Vegan Foods

COVID has unplugged this black vegan cooking show. Here’s how to watch it anyway.

The Black Vegan Cooking Show, starring Charlise Roockwood of Vegan Soulicious, will premiere March 22. The six-episode season will feature Roockwood (a London-born singer, model and musician turned vegan chef, entrepreneur and influencer) as she cooks alongside celebrity guests. like rapper Styles P; comedian Donnell Rawlings; journalist and TV host Jamila Mustafa; celebrity chef Lauren Von Der Pool; and comedian, actor and musician Dean Edwards. Chyna Love, founder of Caribbean plant-based company Bad Gyal Vegan and the innovator behind Voxtail (vegan oxtail), will also be cooking plant-based dishes alongside Roockwood.

Born from Roockwood’s Vegan Soulicious platform on Instagram, The Black Vegan Cooking Show will feature Roockwood and his guests as they catch up, enjoy drinks, and cook plant-based brunches, dinners, midnight cravings, and more.

iOne Digital

“I really wanted to keep The Black Vegan Cooking Show as intimate and organic and as personal as it is on Instagram,” Roockwood told VegNews. “I wanted to have [the feel of the show] be like my friends are coming over for dinner, and they just happen to be what they are. Most of them are not vegan so I will veganize something for them and try to change their perception [of plant-based food].”

Viewers can stream The Black Vegan Cooking Show every Tuesday from March 22 on MadameNoire, the first lifestyle site for black women. The show will also be available on MadameNoire’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

The Black Vegan Cooking Show

Although The Black Vegan Cooking Show premiering later this month, the COVID-19 pandemic created serious challenges and almost brought the show to a complete end. After broadcaster BET greenlit Roockwood’s idea for a vegan cooking show in 2019, BET’s parent company Viacom (now officially renamed Paramount Global) shut down all of its production operations at the start of the pandemic.

“Everything stopped. I just sunk my teeth into Instagram and put it all there. I said, ‘There’s nothing we can do. The studios are all closed. No one can travel and we are all in quarantine. When we have some kind of normalcy, we will,” Roockwood said.

Roockwood’s hopes faltered over time, and just when she decided to invest her own money into filming a pilot with the aim of shopping for it, media company iOne Digital came knocking with an offer. and production resumed once again.

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The making of Vegan Soulicious

Roockwood is of Jamaican and Mauritian descent and takes pride in veganizing the foods she grew up eating. Before Roockwood starred on her own vegan cooking show, she ran a plant-based catering company known for supplying vegan baked goods to Manhattan cafes. When she wasn’t in the kitchen, Roockwood was in the classroom, teaching first and second graders about plant-based cooking.

A mother herself, she began researching the diets of low-income college students of color in the United States. Although Roockwood is originally from London, she has often visited her family in Queens – where fast food options outnumber healthier options – and learned firsthand about food deserts. She quickly realized that there was an opportunity for her to help communities of color eat healthy, plant-based meals without losing the flavors they enjoyed.

“I go out of my way to veganize all the things I grew up with, and I’ve found that success in a lot of people of color, whether they’re Indian, [Latinx], or Jamaicans,” she said. “It was that kind of island approach to food, but veganized. You don’t lose any of the flavor or comfort – that became the big draw Vegan Soulicious because my catering was just the food I grew up on. If someone wanted a bunch of Impossible sliders, that’s cool, but that’s not really my niche.

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Roockwood began planting his favorite foods after his father lost his battle with stomach cancer. His three siblings also all died of cancer. These tragedies inspired Roockwood, who was primarily a pescatarian at the time, to stop eating fish and cheese and embrace plant-based living. After getting pregnant, she made the decision to have a vegan pregnancy and raise her daughter on a plant-based diet.

“I’ve lost a lot of close people over the past couple of years, but I have to say it helped launch Vegan Soulicious more because people started questioning their health,” Roockwood said. “People who had diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma messaged me saying, ‘We want your help, we want to know what detox is, my mom has diabetes, we’re trying to do this. that we can not to contract the COVID”. […],’ and it snowballed into this amazing space. It was quite overwhelming.

For more on vegan cooking shows, read:
Meet the Chefs of Beat Bobby Flay’s First Vegan Episode on Food Network
Vegan Cooking Show debuts on Amazon Prime
NBA Star DeAndre Jordan Is Now A Chef On New Vegan Cooking Show

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