Tell us about your life before you came to Portugal.
My origins are from Bavaria and as a kid from the „Alpes“ – my connection to nature has always been profound and a source of life energy. After graduating from high school, I studied fashion design & art and worked for more than 10 years as a set & event designer for cultural events & tourism in France. In parallel, my passion was to fly through the skies in a hot air balloon. I not only managed high-end flights in the Loire Valley, but also travelled to international championships around the globe. This experience gave me a deep understanding of the adventure travel and experience market.
In 2010 I moved to Berlin which finally brought me to veganism. Living in Europe’s vegan capital, made me aware of sustainable living models and I met wonderful people who inspired me to start my food blog.
Curiosity brought me to Lisbon in 2015 – Love made me stay. Over time, I realized that I could no longer ignore the disastrous conditions of animal farming in our lobby-oriented food industry. I also became aware of the impact and power of my wallet and that ultimately, through goal-oriented consumption by each individual, the supply could very well change.
So I changed my lifestyle, became vegan and deeply hope that through my cuisine I can inspire others to do the same.
How it comes that you turned from a Audio- Visual Designer into a professional vegan Chef?
2015, just a little hands-on trial in Lisbon at one of the most visited vegan restaurants at that time: “The Food-Temple” transformed my life…a beautiful journey into the fantastic world of plant-based food started! Since then I have never stopped cooking, gained experience in various vegan restaurants, founded Allyouneedisveg Lisbon “VegFoodLab” and graduated as a plant-based chef and certified nutritionist from the industry-leading “Plant Based Institute for Culinary Arts” in Berlin.
Who are your clients and with whom you like working most?
As plant-based well-being Chef one of my greatest experiences are those in collaboration with projects which have the same vision as I have: a sensibility for a green and cruelty-free future wrapped in creativity, colours and joy.I develop menus for the restaurant industry, design food concepts for seminars and events in Lisbon and appeared as a speaker and showcook at summits such as Veggie World Portugal.Over the years, however, I have spezialised in the wellness sector and work as a professional chef & nutritionist for renowned yoga and meditation centres in Portugal, Spain, France and Germany.
What inspires you about working as a personal chef at the retreats?
At the retreats I got the opportunity to go deeper into my passion – the essence of Yoga Food and observed the immediate energetic impact and delight my food has on our lovely guests and team. I understood what a powerful tool food can be and how “cruelty-free” food can make a real change towards a better and more peaceful society.Buddhist Chef Jeong Kwan, who I admire deeply, brings it to the point:
“With food we can share and communicate our emotions. It´s that mind-set of sharing that is really what you are eating.”
How would you describe your style?
My goal is to inspire people around the world to fall in love with plant-based cuisine.
I offer delicious, colourful and healthy meals – rich in Prana – that enhance performance during meditation, yoga practice and creative processes.
I believe that the ethical and energetic quality and positive effects of pure, plant-based, wholesome foods – carefully prepared with creativity, love and joy – are directly linked to our inner and outer health and well-being: Our body, mind and spirit!
Which are your preferred cuisines?
I am inspired by the techniques and flavours of Mediterranean – Asian crossover with influences from Macrobiotic, Ayurveda and Gourmet Raw Cuisines.
However my affinity for Thai & Japanese Cuisines cannot be denied … so fragrant, fresh and yummy !
What are your future plans?
Last year I additionally started working as an instructor in collaboration with “Escola de Hotelaria e Turismo de Lisboa” to introduce a new model of professional plant-based cooking. Recently a reels new feed on Instagram and YouTube @lettheveggiesin has been created, where I show how to cook with leftover ingredients that everyone finds in their fridge. The approach on this channel is low waste, relaxed and fun, aimed at the average person who wants to learn how to cook with vegetables. I also have endless recipes in the pipeline and in the archives waiting to get out into the world, as a cookbook. It just needs a publisher to become a reality…
Click here for Reviews of Chef Yukis´partners and clients.
…with Sebastian Copien at Plant-based Institute for Culinary Arts, Berlin.