I had the pleasure of meeting Cobi of Veggietorials at a vegan meet-up a couple months ago and she is seriously one of the sweetest ladies in the world. So friendly and adorable and I have to give her major props for introducing me to my new favorite hang out in Los Angeles! I was so honored when she agreed to let me interview her on Fellowship of the Vegetable! So without further ado…meet Cobi!
What inspired you to start Veggietorials?
When I worked as a personal chef and cooking instructor, people kept saying that I needed my own cooking show on TV. Food Network never came knocking on my door, so I started to post videos on YouTube to share my passion for food. I want to show people that a compassionate lifestyle can be simple, fun, and delicious.
I love the “About Me” section on your website, tell us a little bit about why you choose not to label yourself as vegan.
I want to open a dialogue with people. I want them to be curious. I want them to be open. My experience has been that by saying I’m “plant-based”, it removes all of the stereotypes people have about vegans. I want folks to be excited enough to jump on board and eat more plants. This lifestyle needs to be presented in a way that makes it seem accessible, affordable and easy for everyone if the goal is a real shift from the SAD (standard American diet) diet. In ten years, I believe that we will look at the consumption of animals with the same disdain we have for cigarette smoking. In the future, compassion will be the norm and labeling ourselves as cruelty-free will be irrelevant.
How does living in Hawaii influence your recipes or style of cooking?
Hawaii is such a Foodie culture. Some of my recipes are local favorites that I veganized like Vegan Spam Musubi or a LocoMoco. It’s fun to still be able to eat all of those tasty treats. And, since we don’t have many vegan restaurants here, if I want a juicy Reuben sandwich, I have to make it myself! A lot of my recipes come from late-night comfort food cravings.
You’re invited to a potluck, what dish do you bring to wow the crowd?
Hands and paws down, I’d bring my KimChi Fried Rice Balls. Yummy fried rice, stuffed with vegan mozzarella, deep-fried to perfection and dipped in a gochujang awesome sauce. Yeah!
What is your favorite restaurant in Hawaii and what do you order there?
I love Greens & Vines in Honolulu. It’s a fantastic spot for the best raw vegan cuisine on the island. I love to sit outside on the patio and sip wine before macking down on the Not-tuna salad appetizer with onion bread. You may have had other vegan “tuna” style spreads before, but I will vouch that this is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. For entrees, it’s a tie between the Pad Thai or the Living Lasagne. They’re both super satisfying, but save room for dessert. Life will not be complete unless you finish with the Wicked Chocolate tart.
It’s 5pm on a Friday – what drink do you reach for?
I’ll take a Ketel One martini up, shaken hard, three olives (tomolives if you’ve got ‘um) and don’t even show it the vermouth.
What has been your biggest take-away from living a more compassionate lifestyle?
Compassion is contagious and we can inspire others by standing in our own truth.
Tell us a joke.
All of my best jokes require the use of an accent and won’t be very funny here! Meet me at the Dresden Room and after a couple martinis, I’ll be on a roll 🙂
It’s a deal Cobi – drinks are on me! Thank you so much for letting me pick your brain!
Everyone – be sure to check out Veggietorials for all of her amazing recipes and videos!!