Oprah’s Former Teen Chef Hosts Vegan Diner Pop-Up

Tonight, 17-year-old Kai Kani will transform a former Johnny Rockets burger shop into a vegan paradise.


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Teen chef Kai Kani will host the Vegan Pop-Up Diner Experience tonight inside the original location of Johnny Rockets burger restaurant in Los Angeles. The 17-year-old chef—who first began working in the culinary world at age 10—has catered private events for the Oprah Winfrey Network, musician LL Cool J, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards. The menu will feature veganized diner food, including The Impossible Burger (topped with house-made pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and carmelized onions), Kennebec potato fries (served with house-made ketchup), French toast (which features vanilla, coconut-based chantilly cream, and smoked maple syrup), and a variety of vegan milkshakes. Kani also regularly hosts MERAKAI—a vegan pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles that includes a number of tasting courses with dishes such as avocado tartine, Chinese scallion beignets, and coconut panna cotta.