Founded by ‘vegan twins’ brothers Samuel and Lukas Schanderl, Veecoco aims to raise awareness about plant-based cooking through online vegan cooking classes.
Based in Berlin, Germany, Veecoco will give users an opportunity to learn plant-based cooking across international cuisines such as Japanese, Italian, Thai, and more taught by renowned world chefs.
In an exclusive interview with Green Queen, the founders shared that their personal experiences with vegan food led them to start Veecoco.
Since his teenage years, Lukas struggled with a weak immune system, due to which he was sick for up to 3 months every year. One day he noticed his boss starting to eat vegan and decided to give this a try. Initially, Lukas was concerned about losing his athletic performance due to a vegan diet. Instead, it stayed the same and his path to recovery began and now Lukas hardly gets sick.
On the other hand, Samuel who had a deep craving for sweets, faced severe skin problems and weight issues. He tried all kinds of diets from high-protein and high-carb to Keto and low carb. While he was a vegetarian, he watched a documentary on the impact that food can have on the environment and he decided to turn vegan. As soon as he made the shift, his craving for sweets disappeared and now he has a healthy relationship with food.
During their journey of turning vegan, they both found it quite hard to access delicious vegan food from around the world or find a single central vegan cooking platform. With a love for international food, especially Thai and other Asian food, they decided to create an online school where students can learn about their favorite foods – all completely vegan.
In the beginning, they wanted to learn about cooking methods and conduct the classes themselves however a conversation with their dad gave them the idea to find great chefs and partner with them in an effort to cover way more cuisines and cooking topics.
And so, in January 2019, work began where they reached out to chefs and eventually planned courses in Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, Korea, and Japan.
After filming 6 courses in Asia, they flew to Germany to be with the school and since then, published one new course each month and from august, they filmed cooking courses all over Europe, namely the UK, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany.
In an interview with The Beet, who the duo joined forces with last April to conduct cooking classes for the online plant-based guide’s readers, Samuel said: “The most popular course so far is the vegan Italian course. People love the classic Italian recipes, from making your own pizza to having flavorful pasta dishes. Also popular are our raw food courses. Many of our students are interested in healthy recipes and how to incorporate more raw food in their diets.”
Unlike most culinary programs, Veecoco offers a 7-day free trial for users to access around 350+ lessons divided among its 14 courses teaching a variety of recipes like sourdough baking, raw chocolate cakes, Sauerkraut (a fermented food made from cabbage), vegan camembert as well as an invitation to the private Facebook group. If users are interested in a longer course, there are both 12-month and six-month memberships that offer coursebooks, worksheets, and course certifications.
Chefs include Matteo Febbraio, an Italian Pastry Chef; Lauren Lovatt, Raw Food Chef of The Plant Hub; Akiko Sugawara, Japanese Chef of BentoYa Cooking; Mini Kyung, Korean Chef -of Energy Kitchen Seoul and Julia Panchkowry, Vegan Chef at The Banana Warrior Café and many more.
Samuel also learned that every cuisine can be made/adapted in a plant-based way without losing flavour or authenticity. “Even more surprising is that we had some of the best food of our entire lives while working on Veecoco, from raw food dishes at Sayuri’s café in Bali, to vegan Thai recipes at the farm in Northern Thailand, vegan gourmet chocolate in Switzerland, and hearty German recipes at the Johannes Nicolay’s hotel. We also learned that you get the best vegan food in cooking schools (or making it yourself at home) rather than in restaurants.”
We learned that every cuisine can be made/adapted in a plant-based way without losing flavor or authenticity. Even more surprising is that we had some of the best food of our entire lives while working on Veecoco, from raw food dishes at Sayuri’s café in Bali, to vegan Thai recipes at the farm in Northern Thailand, vegan gourmet chocolate in Switzerland, and hearty German recipes at the Johannes Nicolay’s hotelSamuel Schanderl, co-founder of Veecoco
The majority of Veecoco’s users are from the US, followed by Canada and the UK with students from Europe, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Japan and Australia.
Going forward, the duo wants to film in the U.S., the Caribbean, and South America and also hopes to create a professional curriculum for people who would like to work as vegan chefs and restaurant owners.
Veecoco has also partnered with Baan Unrak, a Thai Non-Profit organization to provide vegan and vegetarian meals to underprivileged children where every month a part of Veecoco’s membership donates one meal to a child, meaning a 12-month membership donates 12 meals this targeting a goal to provide 100.000 delicious meals to children in need.
In September of last year, a poll’s results showed that around 60% of the American public are now transitioning to a flexitarian or plant-based diet along with other surveys finding that there is a massive interest globally to transition to a plant-based diet or drop animal products for plant-based alternatives as a direct result of the pandemic along with another report showing consumer habits are shifting drastically with sales of vegan meat jumping by 280% in the second week of March compared to the same period last year in the United States.
A number of people have come forward to spread awareness about vegan cooking for instance, animal activist, cookbook author, photographer and co-founder of the nonprofit Meat Free Monday, Mary McCartney recently hosted her new vegetarian cooking show along with celebrities guest starring to promote plant-based cooking and recipes among the show’s audience.
Also, in a first-ever, Las Vegas is about to get its own vegan cooking school and deli, Vegas Vegan Culinary School and Eatery, a women-owned business co-founded by Mindy Poortinga.
Back in September of 2020, a U.S. based vegan cooking show, New Day New Chef, hosted by Jane Velez-Mitchell, a New York Times bestselling author and founder of nonprofit animal welfare news network Jane Unchained, was now available to watch in England, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand on the streaming platform Amazon Prime.
If you’re in Hong Kong and want to try your hand out at vegan cooking, here is a list of the city’s best plant-based cooking classes.