From São Paulo to Berlin: A Vegan Chef’s Journey

A woman with curly hair smiling in a city street, wearing a green jacket and a white shirt.

“I’m 34 years old, a vegan chef based in Berlin, originally from São Paulo. My journey to veganism started in my early twenties, driven by a mix of health concerns and environmental activism. Cooking has always been my passion, and turning it into a career felt natural. My day starts early, around 6 AM, with a meditation session followed by a quick run through the Tiergarten. It’s my way of staying centered and energized for the day ahead. After that, I head to the market to pick up fresh produce for the restaurant. I run a small, cozy vegan bistro in Mitte, and I love experimenting with local ingredients to create dishes that are both delicious and sustainable. Life in Berlin is vibrant but not without its challenges. The restaurant business is tough, and there are days when I question my choices, especially during the long, cold winters. But seeing the joy on people’s faces when they taste my food makes it all worth it. I’m not in a relationship currently, which gives me the freedom to fully immerse myself in my work. My friends often joke that my bistro is my spouse. I’m close to my family back in Brazil, and we have regular video calls where my mom updates me on the latest family news and I share new recipes with her. Despite the distance, their support is a constant source of strength for me. On weekends, I host cooking classes to educate people about plant-based diets and their benefits. It’s fulfilling to see the impact I can have on others’ health and lifestyle choices. My favorite dish to make at the bistro is a vegan feijoada, a hearty Brazilian stew made with black beans, tofu, and a variety of vegetables. It’s a hit with the locals and brings a taste of home to Berlin. Every day is a learning experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunities to grow and connect with people through food. One of my all-time favorite dishes is acarajé, a deep-fried ball made from black-eyed peas and filled with spicy vatapá, a delicious Afro-Brazilian delicacy that reminds me of Brazil.”

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