that I wouldn’t even eat ketchup! I hope that this blog, as one more voice in the overwhelmingly growing vegan movement, can show you that being vegan isn’t a sacrifice, and it shouldn’t be. So get in your kitchen, and get cooking!