Get to know Chef Casey Peters – one of the people behind all of your delicious meals you eat each week. Learn about this experience growing up and what inspired him to start plant-based cooking,
- Who or what inspired you to become a chef?
I mean, a big thing for me was always that growing up, we didn’t have very much money but we always had a big garden. It was always a big part of my life to get out in the garden, pick something – and whatever we had growing – that was for dinner. It was figuring out how to cook anything with what we had. What inspired me most to become a chef was a continuation of that. At the beginning it was just a job but later grew to become a huge passion of mine to make somebody something to eat, watch it be brought out to them, and watch them be like, “oh my gosh, this is so good”. That’s definitely my favourite thing.
- At what point did plant-based life/cooking become a part of your life?
About 4 years ago now. It was really just a health thing for me. I was working out and decided to take out dairy, which I was never a big fan of. I also took out meat and focused on greens. I then met my future wife and she was vegan. When we would hangout, she would always talk about it. I never even thought about veganism because I always thought it was kind of crazy. The way she talked about it and broke it down was very easy to understand and gain a new perspective and appreciation for what it is. It was almost an immediate decision. I stopped eating animal products and it was by far the easiest thing I have ever done. I felt better right away and had a million more things to cook with. People think veganism is so restrictive – but there are thousands of plants to work with.
- What dish or ingredient best represents you as a chef?
One thing I really love is fresh herbs. I don’t use any dry herbs. The reason for that is obvious. Fresh herbs are a thousand times more flavourful. My favourite herb is fresh thyme as it goes well with everything. I even use it in sorbet. It also grows through the winter. If I had to pick one food that best represents me as a chef, it would be a warm chocolate chip cookie. That to me is the taste of home or going to see your grandma.
- What’s a dish you’ve never made but would like to?
I mean, I’ll never be close to making every dish but one thing I’d love to make is pumpernickel bread.
- Do you have advice for any aspiring chefs who want to focus on plant based cooking?
The biggest thing is to really learn your basic ingredients. Things like tamari, miso, mirin, and your vinegars. The bases are important because all the flavours looking for are already plant based but more people haven’t realized that yet. Another thing is to try everything. You’ll probably screw up a million times and that’s the best part about it because you can learn from it and make it even better next time.