By Nyesha Stone
The word vegan doesn’t sit well with many people. Chef Rain Truth has been vegan for almost 32 years and started her first catering business 21 years ago. Chef Truth never really liked meat growing up, so transitioning to a vegan lifestyle was a breeze for her.
She even remembers the last time she ate meat. Her mother had given her a piece of chicken, and when Chef Truth took the meat off the bone she saw purple blood. She then felt her wrist and felt a bone, and not knowing it was a chicken bone that she was eating, she thought she was eating another human. From that point on she never ate another piece of meat.
Even her three children, ages 19, 15 and 18 months, are vegan just like their mother. Her oldest two children are amazing cooks, according to her. Chef Truth taught them everything they know, and they still surprise her on how well they can make a dish.
Chef Truth’s older child is away at college, while her second child is at home helping her with her business “The Cultured Vegan.”
Her business has been around for ten years and it’s only expanding.
“I wanted to create dishes that were healthy, but familiar,” said Chef Truth.
Knowing that the word vegan can be considered a “bad” word to some, Chef Truth likes to make her dishes with fresh vegetables, herbs and spices that people are used to. Instead of using fatty animal based products, she creates her own recipes.
With her professional training at Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago, now known as Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Chicago, Chef Truth has no issue creating her own dishes. She received her culinary arts degree in 2005, and while there she was taught recipe development.
In 2015, Chef Truth’s mother was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her mother was able to beat the cancer by changing her diet. Chef Truth knew at that moment that she had to spread her knowledge with as many people as she could because maybe she could save another life.
“I need to get out here and help my people,” Truth said.
Being an African-American woman, Chef Truth knows the black community is at a high risk of getting cancer or diabetes because of their diets. She wants to convince her people, and other cultures, to try the vegan life because “it’s not as hard as you think.”
People who are against veganism or don’t know much about it, don’t realize that they eat vegan items more than they know. Water, bananas, plain Oreos and apples are all vegan food items.
Chef Truth has been traveling since 2006 and that’s shown in her work. She makes African, Asian, Caribbean, Indian, Italian, Latin American, soups, Southern/Cajun, and raw dishes.
She’s noticed other cultures, such as Ethiopia, has more vegan friendly dishes than America, but not everyone has the money to experience other cultures, so she decided to bring the food to the people. To her, everyone deserves a healthy life, which is why she became a vegan chef.
“You can live a happy, healthy life without animal products,” said Chef Truth.
The Cultured Vegan has big things coming in 2018 in Milwaukee, so stay tuned.