Ed Harris brings together traditional Guyanese cuisine that he has grown up eating, which is a melting pot of several cuisines including Indian, his experiences as a chef and journey as a vegan into his work as a food entrepreneur and food consultant
After having worked in the capacity of a professional chef handling different positions with hotels and restaurants, Ed Harris discovered Veganism. This happened over a documentary watching session with wife and kids. After watching the famed documentary ‘What The Health’, popular chef, food consultant and author Ed Harris turned into a vegan. From the past few years, the Atlanta-based Chef has been advocating veganism, creating recipes and has turned an entrepreneur with ‘knifenspoon’ brand of food products. While he continues to experiment and innovate to create new products and recipes, he majorly invests his time in advocating veganism. He finds his Guyanese roots enriching and he loves to explores various cuisines on his quest for newer dishes.
Author, Founder of Knife n Spoon, food entrepreneur and Food Consultant Ed Harris in an exclusive interview:
How has your personal journey been as you transformed into a vegan?
I became a vegan advocate six years ago and the moment was when I along with my wife and kids watched ‘What the Health’ – first documentary we saw on the subject. From that point on, we couldn’t go back.
My personal journey has been great. Like anything it was challenging in the beginning. But it was something I looked forward to. It gave me a chance to learn new ways, and new techniques to make vegetables taste even better.
Do share your process of creating recipes?
Creating recipes is easy for me. It’s fun and I love doing it. I go based on culture, then I breakdown to ingredients familiar to that particular culture. I am more of a technical guy, so my recipes are technical. They deliver on very specific key points.
The mission is to get people to eat more vegetables. I feel its very important. The more you eat vegetables, the easier it is to transition to plant based and vegan.
I am working on products that I can ship across the world. In addition to pancakes and waffle mixes, and we have spices. Its always a progression. We are trying to create better and good quality products.
How have your Guyanese roots influenced your food habits and recipes?
Guyanese food is amazing. There are many influences including Indian and from different parts of Asia; there is Portuguese and tons of cultures. It is a great melting pot. All the fruits and vegetables that naturally grow in Guyana make it even more amazing. Vegetables are big in South America. Having in depth acknowledge of them is definitely beneficial.
Social media is a big part of your work. How has the experience been?
Social media has allowed me to reach out to more people and show them how amazing whole food and plant-based food is. It can be the main star of your menu and still provide tons of nutrition. Every day at 1pm EST I do a room in Club House of eating vegetables – tricks and tips of cooking.
Give us more details on your latest cookbook?
My latest cookbook is ‘Veganish Breakfast’ and it’s all about breakfast as the name says. Many of my clients say breakfast is the hardest thing to do if you are moving towards plant-based. I wanted to give them a book of yummy recipes – there are smoothies, yummy stuff like my favourite Hashbrowns, Tamalis, Avocado Toast with mushrooms – dishes with amazing taste and texture - recipes closer to my heart in the book.
Have you tasted Indian food? You do have Indian Masala as one of your products?
I have been to India many times. I have tasted Indian food and I love it.
While I know a lot of ingredients, I would like to know more. That will give me an opportunity to create more dishes.