There are over 600,000 vegans in the UK on the last count, and that’s without acknowledging the rising number of flexitarians dipping their toes into plant-based waters. Spearheading the vegan charge in recent years has been the surge in brilliant vegan cooks helping to inspire newbies struggling for meal ideas.
BOSH! also known as duo Henry Firth and Ian Theasby has been leading that way since 2017, with a mega-successful Youtube channel, where their approachable vegan recipe videos have been viewed nearly 10 million times. That Youtube channel has led to a TV programme, Living on the Veg, as well as a number of best-selling books, the latest of which, Speedy BOSH!, is out 17 September. Packed with fragrant curries, hearty stews, comfort food for cold nights, indulgent puds, and one-pan wonders, it’s the definition of vegan cooking made easy and tasty.
Form managed to catch up with the pair ahead of the new books release to ask a few questions about their take on the vegan food scene along with some handy vegan cooking tips for you to take away.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
It would have to be Doomies Vegan Fried Chicken in Los Angeles. The seitan chicken had skin made out of wonton paper and it was insanely realistic. It’s amazing how far vegan food has come in the past few years. The innovation out there is incredible.
What’s your guiltiest food pleasure?
We’re quite good with food. We try and follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent healthy and 20 percent whatever you fancy. Both of us do like to indulge our sweet tooth now and again with vegan sweets though.
What kitchen gadget can you not live without?
A really sharp knife is must-have in any kitchen, but it’s not a fancy gadget. The electronic gadget we use the most is our Sage Bluicer – a juicer and a blender in one machine – which is a great bit of kit.
Which herbs and spices do you always have to hand?
A pinch pot of salt and pepper is never far away. When we’re cooking up or developing recipes, our (extremely well stocked) spices drawer is under our stove as we’re always experimenting with different flavours.
What’s your number one quick fix in the kitchen tip?
One of the tips in our new cookbook Speedy BOSH! is to use a food processor to blitz veggies like onion, carrots and celery. It’ll save you loads of time, and your finger tips. We’d also recommend investing in a microplane too, as you’ll use it all the time to quickly prep garlic and ginger.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Our mate Adam telling us to watch Kip Andersen’s Cowspiracy. It’s the movie that made us go vegan, realise how it could help save the planet & ultimately changed our lives forever.
What supply in your house is never running low?
Form Protein Powder. We’re not joking, we have a full cupboard of it.
What’s your fondest food memory from your childhood?
Ian: For me, it’s Sunday roasts at my grandma and grandad’s house. They were literally unbelievable. My grandma was an incredible cook.
Henry: It’s got to be a veggie lasagne with my mum and eating it with all the family at home in Sheffield.
What’s your favourite vegan restaurant?
There’s Club Mexicana in Soho. We love Meriel and her tacos are dreamy. We also love Brewdog. We’ve just done a collaboration with them and have three plant-based dishes on their menu.
Which chefs have inspired you the most?
Derek Sarno of Wicked Kitchen is consistently brilliant. We’ve had dinner at his house before and he is extremely talented. Our friend Luke Robinson who trained at 15 under Jamie Oliver is also so inspiring. He’s easily one of the best chefs in the UK now. There’s also Douglas McMaster, the owner of Silo, who is set to become one of the best chefs in the world. When he cooked for us, we were completely blown away.
What is the last thing you liked on social media?
Ian: It was a video of a super cute Chonkosaurus dancing to salsa (a chonkosaurus is a cat who’s kinda podgy).
Henry: Our housemate, @bodyweight_d‘s latest home workout video.
What’s your biggest regret?
In all honesty, not going vegan sooner. We felt the benefits immediately and haven’t looked back.
What’s your proudest achievement?
We’re lucky enough to have had a few in the past few years. Winning ‘Book of the Year – Non-Fiction: Lifestyle’ at the The British Book Awards 2019 (aka the ‘Nibbies’) for our debut cookbook, landing ITV’s Living on the Veg, the UK’s first mainstream vegan cookery series ever, and getting a line of BOSH! products into supermarkets. They’ve all been massive for us, but we’re most proud of helping make veganism more accessible and mainstream within the UK.