Rise of a vegan chef: Lisa Marley shares her journey to success
Lisa Marley’s recipes are featured in Metro, Daily Express, Vegan Food & Living, Daily Mirror and others. She appears on Channel 5’s The Secrets of The Fast Food Giants and has travelled the country doing cooking events. Lisa Marley is becoming a very well-known chef in the vegan and plant-based scene, so V-Land had a one-on-one with her to get to know her a little bit better.
V-Land UK (V-L): Hello Lisa! Thanks for the interview. Where did your passion for cooking come from?
Lisa Marley (LM): My passion for food comes from food and eating. I didn’t grow up cooking, but I certainly grew up eating! Food has been a comfort, a friend, an enemy and a joy over the years. Now it’s also a job, but one that I love and that I’m grateful for.
V-L: Why plant-based cooking, and when did you adopt this lifestyle?
LM: It was a slow process that happened over many years. I started to feel uncomfortable eating meat and eventually stopped eating it. Then it was fish and dairy until eventually, I was fully plant-based. That was roughly six years ago. My main reason is my love of animals, not just pets.
V-L: What is your favourite cuisine to cook?
LM: I trained as a pastry chef, so my comfort zone is bread, cakes and sweet treats. However, I love spicy food as well as pasta.
V-L: You have been featured on BBC Radio, Daily Express, Metro etc. Have you always dreamed of being a recognised vegan chef, or did you let things flow without any expectations?
LM: I’d love to say that it all happened by chance, but actually, I’m proactive. I’m always looking for opportunities and have a not-so-secret desire to be famous. I justify that by ensuring I will highlight and promote the many benefits of a plant-based/vegan lifestyle. I tell myself I’m doing it for the animals, which is actually true.
V-L: Please tell us more about your relationship with ProVeg UK and what this association does for our community.
LM: ProVeg UK is part of ProVeg International, a food awareness organisation with the mission to reduce the global consumption of animals by 50% by 2040. School Plates is ProVeg UK’s flagship programme, and we work with local authorities to change menus across primary schools. Currently 8,251,200 meals have been swapped to meat-free or plant-based and that number is rising everyday. I’m the chef trainer, and I’m part of a team that runs training workshops in plant-based cooking, and I develop plant-based recipes.
V-L: The dream of many chefs is to release a recipe book. Do you have plans to do the same?
LM: I do! I’m keen to write books and I’m working with a brilliant team at Yellow Poppy Media, and together we are going to make that happen.
V-L: A starter, a main course, a dessert and a drink. What would you serve us for dinner for our V-Land UK team of 30 collaborators?
LM: Starters would be sticky seitan ribs with a zingy salad. The main course would be Korean style spicy noodles with panko tofu. Dessert would be a raw chocolate hazelnut tart. I’d make a delicious cocktail using a non-alcoholic spirit. I’m trying to be alcohol free but I’d add a shot of tequila for those who wanted it.
V-L: What are your plans and dreams for the future?
LM: I will continue my work with ProVeg as I really believe we are making a positive impact. I’d also like to film cooking shows and be part of mainstream TV. We haven’t got a vegan chef who is a household name in the UK, I’d happily fill that spot. I’d also like to write as many cookbooks as possible.