Meet the newest contributor to www.nohoartsdistrict.com – Bailey of Chaotic Food. If you’re a vegan, vegetarian or thinking about making the switch, check out some of Bailey’s easy and yummy vegan recipes. Even if you’re not contemplating a switch, the dishes are delish!
Here’s one of our favorites – SIMPLE AND AMAZING TUNA MELT | PLANT BASED.
You were born in NoHo but what do you miss about NoHo living in England?
We moved away when I was 3, so I don’t have too many memories from living there (apart from throwing pennies off the balcony, I was young, I didn’t know any better); but I have had the pleasure of visiting last year and the year before. I think the energy and the feeling of home is a big one. I’ve always felt a bit off, a bit different from everyone in England. It’s hard to explain but when I’m there I just feel like I fit in. Like, some people judge you for eating a PB and J here, it’s mental. Also, the weather, I love the sun and heat and England is not where you go if you’re looking for it. The biggest thing I miss though are the drinks, damn man the selection of drinks you can get at 7-Eleven beats the biggest supermarket you can find here. I really miss my gallon of Arizona Iced Tea.
What made you become a vegan?
I’m a vegan more for ethics rather than planet conservation. Something about breeding cows, ripping their children away from them and stealing their milk just doesn’t sit right with me ;). But what pushed me to becoming vegan was my family. My mom had breast cancer and my brother told her to watch “What the Health” It highlighted the amount of hormones in food, amongst other things. So, she became vegan and felt healthier and didn’t have so many side effects with her medication. My dad, who was a vegetarian, also became vegan at the same time and my brother and sister in law a month later. It took me a year to make the change to plant-based food. My brother kept pushing me, but I said I’d probably do it when I went to University. I’m not sure why I did that, maybe it was to do with me wanting it to be my choice, or maybe I wanted to appreciate Twix bars before saying goodbye, I don’t know. But a month or so after moving away to Uni, I just did it. I just thought, “Ehh, why not”, ate the rest of my non-vegan food and off I went on my path of enlightenment. It was really easy to be honest. I think something ticked inside of me saying I’m tired of supporting an absolutely horrific industry. I love animals (like I don’t kill anything, even insects or wasps, I once spent 3 hours trying to get a wasp out of my room at 1 am because I didn’t want to kill it), and I don’t think you can claim yourself to be an animal lover whilst supporting their torture.
What are your top three vegan dishes?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’m a very mood-based person when it comes to food, so I can love a dish one second and detest it the next. Like Custard Creams, hate the smell of them 98% of the time, and the other 2% I’m stuffing my mouth full of them and borderline choking (I can’t eat them now anyways). My top 3 aren’t in any particular order but my first pick would be jalapeno and bacon stuffed cheeseburgers. God damn are they good. I use Naked Glory burgers and This Isn’t Bacon and just any old cheese (it doesn’t matter which because none of them are actually like cheese). It tastes sooo gooood, I’ll probably be making a video on them soon. Second would be these chocolate chip cookies I’ve recently come up with, I label them as UP (unconsciously picking), because when I tell myself to stop eating them, if I end up phasing-out I just waltz over and start picking at them again (I’ll have a video of me making them out this Friday!). And third would be this sandwich I haven’t made for about a year. Damn, it’s incredible. I make bagels and some vegan ricotta from scratch, add fake ham slices and red onion. It’s honestly insane. I’ve just reminded myself of them so I’ll be making them again soon.
What suggestions do you have for people who want to become a vegan?
The first point I have is that it is so much easier than you think it is. In every major supermarket, in every restaurant (pretty much), there will be choices for you, and probably a lot of them. The only thing that sucks are the meal deal options (this is probably only a UK problem anyways), no I do not want a bloody falafel wrap.
Secondly, I’d recommend watching some documentaries on it, I guarantee you it will either push you over the edge to becoming vegan, or make you feel proud of being a vegan, and the good you’re doing. “Game Changers” and “What the Health “are two good ones I’ve seen. My final point is a point raised by Ed The Vegan (really recommend his videos) from his Ted Talk; “A meal to us only lasts a couple of minutes, but that meal has cost an animal it’s entire life. We take their life for a moment that is fleeting, a meal that we forget about almost as soon as we have consumed it.”
What made you decide to create a cooking channel and why the name Chaotic Food – Plant Based Food?
My main push was my girlfriend. I love watching cooking shows on TV and on YouTube and have had a passion for cooking for over a decade. Over the last couple months she kept suggesting to me that I make a cooking show on YouTube, and I thought, sure, why not. But I didn’t just want to exist with other cooking channels, I wanted to add something. I never watch vegan cooking channels, ever. Why? They’re either boring, pretentious or super healthy. No one is funny, or silly or just enjoying themselves.
My favorite channels are ones where I feel like I’m friends with the host, where they’re just goofing off, having fun and making good food. And there is sadly a massive lack of vegan cooking shows that do this. My main love of food is the fact I get to share it with people, it’s a really special and unique thing. And I think that needs to be extended to the audience, I want my audience to feel like they’re in the kitchen joking around with me. Which is why it’s really important who films the videos as well. Luckily, my best friend, my girlfriend and I, all study film, so we know what we’re doing (kinda). But if I didn’t have them filming the videos, the vibe would be completely different. They allow me to be my best and funniest self.
In regard to the name, it has two reasons. Firstly, it’s a play on words “Chaotic Good,” which is what I strive to be as a person. A good person but a bit chaotic.
Secondly, it describes how I want the cooking show. I want it to be high energy, I want to have the bits where I forget something, or do something wrong, because that’s cooking. Hardly anyone can cook flawlessly every time, and no one gains anything by seeing you cut out your mistakes, because they’re the most important bit. People need to see how to fix common mistakes, because that’s only something you get from extensive googling, or practice. I think by editing out these bits, it can scare people off. It may make cooking seem a bit too daunting. But I think by seeing this tall ass guy, not knowing how to properly cut an onion, making mistakes, laughing with his best pals, and still ending up with insanely good food, shows you that cooking is far from a chore, and not something to be intimidated by.
I’d like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak (well write I guess) with you and hope people found it mildly entertaining/interesting. If you want to check out my YouTube channel, where we make new videos every Friday, go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd6ijRzrkxqg3IkqwT7Rrpw.
I hope to see you on the channel!
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