The demand for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes is exploding, say executive chef Jonathan Standen and plant-based nutritionist Lori DePietro-Standen.
The husband-and-wife duo recently talked with culinary academy students at the Lorain County JVS about catering to diverse dietary preferences.
“These people are going out to eat a lot and are always communicating with one another about the options at various restaurants, and either making recommendations or warning others off,” said DePietro-Standen. “You might not personally eat this way, but you still need to know how to cook this way.”
Options don’t have to be reduced to plain pasta and whatever veggies are on hand, Standen told students: “I want to steer you away from that thought process today, and show you how you can make some easy dishes that are incredibly delicious as well.”
Students were treated to a cooking demonstration and taste-testing that included soy curls, tempeh, seitan, and a whipped dessert topping made from a chia-egg and aquafaba, which is the juice from a can of chickpeas.
Standen is executive chef at Columbia Hills Golf and Swim Club and a 2001 graduate of the JVS culinary arts program. He earned a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and has worked alongside celebrity chef Michael Symon. DePietro-Standen is also a weight loss coach.