Preheat your ovens, people: Doron Petersan, two-time winner of Cupcake Wars and mastermind behind DC’s favorite vegan eatery, Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats, has answered your vegan prayers: 100 of her most coveted “super-secret” recipes are now in print!
And with the WorldWide Vegan Bakesale coming up, you’ve got all the excuses you need to bake your heart out for animals. So grab a copy of Sticky Fingers’ Sweets today and start whipping up some treats everyone can enjoy.
Need more inspiration? We recently caught up with Doron to get the scoop on how to bake your vegan cake—and eat it, too!
COK: What’s it been like going from local veganlebrity to straight-up national bake-star?
Doron: It’s amazing to see how far Sticky Fingers has come, and how “vegan” is no longer a dirty word. I’m proud to be part of this transformation and “mainstream acceptance.” Our best marketing practice is getting people to taste our treats — the proof is in the pudding (pun intended) that vegan is delicious, from cupcakes to cakes, sandwiches to salads. And, by the way, we proved it twice on national TV. Take that eggs and dairy!
COK: When and why did you become vegan?
Doron: 1995. I was 22 years young, and I wanted to be a veterinarian. I was in NYC, working in restaurants and moonlighting as a vet-tech. I witnessed a surgery on a dog that’s when I realized his muscles resembled the muscles I ate for dinner the night before (chicken breast). I became vegan shortly afterwards (like, a few weeks).
COK: What are some of your favorite foods that you can’t live without?
Doron: Can’t live without sesame oil, broccoli, tofu, Gardein, and rice cakes. And veganaise. And wine. Coffee, can’t forget coffee. Or pro-bars…
COK: How have your food choices changed since your early vegan days?
Doron: I’ve always been a foodie or a ‘good eater’. I’ve never eaten anything I didn’t enjoy. But after becoming vegan I discovered so many different foods and flavors that I had never tried before, like Indian, Thai, and Middle Eastern dishes. It opened my palate in a way I never would have imagined or tried had I not given up animals.
COK: What advice would offer for people just learning about vegan eating?
Doron: Enjoy the foods and flavors you enjoy now, but vegan! Do you like Mexican food? Skip the meat but use all of the spicy flavors you love in your rice, beans, avocado and corn. Hate curry? Then don’t eat it! Slowly introduce new flavors if you are picky, and take more chewing-chances if you are a risk-taker.
COK: What’s your key to success?
Doron: Shhh don’t tell anyone! It’s all about proving to the world that you can have a successful and profitable vegan business as well as letting people taste how delicious it is to choose vegan. We like to make it fun, pretty, edgy, and tasty. We want people to come on over, grab a sandwich and a little devil – and relax so we can then say “By the way, no animals died for your food and you might be a little healthier once you’re through.”
COK: We heard you have a gorgeous new baby boy. Congratulations! We recently blogged about raising vegan kids—any wisdom to add?
Doron: Thanks – Ezra is delicious! At 8-months-old, he’s fun and adorable, and just beginning to eat real food. So far he likes everything we’ve fed him. I think we have a future foodie on our hands! Serious wisdom so far (it’s only been a few months) is to feed kids a variety of foods that you would eat (following the recommendations of your pediatrician, of course). Taste buds develop and change over time so it’s important to constantly introduce new flavors and textures.