YouTube star Candice Hutchings (AKA the Edgy Veg) reveals all about her carnivore-approved new cookbook
It’s the time of year where it feels like there’s no end of new recipe books hitting shelves in time for the Christmas rush. This year is no diff erent, but one cookbook that seems to be standing out from the crowd is The Edgy Veg. With a book bursting with 138 recipes that have been tried, tested and approved by carnivores, this is the book you need to impress friends and family with your plant based food. We spoke to author Candice Hutchings about the new book, her mammoth social media following, and her ideal dinner party menu.
Congratulations on the release of your new book The Edgy Veg. How did you come to release a vegan cookbook?
I’ve been in the vegan community for over eight years, and when I first started my journey, veganism was far from the mainstream. I noticed a hole in the culinary space for reimagined traditional recipes, and while I was not a chef and had never created recipes — I knew in order to commit to this lifestyle, I had to learn how to cook. That is when I started the first concept of The Edgy Veg blog. Back then it was called I am an Edgy Veg. I used the space to keep track of the meals I was creating, but also as a personal diary of my journey. When video tutorials became popular via YouTube, I jumped on that fairly early, and so, I guess publishing a book was the next obvious step in the growth of The Edgy Veg as a project.
When compiling the recipe book, how did you decide which recipes would make the cut and which ones wouldn’t make it?
That was probably the easiest part of creating this book. We had three main goals with the recipe selection; one, the recipes had to be our favourite, two, each recipe needed to be rated as carnivore-approved, and three, we wanted this book to be a go-to vegan bible for all the dishes we (and you) craved. James and I spent a few days compiling all our favourite foods. This included our family recipes, foods we fell in love with on our travels and trendy dishes that helped to shape what the culinary landscape is today. Then I started cooking. Due to the compressed timeline we had to create this book, I did not have the luxury of testing the recipes 6-8 times. Therefore, if I could not nail the dish within three rounds of testing, it needed to be cut right away. The second round of cuts came from the taste testers. Along with James, we had a group of non-vegan friends that tasted each recipe — if they couldn’t deem it carnivore-approved then it was also cut.
What has been your favourite part of the process of compiling a recipe book?
The photoshoot. I am a creative through and through. The ability to make my wildest food-porn dreams come true through props, backgrounds and lighting was an absolute pleasure. I have to say, standing in a prop house surrounded by thousands of dishes, cutting boards, napkins, gadgets and cutlery was like Disneyland for me. I worked with a chef, who helped me to prep, cook and plate every single dish. A table top stylist, who helped me design each look, and an incredible photographer, who captured each dish beautifully. We had such a great time working together. Honestly, it made me long for a blog and YouTube budget that would allow me to hire them on the regular. On the channel and blog I do the cooking, styling and photos on my own and working with a team was a lovely change of pace. It was such a pleasure to work with a team of people to make these recipes come to life.
You can read our interview with Candice in full in the December issue of PlantBased, on sale now!