Meet the 11-Year-Old Vegan Entrepreneur

Omari McQueen has been cooking since he was 7 — which was only four years ago. Now, the award-winning chef and entrepreneur is introducing vegan Caribbean cuisine to people around the world. 🍽️

Bringing everyone together for food without harming animals

He isn’t just the youngest award-winning chef in the U.K. Omari McQueen is also using his Caribbean-inspired food to get people to go vegan. Since learning to cook at 7, Omari has opened a vegan restaurant in London, appeared on reality TV, and was a panel expert at a vegan conference. He credits his Caribbean background and formative experiences with his mother for his unique and cruelty-free approach.

“When my mom was sick and my dad was going to work, my dad would teach me and my big brother how to cook I started cooking by myself and I was cooking vegan lunch for my mom. And she got better because I was making a vegan meal and I was looking up the benefits of these vegan fruits and meals. I just like to bring everyone together because meat eaters -- they can eat vegan food and meat. But with vegan people, they cannot eat meat. When I cook vegan food, I bring everyone together for food without harming animals. Loads of people love my food, and they respect me as well. One of the things that I've been saying to so much people is that while you're eating so much meat, it can cause cancer, diabetes and heart disease. now so much people that I've said that to, become vegan. People didn't know what stuff stuff was were harming these animals and some people and they take their kids to the zoo. I mean the farm, and the animals that are in the farm, those are the animals that are getting killed. So why is she taking me to see animals and then they get killed after that and then my mom stopped taking me to the farm anymore,” Chef Omari tells Brut.

Studies show going vegan is the single biggest way to reduce your ecological footprint, with animal farming providing humans with 18% of needed calories while taking up 83% of all farmland according to Harvard University. For Omari, sometimes the best way to affect change is to appeal to people’s sense of their own health.