It took a while for most of my family and some of my friends to embrace, or even understand, the concept of vegetarianism. Before that, I was officially the martian at any gathering that involved food. It wasn’t fun or easy for them and most certainly not for me:
1. Inviting me would automatically make the host nervous.
Latin culture is rich. Especially our food, which is getting back to its roots thanks to the growing trend of health-conscious Latinxs. Here, some of our favorite veggie vigilantes you should consider following if you want to keep colonization out of your kitchen.
1. Gabriela Alvarez
Chef Gabriela Alvarez is the founder of Liberation Cuisine, a catering service that feeds the bellies of individuals and organizations working for social change. This Brooklyn-based puertorriqueña is using her culinary skills to effectively combat inequalities in the food system. When Alvarez isn’t creating memorable and sustainable food experiences for an impressive arsenal of organizations and events, she’s teaching cooking classes that highlight food as resiliency and honoring traditional preparation and practices.
Mexican author Luz Calvo, PhD, is a foodie force to be reckoned with. They co-wrote the hit cookbook “Decolonize Your Diet” with their partner, Catriona Rueda Esquibel. However, if that wasn’t enough to make them the patron saint of this current foodie movement, they are also a professor of ethnic studies at Cal State, teaching a course titled “Decolonize Your Diet: Food Justice in Communities of Color.”
Veggie Mijas began with activist Amy Quichiz, who is Colombian-Peruvian, and Mariah, who is Ecuadorian. However, it is a rapidly growing community of other comida conscience mujerxs. Bringing food knowledge to the ‘hood is at the heart of this collective, which also just hosted a major vegan potluck in the Bronx, New York. Slide into their DMs to find out how you can contribute to the mijas’ mission. Trust us: this is the girl gang you want to be a part of.
Alexis Montoya is the Puerto Rican-Peruvian creator of The Bronx Vegan, a page dedicated to showcasing vegan food and resources in the Bronx. Montoya offers up restaurant suggestions as well as recipes. She has also recently started collaborating with Veggie Mijas for a segment titled “Everybody Eats,” which features vegan fare from around the ‘hood.
When Mexican-South American chef and founder of Todo Verde, Jocelyn Ramirez, noticed the inaccessibility to healthy food options in East LA, she was inspired to change that. From that inspiration, her catering and pop-up business serving plant-based Mexican favorites was born. The Todo Verde IG page is a rainbow of beautifully created dishes that leave us pining for a sunny weekend in East LA, enjoying one of her divine agua frescas.
Ysanet and Merelis are the Dominican “nutrition brujas” behind Woke Foods, a culinary cooperative focused on plant-based Dominican cuisine that is fighting for food justice in New York. Woke Foods provides catering and cooking classes that link the ancestral connection with the food we eat. Their page is filled with delectable Caribbean classics with a woke twist, like plant-based sancocho and vegan chicharron de pollo.
Claudia Serrato is the Indigenous Xicana behind Cocina Manakurhini, a catering company focused on preparing culturally memorable plant-based meals. Not only offering workshops and ancestral-themed dinners to the public, they also offer them to already established restaurant owners and chefs, with the intention to inspire more plant-based options in the wider community. If that doesn’t make Cocina Manakurhini impressive enough, they’re also known for crafting up some bomb tamales de cacao. Save us a plate, please!
Valeria Velazquez Duenas is the chef behind Cocina House, a project that nourishes community with an emphasis on local California produce, native Mexican cuisine and traditional superfoods. She offers an array of community-based educational workshops, wellness retreats and specially catered events. Her IG page is bursting with photos of Mex-iconic staples, like plant-based pazole and purple potato huaraches.
Samantha Otero is a Puerto Rican plant-based nutrition consultant in New York. After years of battling health issues, she grew tired of playing the runaround with doctors and decided to switch to a raw, plant-based diet. Since then, Otero has continued to educate herself on nutrition and diet. She offers meal plans, diet resets and personal development coaching on her website, holisticsamantha.com.
Cecilia, and her husband Ivannoe, are the plant-based power couple behind Coco Verde Vegan. With the birth of their unbelievably adorable baby girl, Ivanna, the couple became more conscious about the food they were consuming as a family. Not wanting to miss out on the Dominican favorites they grew up on, they decided to veg-ify the classic recipes and share them with the world. Their blog offers recipes, fitness and wellness advice, as well as meal plans. We also love that their site has the option to be viewed in English or Espanol. Viva la vegana!
After 12 years of bold colors, vegan products, and cruelty-free beauty innovation, Kat Von D announced that she’s stepping down from her eponymous beauty line. The queen of vegan makeup sold her stakes in the company and the cosmetics line will be rebranding to reflect her departure from the makeup line.
Kat Von D announced that she has sold all of her remaining shares in Kat Von D Beauty to partner Kendo.
The makeup line’s existing parent company will now take ownership completely now that Von D has formally resigned from her role. In a company press release,the brand stated that while Von D pursues her artistic endeavors, she will no longer be involved with the brand “in any capacity.”
Kat Von D announced she’s parting ways with her eponymous beauty brand after 12 years to allow the brand to continue to grow.
The tattoo and makeup artist shared the news on Instagram, revealing that it wasn’t an easy decision. On top of being a new mom, launching a vegan shoe line, and preparing to release an album and tour in the spring, Von D admits she is no longer able to dedicate enough attention to the cosmetics brand.
“This past year has been one of great change for me. As many of you know, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy, launched my vegan shoe line, and am now busy prepping to release my long-awaited album in the Spring, followed by an international tour,” she wrote in the post’s caption. “As much as I wish I could balance all of this, on top of continuing my makeup line, it has become clear to me that I just can’t do everything at the maximum capacity.”
Kat Von D dedicated more than 2 years to her vegan shoe line.
Von D worked to create her own shoe collection, making careful decisions about everything from a price point ranging from $90 to $350 to where, exactly, the pieces would be made.
“I became vegan in 2013 and, to be honest, I thought it was just a dietary thing,” she told InStyle “Then I was looking at my shoe collection and everything was either made out of leather or snakeskin, or the adhesive used was derived from horses.”
The silver lining for fans of Kat Von D’s cult-favorite products is that they’re not going anywhere.
Kat Von D Beauty’s iconic products like the cult-favorite Ink Liner and Lock-It Foundation aren’t going anywhere. Under Kendo’s complete ownership, the brand’s current product lineup will still be available, and there will be future launches. All products will still be 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free.
She continued “…With that said, I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years. This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that.”
As of Jan 16. Kat Von D Beauty is slowly rebranding as KVD Beauty. The announcement of the new name was made on the brand’s Instagram.
“Today, our founder Kat Von D has parted ways with us, as she leaves to pursue other artistic endeavors (vegan shoe line and music). We wish her the best of luck and thank her for 12 years of partnership,” reads the post’s caption. “We are NOW renamed and re-branded KVD Vegan Beauty – and fully owned and operated by Kendo. The same team that created our iconic and beloved products for the past 12 years (and built the empire with Kat) is ready to make history again. We still value self-expression, compassion, and empowerment.”
Von D launched her vegan cosmetic brand in 2008 with four red lipsticks.
Now, there are over 250 products in the collection, which are sold globally in 36 countries at Katvondbeauty.com, Sephora.com, and Sephora stores. Products like the Ink Liner and Everlasting Liquid Lipstick are both fan and industry favorites.
With Von D out, KVD Vegan Beauty will continue to offer its existing product range, and will now release new innovations under Kendo.
“We are fully positioned to continue the brand’s growth and development in both product and marketing,” David Suliteanu, Kendo CEO says. “We have developed a very strong product pipeline for 2020 and beyond. The same Kendo team that made history with KVD Vegan Beauty is ready to do it again.”
Von D added that during her tenure, she felt she was able to create a line that made outsiders feel like they had a “place in the beauty world.” She also expressed confidence in Kendo for carrying the KVD legacy.