Ali Parvinjah has over 14 years experience of working in the culinary industry and has worked at some of the top restaurants in the world. In 2014, The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill welcomed Ali to create a very unique vegan/vegetarian menu for their restaurant, The Montagu, set to launch in Spring 2014. The last few years have seen a significant rise in semi-veganism with a host of celebs following suit… we’re talking Anne Hathaway and Hollywood royalty couple Beyonce and JayZ to name a few! Ali’s recipes focus on providing optimum health and incorporate delicious new twists on some classic favourites. This is definitely going to be our new healthy hangout in London. See you there!

When did you realise that you wanted to become a chef?
I realized I wanted to become a chef when I was a little boy hanging out in the kitchen with my mother as she nurtured our bellies and spirits.

What made you go in the direction of vegan cooking?
As a vegan myself, I was always looking for a new “bite”; I will always have an insatiable appetite. Through my times cooking vegan food a certain passion developed in surprising and delighting my guests with what I could create.

What benefits does being vegan have on your body?
The benefits of being vegan on the body are: the saturated fats ingested are less likely to clog arteries, the loss of body fat, less prone to getting cancer and heart disease, adequate retention of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, and these are just a few things.

What’s your favourite vegan breakfast?
Fresh squeezed orange juice, a gigantic bowl of mixed berries, a hot cereal made of quinoa and chia seeds, and a sprinkle of coconut sugar!

Why should people choose organic?
Organic foods have less of a carbon foot print, are grown without pesticides and manmade fertilizers, and in my opinion taste better.

What’s your favourite way of including protein into your diet whilst keeping vegan?
Great sources of vegan protein are hemp seeds, raw seeds and nuts, quinoa, legumes, sprouted legumes, and some of the latest research shows a combination of certain fruits and vegetables contain complete chains of amino acids i.e. mango and kale in a raw smoothie or salad.

Are you 100% vegan all the time?
Currently I keep a vegetarian paleo diet which includes an occasional free range organic egg plenty of fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts and excludes all milk products, whole grains, legumes, corn, soy, rice.

Beyonce and JayZ temporarily went vegan recently just before Christmas. Why do you think going vegan has become popular?
The popularity of going vegan in today’s society predominantly revolves around our new understandings of western world diseases and where they come from. The benefits of going vegan dramatically reduce the chance of inheriting disease’s such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

What is your favourite dish on your new vegan menu at The Montagu restaurant in the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill?
I write all my menus based on seasonality and local availability. Although I would love to “leak” our upcoming seasonal menu at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, I won’t. I will mention a buzz word which is a vital understanding in the vegan movement: “RAW”

 Preparation of Heirloom Tomato and Cashew Cheese 5 - Portrait

 interview conducted by Molly Jennings

For more information visit: http://www.london.churchill.hyatt.co.uk/en/hotel/dining/TheMontagu.html