Twelve-year-old entrepreneur and vegan chef Omari McQueen will release his first cookbook early next year. Titled “Omari McQueen’s Best Bites Cookbook,” it will feature more than 30 easy-to-make recipes.
McQueen aims to show others, particularly other kids his age, how to love cooking without meat, eggs, dairy, and fish. “I don’t want animals to die or be eaten so I teach people my age to be vegan,” McQueen said in a recent 60-second documentary. “Best Bites” will be published by Scholastic UK.
“His passion for food and cooking is irresistible,” said Scholastic UK Publishing Manager Leah James. “Children everywhere have been busy learning to cook during lockdown; we can’t wait for Omari to share his recipes, tips, and enthusiasm with a generation of children and their families. Omari is leading a new generation of ethical minded foodies into a more sustainable future.”
McQueen took to Instagram to express his gratitude and thank his supporters.
“Mummy & Daddy your the best a boy like me could have,” he said. “Thank you to my siblings and family for being you perfect.”
Business Owner Since Age Eight
The young chef has had a considerable amount of experience in the culinary world already. He went vegan at age seven after learning about it from international animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
One year later, he launched the plant-based brand, Dipalicious. The company makes a variety of Caribbean-inspired dips and sauces. According to McQueen, he wanted to make sauces because after making pizza, he found that the end result was too dry. Not knowing of Heinz sauce was free from animal ingredients, he focused on making his own.
McQueen launched his own YouTube cooking show that same year and regularly shared cooking tips on his Instagram page.
Last August, McQueen opened a vegan pop-up restaurant in Croydon, UK, serving a menu of Caribbean-inspired dishes. McQueen has also hosted children’s vegan cooking workshops. He was also featured on BBC London Radio with host Eddie Nestor. In a segment on the CBBC television show, “Blue Peter,” McQueen taught viewers how to make a chickpea curry.
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