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Q&A with Alice MacKinnon, The Plant-Based Chef

BY SARAH LONDON - Blog - Alice MacKinnon

Tell us a little about yourself? 

My name is Alice and I am a plant-based chef, cookery teacher and product consultant living in London. I have recently moved back from a 3 year stint in LA, immersing myself in the California food scene. 

How did you develop a passion for plant-based food?

A health issue in 2007 led to me being on antibiotics on and off for over a year. Following that, I experienced huge negative changes in my well being; I felt bloated, backed-up and exhausted throughout my 20s and nothing seemed to work. It might sound minor, but feeling like that day to day can be incredibly debilitating. Like so many others, I gradually made changes to my diet, first reducing sugar and increasing vegetables. I was lucky enough to work with some great start-ups in London, all of which exposed me to a plant-focused lifestyle. I eventually decided to train at a vegan culinary school in LA which was where I really fell in love with this way of living. 

Why is choosing plant-based important to you? 

Simply put, I just don't want to contribute to factory farming. From a personal perspective, it just makes my body feel so much better. For me it is just a more peaceful way of living. This also goes towards the products I use on my face, my body and in my home. 

What's your go-to plant-based recipe? 

Always kitchari. This is an Ayurvedic staple and it's filling and nourishing. 

How can we introduce plant-based food into our day-to-day?

If you're just starting, crowd out the animal products with plants. If you usually have two eggs in the morning, try having just one, with an additional portion of greens. If you have steak for dinner, try splitting that steak with someone and cooking more vegetables to fill your plate. Try to look at meat or fish as an extra, not as the main event. Despite popular belief, you can get enough protein from vegetables and plant based fats, and you will stay full! 

When it comes to plant-based skincare, what's your favourite BY SARAH skincare product and why? 

Definitely the Organic Facial Oil, because it's unfragranced and it really works. It's also very good value. 

What does the rest of 2018 have in store for you? 

I'm collaborating with a London-based cookery school on developing an 8 week, fully plant based course so watch this space! I'm also continuing my consultancy with brands wanting to expand their plant based offerings, as well as doing private chef work. 

Follow Alice on Instagram @alicemackinnon1985 and meet her at our workshop on 10 October in London.


Interview by Sarah, CEO, BY SARAH LONDON 

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