This month I have a super fun and innovative caterer who I worked with last summer – the Vegan Food Pimp. On a wedding day, most caterers seem to be always frantically cooking and manically preparing, and seem to have a slight air of chaos around getting everything organised in time for guest arrival… but Lynn and her team were cool calm and collected throughout, and were such a breath of fresh air to work with! I was also super impressed that they were there before me on the wedding day – which is unusual for caterers! As a planner, organisation and time keeping is always high on my list and never fails to make a good impression on me! Add to that, Lynn’s warm welcome and smiley face along with delicious fresh food that almost turned me vegan myself, and the wedding was a dream! So here she is!
Please introduce yourself:
I am Lynn, the Vegan Food Pimp, a name given to me by a group of volunteers after I had been feeding them for a week and the name just stuck, but it really does suit me and my business which is a 100% vegan catering company.
1. What made you want to set up your business?
I moved back to the UK, Brighton, after being away for 11 years to launch my book and open a restaurant. After a year it became clear that more people were looking for a pure vegan catering company and the decision was made.
2. What’s the best part of your job?
Seeing people eat vegan food and loving it – when they were clearly expecting tofu, mung beans and salad!
3. What’s the worst part of your job?
You can spend up to two years, in some cases, talking with couples and really getting to know them and after the wedding or event has taken place it is very rare that you see them again, I always find that quite sad, but I always hope they remember their wedding breakfast.
4. What’s the weirdest request you’ve ever had from a client?
‘Would I mind if my fiancé has a hog roast at the wedding as a compromise!’ As I am vegan for the animals; yes, this would be a huge problem and I would not be able to cater next to a roasting pig.
5. What’s been your favourite ever wedding you’ve worked on/at?
They all have their magical moments, they are all different and I could not really name one I loved the most!
6. You’re surrounded by beauty in your job, what do you find beautiful?
Animals and nature. Simplicity. Silence.
7. Best piece of advice to offer to those getting married?
Stop stressing about what everyone else wants and focus on what you both want for your day. People are coming to celebrate your wedding day, not criticize your choices. If you are having a vegan wedding there is really no need to tell anyone and give yourself the added stress, so long as we know about allergies the rest will speak for itself..
8. Anyone you particularly admire in the industry?
Well, obviously the Devine Bride for one! (Ha ha thanks Lynn!!!) Couples who hire a planner need to do their homework, we have had some absolute shockers at events but when you have a planner who is on it, wants to find solutions not problems, who works with the suppliers with a team attitude – that is priceless. (I totally agree..!!)
9. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Stop pissing about and do what you were made to do.
10. What was your career plan B?
I trained as a theatre actress for five years. I went into sales, met some incredible people along the way, including some very well known chefs, took lessons, took advice, and eventually, many years later, and with life taking a turn, took all my experience and converted it into Vegan Food Pimp.
11. Where do you call home?
Currently Brighton. I was born in London, grew up in Leigh On Sea, spent 11 years in Spain, 6 months in South Africa and then moved to Brighton.
12. What’s your favourite shop?
Any book shop. I love, love recipe books, and books about food. I qualified as a holistic nutritionist so anything that can help add that “magic” to a dish I want to know about it.
13. Favourite restaurant?
I have eaten in some incredible restaurants around the world but if you asked me where I like to eat most, it is at my own table with friends and family; relaxed, informal and full of laughter.
14. Who would you have play you in a movie about your life?
That is a difficult one but for someone who looks tough on the outside but is really a softie on the inside, I guess it would be Angelina Jolie particularly in character as Maleficent, she had her wings taken away but she still had a heart inside that tough exterior.
15. Cocktail of choice?
I am not really a cocktail kind of girl more a Jack Daniels with an Americano on the side!
16. Your biggest extravagance?
I am not really an extravagant person, but I do have a passion for shoes which is probably slightly out of control!
17. Do you collect anything?
Recipe books! I have two that belonged to my Mum with all her notes and torn out recipes – which I treasure. I put photos and keepsakes in my recipe books so when I randomly pick up a book, I am reminded of a happy moment which could have been from years ago. Food is all about family, friends and love, so they are filled with just that. I love to see a recipe book with fingerprints and bits of food on them, it shows they are used!
18. If you could buy any building, which would it be?
I have always wanted, and never say never, to buy a dairy farm, turn it into a sanctuary for cows, use their manure to grow crops and have a vegan restaurant on site. I co-founded an animal sanctuary in Spain, so never say never.
19. What’s the most romantic thing someone’s ever done for you?
Managing to get a table at the opening of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant 15 in Brick Lane. I met Jamie and it was an unforgettable night. That was so many years ago though I must be due something romantic soon!
20. Where do you go to let your hair down?
This is difficult because when you work in events you work incredibly long hours, so my idea of relaxing is binge watching something on Netflix. I love to meet up with my friends for lunch and long chats, it is more like therapy to be honest, and of course time out with my two rescue bulldogs, Frank and Gus, and my rescue cat Charley; animals are very healing.
21. Tell us something surprising about yourself!
I was a radio presenter for a daily show in Spain, I am a qualified holistic nutritionist, and I was the first female Head Of Business for Audi UK, something I am very proud of!
22. Invisibility or flight?
Invisibility, you could sneak onto flights and go anywhere!
23. Any regrets in life?
24. Tell us your favourite Instagram accounts at the moment!
I tend to look more at a group hashtag than a page, I look for inspiration, if I want cheering up I look at animals but I always, always get lost in someone icing a cake, very therapeutic!
My fav hashtags to follow are:
#veganfood, #desserts, #chocolate, #bulldogs, #travel, #cake
25. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
That everyone could see the beauty in animals. They are with us, not for us.
Thank you so much to Lynn from the Vegan Food Pimp for taking part! Having known her in a working capacity at a wedding, I loved reading her answers here and getting to know her a bit more… What a dark horse she is…! Such a fun character and what an interesting life. Probably the best answer I’ve ever had for ‘who would play you in a movie’, too!
And trust me, her food is delicious, (and full of ‘magic’..!) and that is coming from a non-vegan!
Find the Vegan Food Pimp on her website here, and on Instagram here.
Please email any hellos or enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org