Described as “the Heston Blumenthal of the vegetarian world”, Eddie Shepherd is an award winning modern vegetarian chef based in Manchester, who made his name by creating exciting and unique dishes.
His experimental style and use of new modern cuisine cooking techniques won Eddie Shepherd the prestigious Cordon Vert’s “Chef of the Future” competition in 2009.
Expect to be blown away, Eddie’s recipes are vibrant, scrumptious and aesthetically stunning. While some may sound a bit daunting at first, they are certainly worth the effort and will add an instant wow effect to your next dinner party.
Packed with delicious and inspiring meat free recipes Eddie Shepherd’s latest e-book ‘Modern Vegetarian Chef’ is available for download.
I was keen to find out more about this astonishing talent who takes vegetarian food to new heights.
What inspired you to become vegetarian?
ES – I studied philosophy at university and one of the things it brought into focus for me was that for a while I had been uncomfortable with the idea of eating meat but without really acting on it or altering my eating habits so I decided to try giving vegetarianism a try just to see how it suited me and it turned out it made me feel much more at ease in myself and my choices and really worked for me.
ES – I think one of the chefs that had the most influence on me was Grant Achatz of Alinea. They do such beautiful, artistic, intelligent food. I saw him talking at the Madrid Fusion culinary conference a few years ago and he had such a unique and fascinating take on modern cuisine I immediately got his book and it blew me away, it wasn’t like anything I’d seen anyone else doing and showed me just how beautiful and exciting food could be, it made me really want to raise my game.
I think the other chef who has been a big inspiration is Marc Wilkinson of Restaurant Fraiche. He has a michaelin star but it is just him on his own in this small kitchen in his restaurant, serving just a handful of customers a night. It’s really inspiring to see someone working at that level, creating delicious, modern food on their own, without the sort of team most high end restaurants rely on. It makes you think there is no excuse not to push to be the best you can be, and shows in some ways it’s even adds value to what you are doing if you don’t have the set up of a big restaurant.
ES – Actually I’m not sure if I would describe myself as a modernist chef, but I guess I partly fit into that category. Modernist cooking generally refers to people using elements of newer technology and ingredients in their cooking, and perhaps having a certain philosophy about being creative in their cooking. Those things apply to much of what I do but also I’m using a lot of very traditional or even ancient techniques, and some of the most traditional elements of cooking are my favourite things, like making bread etc..