Twelve-Year-Old Vegan Chef Omari McQueen Brings Out His First Cookbook
A common misconception about veganism is that meal preparation is difficult, time-consuming, or tedious. Others believe that vegan and vegetarian diets are bland - which is a common misconception, as many individuals are unaware of the various ways fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious food items can be used to create flavorful and satisfying meals. However, Omari McQueen has been working on showing the world just how incorrect these assumptions are in the last four years. Now the award-winning vegan chef will release his first cookbook at 12 years old
At the age of seven, McQueen decided to take on a vegan lifestyle. At approximately eight years old, he decided to start a YouTube channel where he made plant-based dishes that would entice even the youngest of children. In a recent mini-documentary by 60secdocs Omari McQueen explains, “I don’t want animals to die or be eaten so I teach people my age to be vegan."
On his own Instagram channel, called Dipalicious, he, therefore, shares recipes, reviews ingredients, and answers questions about various aspects of veganism.
But young McQueen did not decide to stop there. In 2019, McQueen opened a pop-up restaurant in Croydon, United Kingdom. He named it "Dipalicious" after a brand name he's given himself and his creations. Not only did he serve dozens of vegan dishes at his restaurant, but much of what he served was Caribbean-inspired.
This combination of ethnicity and plant-based eating goes far beyond what many would expect of a truly vegan diet. Omari knows that flavor in food is important, and that's why he tries to go beyond the traditional vegan meals and create recipes that are simple to make but taste delicious.
Now that he's built his brand, Omari McQueen partnered with Scholastic UK to publish his very own cookbook, titled "Omari McQueen's Best Bites Cookbook" which is set to be released in January of 2021. In a post on his Dipalicious Instagram page, McQueen revealed the cover of the book and gave a shoutout to all those who have helped him along the way.
The cookbook will feature 30 totally plant-based recipes, created and taste-tested entirely by Omari himself. His goal with this cookbook is to provide individuals who are interested in pursuing a vegan lifestyle - particularly kids around his age, who often don't have access to the materials necessary to understand how to create fulfilling vegan dishes - with 30 simple recipes they can make that contain no meat or animal by-products. It was written with simplicity in mind, meaning almost anyone could make the recipes contained in his book.
As his Scholastic UK publishing manager, Leah James told Shoppe Black: "Children everywhere have been busy learning to cook during lockdown; we can’t wait for Omari to share his recipes, tips, and enthusiasm with a generation of children and their families. Omari is leading a new generation of ethical-minded foodies into a more sustainable future." Omari wants to make veganism easy, tasty, and achievable for anyone.
Ultimately, Omari McQueen has accomplished quite a lot in his 12 years of life. He's incredibly motivated and driven to help both adults and children understand the benefits of veganism. He believes it's easy to create flavorful and tasty dishes without using meat or any other sort of animal by-product, and he wants to help show the world how. His cookbook will launch in January of 2021, and he and his publishers hope it helps teach children and adults alike how to more ethically and sustainably create and consume food.
What Omari McQueen has done is phenomenal - there are adults who aren't as driven and motivated as McQueen. He wants to spread his passion - the safety and sustainability of the world and it's wildlife, and, of course, cooking - with the world. We look forward to seeing where he'll be ten years from now. Even more than that, though, we look forward to trying out his recipes.
If you've ever considered veganism, feel free to leave your experiences in the comments. Let us know what you've tried, what you haven't tried, and if you think you'll be interested in Omari's cookbook when it's released.