…and busier than ever!

Turns out, I’ve been to Weston, FL as a featured chef at an exclusive resort. While I was there, I got a great opportunity to prepare a specialized dish for a major ‘mover and shaker’ which could result in a wonderful opportunity as I move forward in my career. (Will keep you posted as progress is made.)

I’ve also been ‘mad busy’ on the upcoming holiday season. Several folks have placed orders already to share with family and friends. (See my Facebook page for more on what’s available.)

…and then there’s my upcoming TV interview, which takes place on Tues the 19th at noon. If you’re able, please watch me (and my delectable dishes) on Philadelphia’s “Talk Philly” program, CBS affiliate channel 3. Again, that’s Tuesday at noon.”

My “This Too Is Vegan” campaign has garnered much interest among traditional foodies. It’s amazing how many THOUGHT vegan (or vegetarian) was non fulfilling – until they were privy to trying my creative dishes. Lately I’ve incorporated a vegan crabcake into my arsenal of culinary dishes, and the results are AMAZING!!!

Vegan Crabcake

Vegan crab cake — BIG HIT!

It gives me great pleasure to know that I have opened the minds of some who could benefit from a vegan lifestyle.

That’s NOT all…but that IS it for now. Gotta run. Lots to do.

I’m Chef KESS

Twitter: @veganchefkess


National Vegan Month brings vegan holiday dishes
By Philadelphia celebrity vegan Chef KESS

‘With more vegans now than ever, holiday planning must offer more options,”
says Chef KESS

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Nov 1, 2013) – With the holidays fast approaching, Philadelphia-based celebrity vegan Chef KESS (nee Kurt E. Smith) will emphasize vegan dishes that will give every member of the family delectable options at mealtime.

“With more and more individuals thinking of going vegan,” says Chef KESS, “it’s important to share vegan meals that can substitute for the traditional meal usually offered during holiday dinners.”
Such meals include ‘vegan’ turkey dinners (with all the trimmings), as well as baked ham, well-prepared steak, pasta dishes, and the like.

In the midst of his national “This Too Is Vegan” campaign, which began during October’s National Vegetarian Month, Chef KESS will continue to offer methods on how to— safely and reasonably—segue from a meat-filled diet to a vegetarian-based or vegan diet.

The “This Too Is Vegan” campaign is so named as a tongue-in-cheek response to those who claim that a plant-based diet is unappealing. But the celebrity chef says that “no meal is appealing if not prepared properly…which is why it’s important to learn proper technique.”

A practicing vegan since he was a child, Chef KESS prepared his first meal at age eight. He’s been in demand ever since. In fact, he’s prepared dishes for the likes of rap mogul Russell Simmons, the PETA organization, neo-soul artist Erykah Badu, best-selling author John Robbins, and several other noted individuals, and shows no signs of stopping.

“With more people interested in changing their dietary habits, and the added pressure of maintaining steadfastness during the holidays, we want them to succeed by having viable options. In this way they can be pleased that they did not have to compromise on their vegan lifestyle.”

Received an update from our friend Susan. She’s really going through it these days. Here’s what she writes:

Chef Kess, I’m really struggling at this point. Here’s why…I just started working for a friend at her restaurant. There is NO salad foods in the restaurant. In fact, the whole menu is filled with meats and a few vegetables, but nothing that I could even make a side salad with for my break. Needless to say I have been giving in. The real problem is that not only have I picked back up the weight I lost, but I’m excessively tired, my body is achy (more than the norm), and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m thinking of quitting the restaurant, but it does keep a little money in my pocket, so I don’t wanna do that, really. HELP! Should I just nix the vegan thing and try it at another time – when I can follow it more closely? I just feel like a failure at this point.


Dear, dear Susan! Don’t you dare give up! The fact that you are still writing and participating in sharing your story means that you really want to continue on this journey. I understand your plight, truly I do. But giving up is NOT the answer.

How about trying a “day off” vegan diet? In other words, if you implement a vegan diet on the days when you’re not in the restaurant, that would be a help…not the ultimate help that you’d benefit fully from, but at least it will keep that “vegan mentality” in your psyche to give you an added boost.

The other thing is this: you can always pack a lunch for days when you’re working at the restaurant. More importantly though you might want to mention to your friend that adding a salad dish is just plain ol’ good business sense! I can’t imagine any restaurant without some kind of house salad on the menu. Even folks who aren’t vegetarians or vegans want some kind of salad from time to time.

But back to you, Susan. You didn’t mention how many hours you work. If you work less than four hours, perhaps eating a light vegan snack prior to work, or eating just after your shift will help. On the other hand, again, packing a lunch for a longer shift will also do. The point is that you’ve already started your journey and need to do whatever’s necessary to keep it up. And don’t forget: there will be days when you might stumble a bit, and even give into temptation…that’s expected! Don’t be so hard on yourself. The best thing about it is that you can always ‘start all over.’

Remember to drink plenty of water, pay attention to your protein intake (with legumes, beans, etc), and if you can, get in a good brisk walk. Just starting out with a 10=minute walk will do you good mentally as well as physically.

I’m glad you wrote in, Susan. Please keep me post on your journey. We’re all rooting for you on this end.I’m Chef KESS

Here’s something sure to perk up any party. It’s tasty, healthy, and easy to make.

It’s Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad! Follow these simple instructions and you’ll be more than satisfied.


2 large bunches of fresh broccoli
1 large head of fresh cauliflower
1 cup of Vegan Mayo (Vegenaise)
1 small Vidalia onion
1 pound of smoked tempeh
2 tablespoon of Agave Nectar
Sea salt


Preheat oven at 425 degrees.

Bake the smoked tempeh in the oven until crisp and meaty.

While tempeh is in the over, wash and rinse the broccoli and cauliflower.

Once the Tempeh is removed from the oven, set aside to cool.

Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into medium size crowns.

Mince the small vidalia onion.

Add the broccoli, cauliflower, minced onion, and tempeh to a large mixing bowl.

Add the cup of vegan mayo.

Add the 2 tablespoons of Agave Nectar.

Add sea salt for taste.

Mix salad thoroughly.Place in refrigerator to cool before serving.

This is a wet salad; therefore, add mayo, agave, or sea salt according to your own preference.

I’m Chef KESS

Twitter: @veganchefkess

Robin Quivers, sidekick and second banana to shock jock Howard Stern, recently appeared on the Dr Oz Show. If you got the chance to see the segment, no doubt, you felt like I did: there were certain revelations that struck me personally because Robin is a full-fledged vegan and has been for the past few years.

Robin introduced her new book, “The Vegucation of Robin,” a journal of her current lifestyle in veganism.

the vegucation of robin

The interview was a slam dunk! But the one thing that stood out, for me, was what Dr. Oz stated. He said that it was likely that Robin survived the cancerous ordeal because she had prepared her body to fight it when she improved her dietary habits, namely, once she became a vegan! In other words: she had prepared her body to be proactive by implementing her vegan diet even before the cancer appeared.

Naturally, that impressed upon me the importance of proaction as opposed to reaction. I hope it impresses that need among all of us.

You can get a view of Robin’s book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It’s a great read. I really am enjoying it…I’m sure you will, too.

I’m Chef KESS

Twitter: @veganchefkess

I received an email recently from a man I’ll call “Walter.” In the email, Walter asked why I was anti-fruit when studies show that daily intake of fruits, along with vegetables, showed the ultimate benefit to humans.

I was taken aback by the question because I am NOT anti-fruit in any sense. In fact, I eat quite a lot of fruits myself. I guess the question is raised because I DO emphasize plant-based diets an awful lot…but only because I AM A VEGAN! It’s no more unusual for me to emphasize that which I believe in as it would be for BMW to showcase ONLY  its own cars, or Johnson & Johnson to advertise ONLY J&J products. Get me?

To be clear, “Walter,” certain studies show that fruits and vegetables, along with dairy products and meats are recommended. But as a vegan, I cannot promote something that conflicts with veganism. So…yes, fruits are great, as are nuts and other non-veggies. It is, therefore, each person’s responsibility to do their own research and implement what’s necessary for their particular dietary needs. However, if someone claims to be vegan, that would insist on a plant-based diet.

Great question, “Walter.” Keep ’em coming, everyone!

I’m Chef KESS

Twitter: @veganchefkess

First, I must state that this is NOT a political post (not in the least). However, I was truly impressed with an article I read recently in a journal regarding the past president’s new dietary lifestyle. Yes, former president Bill Clinton has gone vegan.

I guess I’m taken aback because of all those pictures of the (then-) president on his daily jogs…to a famous fast food joint, of all places.

clinton at mcdonalds                           clinton at mcdonalds1
To be clear, this is NO slam on Mr. Clinton – or fast food for that matter. My point is this: if the former President of the United States, a man who has arguably the best healthcare plan on the planet, finds the need to make drastic changes to his diet (due to emergency quadruple-bypass surgery caused by poor eating habits), are the rest of us too far behind if we don’t follow suit?

I’m not assuming that your eating habits are ANYTHING like Mr. Clinton’s. But I AM urging you to consider what those eating habits are – and make adjustments accordingly. In fact, if you’d like to read all about the amazing changes in Mr. Clinton’s diet, read the latest issue of AARP. It’s truly a great piece.

I’m Chef KESS

Twitter: @veganchefkess