How a Vegan YouTube Megastar Finds Success By Catering to Meat-Eaters
Cookbook author Candice Hutchings wants to eat vegan butter chicken every day—and, now, so do we.
Canadian YouTube personality Candice Hutchings—otherwise known as “The Edgy Veg”—is on a journey to revolutionize vegan food. To accomplish this goal, Hutchings wrote a cookbook called The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes (released Monday on Robert Rose) that repurposes familiar meals through a cruelty-free perspective. Highlights include Veggs Benny, New England Glam Chowder, Pizza Pops, and Bacon-Wrapped Scallops, but it’s Hutchings’ “This is Takeout” Butter Chicken recipe that she says she’d eat every day for the rest of her life. We spoke to Hutchings to ask how she became a viral sensation and why it’s important for her to make food that both vegans and meat-eaters will love.
VegNews: How did you get to be a YouTube star?
Candice Hutchings: I went vegan eight years ago. At that time, veganism was far from mainstream. I noticed a hole in the culinary space for re-imagined traditional recipes, and while I wasn’t a chef and had never created recipes, I knew in order to commit to this lifestyle I had to learn how to cook. That is when I started the first concept of The Edgy Veg blog. Back then, it was called “I am an Edgy Veg.” I used the space to keep track of the meals I was creating but also as a personal diary of my journey. When video tutorials became popular via YouTube, it was an obvious next step, and here we are today!
VN: You’ve described your new cookbook and approach to vegan cooking as going against the grain. Can you explain?
CH: “Against the grain” is a fun play on words for the stereotype that all vegans eat grain bowls. I found that outside of the vegan community, folks really thought we only ate grain bowls and smoothies, so I made it my goal to squash that idea. My approach to cooking is to create a meal you would enjoy no matter what your food preference is. When I create, or select recipes to recreate, I keep that goal in mind. This book is meant for vegans but also for those meat-eaters in that vegan’s life. I’ve been in the vegan community long enough to know that the “us versus them” mentality is not working. To create a movement, you need to step out of your echo-chamber and reach out to those who think differently than you do. You might be surprised to hear that my goal is not to “make the world go vegan.” While I think it’s a nice idea, and maybe through years of re-education and a massive overhaul of the broken food system we could get there, my main goal is to bridge the gap between meat-eaters and vegans. I wanted to create a book that both sides could enjoy together.
VN: If someone invited you to a barbecue, what would you make to bring along?
CH: I love cauliflower wings cooked on the barbecue. The char and smoke gives them such an authentic flavor. I would serve it with my favorite German potato salad and homemade, churned cashew vanilla ice cream.
VN: If you had to choose one meal from your book to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
CH: My “This is Takeout” butter chicken recipe is everything I need in a meal. Aromatic spices, hearty, comforting curry, protein and, of course, bread. Plus, I can eat it with my hands and that’s always a bonus.
Nicole Axworthy is author of the cookbook DIY Vegan.
Photo courtesy of Brilynn Ferguson
4 Vegan Cookbooks For Your Holiday Gift List, Plus What to Pre-Order for 2018
Give the most delicious gift of all with one of these outstanding vegan cookbooks.
Read More »
5 Fun Holiday Movies that Vegans Can Enjoy
Enjoy the spirit of the season while learning a message about compassion with these five flicks.
Read More »
How a 30-Day Vegan Bet Turned Me into a Media Powerhouse
Six years ago, I went vegan to help my wife and her celiac disease. Now, were ethical vegans, and I have a blog, two books, and an internet cooking show.
Read More »
You Are 5 Minutes Away From Having the Perfect Vegan Winter Face
Get your seasonal glow in less time than it takes to brew your morning coffee.
Read More »
VegNews Holiday Cookie Contest 2017 Finalists
Drum roll, please! We present the 10 finalists in this year's VegNews Holiday Cookie Contest.
Read More »
- 18 Vegan Things We Can't Wait to Try in 2018
- Top 10 Vegan Stories of 2017
- No, Hemp Will Not Get You High. Yes, You Need it Anyway.
- 10 Vegan Beauty Products at CVS That Will Save You Some Coin
- Dear Vegans: The Holidays Don't Have to Suck
- 8 Vegan Winter Boots That Will Make You Look Hot
- Top 10 Vegan News Stories of 2017
- 4 Easy Ways to Support Animals During the Holidays
- Veganizing Korean Food, As Told By An American Expat
- VegNews Vegan Wedding Application 2018
- The Healthcare Industry Will Go Completely Vegan, If These Doctors Have Anything to Do With It
- 9 Vegan Cosmetics Youll Buy as Holiday Gifts, Then Probably Keep For Yourself
- If You're A Vegan Stoner, We Have the Perfect Cooking Competition for You
- Forget Milk and Eggs. These 8 Vegan Substitutes Will Make Your Holiday Baked Goods 100 Times Better
- 5 Reasons Animal Testing Will Soon Be a Thing of the Past
- 4 Incredible Ways Animals Can Help Your Child in Need
- VegNews Holiday Gift Guide 2017
- Vegan Black Friday Deals That Will Make You Whip Out Your Credit Card
- 9 Things VegNews Editors Are Thankful For
- Stand in Line (or Not) for These 5 Vegan Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals