The Vegan Chef is a restaurant and food store that was started by Sue Gajathar.
This eatery prides itself on “creating delectable gourmet and artisanal vegan food that is good for you and great for the planet”.
So I sought to put this to the test and headed to a branch located in The Pearls Mall in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal.
With generous help from Uber, the trip was comfortable, with gorgeous views of the coastline and beaches.
Upon arriving at The Vegan Chef, I was greeted and assisted by friendly staff, and the food was to die for.
The food comprised of gourmet burgers made from either soy, pea protein, or seitan (wheat protein). There is also plant-based mince, vegan bacon, and fish.
Zandile Nxumalo, the manager, explained everything on the menu and urged me to try as much as I wanted. “I have worked with the company since they opened in the province,” she explained.
Founded in 2019, the brand has gone on to win multiple awards. However, Gajathar had an unconventional start to her entrepreneurial journey.
She was inspired to go vegan by Veganuary and recalled that she felt better and her skin was glowing, so she decided to become fully plant-based.
The self-taught chef explained that The Vegan Chef’s customer base is not vegan or vegetarian but caters to everybody.
It’s pretty much a flexitarian base. “Our patrons are just those that really enjoy our food and want to take care of the environment.
“We are vertically integrated; we manufacture our own base products. This includes ‘chicken and beef’ burgers and vegan bacon. What this does is reduce our cost to the customer,” added Gajathar.
She has big plans for the brand: “We are good at innovation. When you have less, you become very good at thinking outside the box. We see ourselves growing and expanding.”
Xolile Mtembu was offered a travel voucher by Uber/Uber Eats.