Earlier this week, a vegan restaurant in Bondi Beach, Australia, opened its doors for the first time. The eatery is unique for at least two reasons: the head chef’s impressive list of celebrity clients, and the founders’ unusual journey to plant-based living.
The restaurant, called Flave, is the brainchild of wife and husband co-founders Samantha and Stuart Cook.
The couple were once “sworn meat-eaters,” according to Flave’s website, until a health scare shook up their lifestyles.
During their honeymoon, Samantha became severely ill with a bacterial infection. She was airlifted to hospital and developed secondary complications of the muscles around her heart.
After a seven-day hospital stay, the infection began to ease. But Samantha’s health, especially her stomach microbiome, had taken a hit.
“The doctor recommended having a plant-based diet for the first month, then slowly re-introducing other food back into my diet by going vegetarian and so on from there,” the entrepreneur said to FEMAIL.
“Animal products require the stomach to work a lot harder and this was not going to be helpful for my stomach given the recent trauma it had just undergone,” she added.
The couple both ditched animal products, and reported subsequent increases in energy, improved skin health, and reduced bloating.
Eager to make plant-based foods more accessible, the duo launched Flave. The restaurant offers everything from vegan scrambled eggs and cauliflower steak burgers, to plant-based sticky date pudding and vegan cocktails.
“This is our legacy play – we’re committed to our mission of bringing delicious plant-based food to billions,” Samantha said.
And so, Samantha and her husband joined forces with head chef Scott Findlay, who created the menu.
Findlay was trained under Gordon Ramsay and worked as a private chef to Sir Paul McCartney for seven years. But those aren’t the only notches in his belt.
Findlay has also worked for Beyonce, Rihanna, Elton John, and Madonna, among others, who are described as “flexitarians” on Flave’s website.
The chef is confident that Flave’s food will impress. “We will be bringing you the freshest burgers ‘n’ bowls, with a novel approach to how we’ll deliver them to you, one that will set your taste buds alight on a whole new level,” Findlay commented.