Chef Demos 2019
"BBQ Big Rib with Sugar Cane 'Bones'"
Chef, baker, farmer, Josh Catrambone has always had a passion for cooking and sharing food with friends and family. He has been vegan and mastering plant-based cuisine for the past 18 years, crafting unique flavorful recipes for restaurants as chef and consultant. He enjoys incorporating seasonal and foraged ingredients through his vegetable and fruit forward cuisine. Josh also crafts vegan meats and cheeses inspired by his family and their tradition of Italian American cuisine.
Josh started cooking professionally at age 19 at an upscale Italian Bistro in St. Louis. From there he went on to work in kitchens across the country including a monastery, several diners, a Lebanese bar, pizza places, delis, bistros, vegetarian and vegan restaurants. He also cooked for the hungry with Food Not Bombs (Global). Before moving to Michigan, he was the head Chef of Karyn's on Green and Upton's Breakroom, where he helped create products that are on store shelves across the country.
Currently, Josh and his wife Kerry live on a small wild permaculture farm in SW Michigan where he is baking up a storm and is the chef and owner of the all-vegan Water & Wheat Cafe in Coloma. He is also the chef behind the Meatless Michigan vegan pop up dinner series!
Gabriel Miller, aka Plant-Based Gabriel
"Losing 100 pounds with burgers & ice cream"
Gabriel Miller is a plant-based influencer and avid gardener from Richmond, VA. Gabriel was a starting football player at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln until he suffered a career-ending back injury. At the time, he was also pursuing a degree in livestock production, but after his injury, he began to do his own research on diet and health. Unable to maintain his previous active lifestyle, Gabriel began searching for ways to lose weight and become healthy through his diet. In the process, Gabriel found that what he was learning in his classes not only contradicted what he was learning about health but also contradicted his own beliefs about animal welfare and preserving the environment. Still, Gabriel chose to finish his degree while also pursuing his own research into sustainable and ethical agricultural practices that promote health.
Now 100 pounds lighter than his playing weight, Gabriel runs his blog, Plant-Based Gabriel, which is focused on helping people transition to a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle. In addition to producing simple recipe videos, Gabriel also maintains his one-acre vegan vegetable farm just outside of Richmond, VA.
Chef Jen Plaggemars
"A Vegan Dinner Party"
Chef Jen graduated from Michigan State University in 2007 with a bachelors degree in dietetics and health promotion. In December 2010, she pursued her lifelong dream of becoming a chef by studying culinary arts at Kendall College in downtown Chicago.
After graduation in 2012, she worked as the head chef of a vegan/vegetarian catering company. There, she was able to develop hundreds of healthy recipes based on seasonal fruits and vegetables. From there, she took a job at Hy-Vee, a midwest grocery store chain, as their head chef and dietitian. Through this job, she was able to share her dietitian and culinary expertise through nutrition counseling, cooking classes, and community events.
Since moving back home to West Michigan, she has been working as a personal chef where she often caters to vegan clients either through weekly meal prep, cooking classes or dinner parties. When she's not working, she enjoys staying active, adding new recipes to her cooking blog, Cooking is Caring, cheering on the MSU Spartans, traveling with her husband and playing with their dogs, Colby Jack and Walnut Pesto.