Claire Gosse is an animal-loving vegan who’s making a name for herself by veganizing every food she can think of, one category at a time. Although she’s not a professional chef and she’s never been to cooking school, Claire has some serious kitchen genius. She’s already perfected a boatload of vegan desserts and her breakfast specialties include eggs benedict, Egg McMuffins and quiche! Her two books, “Are You Sure That’s Vegan?” and “Are You Sure That’s Vegan? – Breakfast” are available both in print and as e-books online. Claire’s so awesome that’s she’s also letting us give away one print version of each of her books on this blog. That’s two chances to win from just one entry! Read on for more details…
Allison Rivers Samson: You came to veganism as an animal lover. Was there an “aha” moment that helped you make the connection that loving animals and eating them don’t mix?
Claire Gosse: I never had one specific “aha” moment. Going vegan, for me, was a gradual process. I am lactose intolerant, so I was already cutting out dairy from my diet because it made me sick. Then I met my husband, who was already vegan, and to impress him, I would “veganize” my cooking for him. By doing that, I realized that I didn’t need to consume animal products to eat well, and so gradually I just started cutting meat, fish, and poultry out of my diet, then eggs and finally everything else that contained animal products.
ARS: Your website, vegancooking.com, features vegan recipes, product and restaurant reviews and how-to videos. Do you prefer text or video blogging? Do you get different audience responses from the two media types?
CG: Since I have other projects on the go, including doing a new cookbook, I don’t personally update my blog very often. I am very lucky to have a couple of great guest bloggers, who update vegancooking on a regular basis, with both video and text. When I do blog, I prefer text and I think my audience prefers text to video also.
ARS: What was your recipe creating process like for “Are You Sure That’s Vegan?” and “Are You Sure That’s Vegan? – Breakfast”? Where do you even begin making something as daunting as a vegan Egg McMuffin?
CG: I usually start with a list of recipes that I want to “veganize” and then one by one I reverse engineer them. I figure out what would normally go into something like the Egg McMuffin, and then find ways to replace the existing ingredients with vegan ones.
ARS: Is a lunch or dinner cookbook next on your to-do list? What’s it like for you to write a cookbook?
CG: I am going to be starting a lunch cookbook in July and once that’s done I am also planning on doing a dinner one. I love coming up with new recipes, the only problem is that when I cook I usually just throw stuff together and don’t measure or keep track of what I’m doing. So, writing a cookbook is a difficult process for me because I have to write things down step by step. The first 2 books I did all on my own, but I am going to have my assistant help me with the next one. I will still do all the cooking, but I’m going to have her record everything that I’m doing and I think that will make the process a lot easier.
ARS: Your cookbooks have fantastically enticing photos of each and every recipe, a dream I have for the cookbook I’ve been forever working on. Are your books self-published? If so, why did you decide to take that route?
CG: Yes, my books are self-published. I decided to go that route because I had a clear vision of what I wanted my books to look like, for example, a photo of every recipe, and I didn’t want a publisher dictating what I could and couldn’t do. Also, once I decide to do something, I like to get things done, and don’t like waiting around for other people to make decisions. I also knew I could do it all myself or with the help of my husband.
ARS: Did you originally write them as e-books and then have them printed or was there another journey you took?
CG: Actually it was the other way around. I wrote the book to be a printed book, and then decided to offer it as a download as well.
ARS: It seems like a lot of the vegan food companies are Canadian (Daiya, Gardein, and Yves, etc). What’s the vegan community like in your area of Canada?
CG: I live in a small town and keep to myself, so I don’t know what the vegan community is like in my area I am able to get Gardein, Daiya, Yves etc. but sometimes have to go to 3 different stores to get everything I need.
ARS: Four dogs and three cats, is it? That’s a large animal family you’ve got there! Are they vegan too?
CG: We are actually down to 2 dogs and 3 cats, so it’s not quite as large anymore. I have always had dogs and cats, and couldn’t imagine a house without them. No, my pets are not vegan.
ARS: What goodies would be on your Allison’s Gourmet wish list?
CG: My husband is the chocolate lover in our house, so I asked him. He said he would go for the salted almond bark, vegan peanut butter cups, and artisan vegan caramels.
Thanks, Claire. Your photos really are gorgeous, and your recipes sound amazing!
To win one of Claire’s awesome cookbooks, comment here telling us which of her books you would rather have, and why. (Bonus if you tell us which recipe you’re most looking forward to trying.) We’ll pick two winners on Thursday, July 19th. You must be a resident of the US or Canada to win.
This Giveaway is now Closed.