Every industry has its visionary pioneers, and the food industry is no different. In the world of vegan food, certain individuals stand out from the crowd, pushing plant-based food into the mainstream at breakneck speed. These five driven, creative chefs are delivering to the masses creations such as bestselling cookbooks, award-winning restaurants, and innovative plant-based meat, seafood, and cheese product lines—all with the shared vision to mainstream veganism.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Derek and Chad Sarno
Chefs Derek and Chad Sarno are the plant-pushing brothers who co-founded the Wicked Healthy brand and co-authored the cookbook of the same name. These New England natives have worked with industry giants such as grocery chain Whole Foods and renowned online cooking school Rouxbe. Derek Sarno works as the director of plant-based innovation at United Kingdom retail giant Tesco, where you can find the Wicked Healthy line of products such as Spicy Mushroom and Veg Sourdough Pizza, Big Bros Enchilada, and Hipster Salad. Chad Sarno is the VP of culinary at all-vegan seafood line Good Catch Foods. These visionaries believe plants are the future, and they’re making it a reality.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Chloe Coscarelli
Chef Chloe Coscarelli stole everyone’s heart as the first vegan to win the televised culinary competition Cupcake Wars—with a vegan cupcake, of course—and it’s been onward and upward for her ever since. Founder of the famed by Chloe chain that bears her name (although she’s no longer affiliated with the company) and author of cookbooks Chloe Flavor, Vegan Italian Kitchen, Chloe’s Vegan Desserts, and Chloe’s Kitchen, she recently launched new eatery Chef Chloe and the Vegan Café at St. Roch Market in Miami, FL. Named to the Forbes 2017 Class of 30 Under 30 in the food and drink category, this vegan chef superstar continues to work tirelessly to bring vegan cuisine to the mainstream.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Tal Ronnen
Chef Tal Ronnen is the founder and owner of upscale Los Angeles restaurant Crossroads, author of the cookbook The Conscious Cook, and co-founder of vegan food brand Kite Hill, which has revolutionized the plant-based food industry with its artisanal cream cheese, yogurt, and almond-ricotta-stuffed ravioli. Since cheese is often thought of as the final frontier in the vegan journey, the founding of Kite Hill was welcome news. Ronnen, who has brought veganism to the fore working with celebrities such as Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres, has also teamed up with vegan meat brand Gardein to develop its popular line of products. Ronnen’s undeniable influence on mainstream plant-based products has ensured it’s never been an easier time to go vegan.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Doug McNish
Chef Doug McNish wants you to become a plant addict, and he’s got the books and restaurants to make it happen. Author of several cookbooks including Vegan Everyday; Eat Raw, Eat Well; and Raw, Quick and Delicious—and another to be released in 2020—this classically trained, award-winning vegan chef ran the much-loved brunch haven Public Kitchen in Toronto before closing its doors and helping to open and run Mythology Diner in the city’s affectionately nicknamed “Vegandale” stretch of Toronto’s Parkdale neighborhood. Mythology marks McNish’s partnership with The 5700 Inc., which runs the Vegandale chain of businesses, including ethical clothing and lifestyle store The Imperative and vegan brewery Vegandale Brewery. When McNish isn’t blowing patrons’ minds with his vegan Reuben sandwich or vegan eggs, he’s sharing his professional services as a speaker, consultant, and private chef to spread the vegan message far and wide.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Miyoko Schinner
Chef Miyoko Schinner—affectionately nicknamed the “Queen of Vegan Cheese”—is the vegan blogger and mastermind behind much-loved cookbooks like Artisan Vegan Cheese and The Homemade Vegan Pantry. Determined to reconcile her love for both cheese and animals, Schinner—the self-proclaimed cheese-a-holic who started out baking and delivering vegan pound cakes—made countless vegan dreams come true when she founded Miyoko’s Kitchen and brought artisan vegan cheese and vegan creamery butter to the masses. This dedicated, animal-loving activist even founded her own animal sanctuary, Rancho Compasión, in Nicasio, CA. Assorted vegan cheese wheel, anyone?

Marika Collins is a writer, editor, and photographer in search of the perfect doughnut and her next cup of coffee.

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