Saturday, March 31, 2012

March of the Hot Vegan Army - Day #31 - Chloe Coscarelli

Chloe Coscarelli:

Know her from: She might look like more of a model than a baker, but believe it or not, this fresh-faced and gorgeous young lady got her big culinary break on the Food Network. That big break came when she competed in - and won! - Food Network's Cupcake Wars in 2010. As the only vegan chef of the 4 contestants on the show, many considered the odds heavily stacked against her. But Chloe came out on top, winning the $10,000 prize, and the chance to provide 1000 of her cupcakes for a swanky party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel hosted by Ok! Magazine. She has worked professionally at the Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco, Counter Organic Vegetarian Bistro in NYC, and Herbivore Restaurant, in Berkeley, California. She has done guest spots on The Today Show, The Big Morning Buzz on VH1, and CBS's The Talk. She also published her very first cookbook Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way, out this month. I suspect that things will only go up for her from here.

Why she's vegan: Chloe said she became a vegetarian in about the 7th grade (which is totally when I did, I love her already!!!). She says that, at that time, she made the connection between her pet dogs and the animals that wound up on her plate. Why love one and eat the other? This question has been coming up more and more lately, and there is even a book about it called Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. But, back to the topic at hand...Chloe credits the success of her vegetarian diet largely to the support of her family. Chloe's mother went to great lengths to make sure Chloe, still a child at the onset of her vegetarianism, had access to tasty, healthy foods, and a good selection of special eats on holidays like Thanksgiving. Chloe's family actually decided to make the switch to vegetarianism themselves when Chloe was in high school. At that time, Chloe decided to take that extra step to veganism, again because of her love for animals. Now, every holiday at the Coscarelli household is 100% vegan! Chloe says that vegan food never leaves her feeling exhausted or heavy after a meal the way that animal products did though.

Why she's awesome: I am basically amazed by this girl, because she had already graduated from UC Berkeley and the Natural Gourmet Institute, and appeared on Cupcake Wars before the age of 23! She says she signed up for the Food Network showdown on a whim when she saw an ad on Twitter. Pretty bold! No guts, no glory though I suppose! (Although, it should be noted, there was nothing even resembling guts in her cupcakes...). Coscarelli is now a published author, and has worked in some nationally (if not internationally) renowned restaurants. Her cookbook also showed up at #1 on VegNews Magazine's (basically my favorite vegetarian magazine ever!) 10 Must-Buy Vegan Cookbooks for 2012. Chloe is getting rave reviews for her recipes from vegans and non-vegans alike though, and she is really reaching her goal of proving just how interesting and varied vegan food can be. And additionally, Chloe is also sort of a poster girl for complete vegan health. In order to keep active, she does yoga, dance, and Exhale's Core Fusion. And she has some beautiful skin too!

So Chloe, you and all of your enthusiasm and ambition will fit right in in the Hot Vegan Army. And since you've already seen action in the Cupcake Wars of 2010, I think you'll have to be our Army's version of Napoleon. You're pint-sized, and you seem set to take over the world. So welcome to the Hot Vegan Army!!!

No comments: