The Show Veggie Hunter Wants To Celebrate Diversity In The Vegan Community
By Shontel Horne
There are countless reasons why someone would transition to a vegan diet, but what happens when you can’t find high-quality restaurants that align with your meat-free lifestyle? Enter Veggie Hunter a food road show on YouTube that highlights many of the best vegan restaurants in the country. The show’s creator, Kamilah Lewis, tells Travel Noire why Veggie Hunter is great for both committed vegans and anyone looking to try a diet that’s free of animal product.
Travel Noire: Why is it important to have a show like Veggie Hunter on YouTube?
Kamilah: Veggie Hunter highlights the blossoming plant-based community that is underrepresented in the media. I created Veggie Hunter because I am transitioning to veganism and couldn’t find a show that represents my journey. I love dining out and was looking for restaurant suggestions. Veggie Hunter is the only show that fills this void and that’s why it’s important, though I don’t want to call it a vegan show. It’s a food road show with a culinary twist…no meat!
Travel Noire: What is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about the vegan community?
Kamilah: Many believe that vegan food is bland and boring. That is a huge misconception. There’s more to vegan food than just salad. You can still find your favorite mouth-watering meals like macaroni and cheese, chicken and waffles, jerk chicken and more! Vegan food can be flavorful, soulful and seasoned to perfection!
A lot of African Americans are lactose intolerant. This community offers a plethora of plant-based options from ice cream to cheesecake, without the discomfort of eating dairy products. Trust me, you’re not missing out on anything!
Travel Noire: What advice do you have for someone who wants to successfully transition to a vegan diet?
Kamilah: Transition at your own pace. You don’t have to become vegan overnight. If it helps, start with “Meatless Mondays” and gradually take it from there.
Travel Noire: What’s your favorite food city in the world?
Kamilah: Hands down, New York City. NYC has everything, all day, every day! I’ve traveled quite a bit but there’s nothing like the international variety that NYC has! For that reason, NYC is my favorite food city in the whole wide world.
However, I do enjoy eating out in Joburg, LA, Austin and Rome.
Travel Noire: Who are some of the black chefs and restaurateurs that you admire the most?
Kamilah: The Vegan Queen of NYC, Pamela Elizabeth! Well known for her restaurant Blossom, Pamela Elizabeth is building a vegan empire. She has eight AMAZING vegan restaurants in NYC including a chocolate shop! Not only do I love her food, I admire her hustle.
Also Berekti Mengistu, owner of Mesob Ethiopian restaurant in Montclair, NJ. Mesob is well known for their amazing Ethiopian cuisines. Berekti Mengistu recognized the need to incorporate a vegan menu to her already successful restaurant. This allows her restaurant to stay traditional, as well as innovative. If you’re ever in the area you must try her Ingudai Tibs and Injera Bread!