He calls himself an ordinary dude, but in our experience Brian Patton is anything but ordinary. He is The Sexy Vegan of internet fame, and now a published author of an awesome vegan cookbook by the same name. He’s also been kind enough to let us ask him a bunch of questions about his book, his life and the secrets of his sexiness. Plus, he’s letting us give away a copy of The Sexy Vegan to one of our lucky readers. Read on!
Allison Rivers Samson: What do you think is the sexiest thing about being vegan?
Brian Patton: I underwent a pretty massive transformation in my first year of being vegan. Aside from the change in physical appearance, I also felt my mind getting clearer. I started having more energy and was spending less time on the couch playing video games and drinking beer. I became more of a man of action. I became more confident in my thoughts and ideas, which led me to start The Sexy Vegan. So, I think a clear-minded, confident, energetic, man of action would be considered sexy by many… plus I’m not a big fat lard-ass anymore, so that also helps in the sexy department.
ARS: In addition to losing weight and getting your energy levels back up, what’s been the greatest surprise benefit of adopting a vegan diet?
BP: My perspective on the world. For example: After about a year of being vegan, I, one day, instinctively trapped an interloping spider with a cup and a piece of cardboard, instead of stomping on it. My roommate walked into the room while I was escorting it outside and said, “Dude what are you doing?” I said, “I don’t know, but I guess I don’t kill spiders anymore either.” My perspective had shifted. In that moment, I saw a being just trying to go about its day, like we all do. I thought, “We earthlings don’t really know what we are in the grand scheme of things… maybe we’re just a lucky spider that hasn’t gotten stepped on yet.” I dispensed with the human arrogance, and stopped seeing us as the most important beings on the planet. It was my “spider moment.”
ARS: Do you still watch your weight at all or are you able to eat anything you want as long as it’s vegan?
BP: Even within a vegan diet you still have to make an effort to eat healthily. I certainly go through my “bad vegan” phases, where I put on a few pounds eating only pizza, frozen veggie burgers and french fries. Even though I don’t really think about my weight, I make sure to eat mostly whole foods and exercise on a regular basis. I think a lot of people think “hey, as long as it’s vegan I’ll be healthy, and lose weight, and have energy, etc.” But if you only eat Bac-Os and Oreo Cookies, that is not going to be the case.
ARS: You obviously use humor to reach your audience, (yours is the only cookbook ever that has actually made me giggle out loud, multiple times). Is humor part of your regular repartee, or do you just play a funny-guy for the camera?
BP: Aw thanks! It seems that “giggling out loud” is the ONLY thing I can get women to do “multiple times.” And even more to the chagrin of my fiancée, I’m always trying to be funny… what sucks for her is that she has to endure all of the bombs and bad puns… you all just see the gold!
ARS: Your ‘sodes are hugely popular (and hilarious) and your cookbook has been very well received. Rightly so! Do you have any interest in doing a cooking show someday on TV?
BP: I would, of course, love to have a cooking show on TV, but I don’t know where that would occur. As long as the food network has it’s current major sponsors (beef, eggs, dairy, Kraft, etc.) I don’t see it being in their interest to have a vegan show. I’m ready when they are.
ARS: I’ve been “working” on a cookbook for years now, and the hardest part is deciding which recipes go in it. Was that a challenge for you? Was there one recipe in particular that you LOVED but that didn’t make the cut?
BP: There were definitely recipes that I loved that didn’t make it into the book. Some, I’m saving for future books, and some I’ll make into ‘sodes. The fresh artichokes, for instance, is one that just didn’t fit into the first book, so I did a ‘sode on it recently.
ARS: QR codes in a cookbook… genius! What made you think to do that?
BP: From the beginning of the book process, I wanted there to be a video element to it. After all, I wouldn’t be writing a book without the videos. At first, I didn’t know how to go about it, but when I discovered the QR code technology, I presented it to my publisher, and they liked it. So yes, I will take full credit for the idea, and give kudos to New World Library for getting on board with it. Am I genius? Well…. I don’t know… probably.
ARS: You have a non-vegan fiancée, how does that work? Do you do all the cooking? Do you have an our-kids-will-be-vegan pre-nup?
BP: How does it work? Well, I’m a tyrant, that’s how. I do all the cooking, so at home, she has no choice but to eat vegan. And she’s very happy with that. Otherwise she only eats cheese and fish, sometimes when we go out. She’s a pesc-queso-tarian – I just made that one up. And for the kids? Again, I’m a tyrant – they’ll have no choice until they’re old enough to make their own, and by that time, they’ll have been well informed.
ARS: You’re a stand-out for being a man in this vegan cookbook world that’s pretty much dominated by women. Any simple tips for guys wanting to eat healthier, but still maintain their manly image?
BP: If you think about it, eating meat isn’t really that manly at all – someone else is doing all that hard killing, gutting, skinning, and butchering work. Oh my god! You got a pre-cut piece of dead cow, neatly wrapped in styrofoam and cellophane at the store, and you put it on a gas grill, and smoked a cigar and drank a beer… you must be exhausted… what an accomplishment in manliness! If you had gone and tackled the cow, snapped its neck, and tore it apart with your bare hands, I’d certainly give you points for toughness, but picking on an innocent animal is hardly manly. A real man is a protector who doesn’t abuse his power. That kind of didn’t really answer the question though, huh? To answer your question, whether it’s generally viewed as manly or not: chicks dig dudes who can cook – and I don’t think it matters if you’re cooking meat or veggies. So, dudes, just cook a bunch of veggies for your girl; it will help you get into her pants, and what’s more manly than that?
ARS: Your cookbook is a little light on the dessert side (no disrespect to your vegan ice creams that look delicious). Will “Sexy Vegan Desserts” be your next publication? And would you like to collaborate on it?
BP: Dessert book? I don’t know, maybe someday. I don’t have much of a sweet-tooth. Whenever I’m at a BBQ or something, I’ll eat a bunch of food, and then when presented with a choice of dessert or more food, I always opt for more food. Desserts aren’t a big part of my life, but perhaps I would enjoy the challenge of coming up with dessert recipes. Something to think about. And believe me, you don’t want to collaborate with me, I’m a disorganized nightmare… you’ll want to drown yourself in cake batter… which actually wouldn’t be a bad way to go.
ARS: If you had an Allison’s Gourmet wish list, what would be on it?
BP: How ’bout a vegan Twix… ooooh… or a Butterfinger? Oh, yeah… Butterfinger. Sorry, I’m pretty low brow.
Hey, at least you’re honest! And you’re not alone; I’ve had fantasies of creating a vegan Twix myself…
And now, for The Sexy Vegan cookbook giveaway! I am of the opinion that one can never have too many cookbooks, but even if your cookbook shelf is overflowing, this is one not the be missed. With recipes like the “Mostest Ultimate-est Breakfast Sandwich in the History of the Universe,” “New England Blam Chowder,” and the “Karate Chop Salad,” The Sexy Vegan will have you laughing while you cook. To enter, answer this question: If you were sentenced to death, what would be your last (vegan) meal? We’ll pick a winner Thursday, July 26th. You must be a resident of the US to win.
This contest is now closed.
Have fun and stay sexy!