Plant Based Pirate is leading a mutiny in the wholefood vegan world – no more boring, tasteless dishes with more moral judgement than flavour
This is about exciting, vibrant dishes that tempt and tantalise – easy to make, quick to put together, and from simple ingredients already in your cupboard
They just happen to be made from 100% plants
Good for You
Good for the Planet
Good for the Animals
Great to Eat
Karen is the creator behind Plant Based Pirate, with over ten years experience in the catering industry. Her passion for plant based food has manifested in a variety of different cookery disciplines, from cafes and restaurants, catering for events and retreats, making and selling wholesale products, making raw chocolates, cakes and patisserie, performing live cookery demos at trade shows and food fairs and leading workshops and classes for a diverse range of participants.
Karen’s infectious enthusiasm for plant based living and fun loving, judgement-free approach to vegan cuisine is an inspiring and entertaining way to learn new skills and enjoy new recipes and ideas, whether you are a vegan-curious beginner or an expert chef simply looking to expand your repertoire. Her expertise built up over the years in the professional environment makes for informative and enlightening classes, where you will learn key methodology and techniques, gain a thorough grounding in plant based nutrition and health, learn some awesome recipes to enjoy time and time again, and most importantly, gain the confidence you need to create amazing vegan food in your own home.
Choosing vegetarianism at the age of 14, Karen went fully vegan at 21 after realising that all her reasons for being vegetarian – ethical, environmental and nutritional – applied inextricably to the industries producing dairy and eggs. This decision, coupled with a home life which included a gluten-free partner, led to frenzied cooking sessions spending weeks perfecting the ultimate vegan gluten-free crumpets and other similarly crazy obsessive behaviours. Growing up in a foodie family (which LOVED to eat) and the lack of ready made options in the shops which met all the required dietary caveats (this was in the dark times before the ‘Free From’ aisle) meant the only option was to DIY the best food possible.
Cooking professionally was not even on the radar until Karen applied for a job as gardener at a community farm. After an initial interview, the company suggested another position – based partly at the farm and partly at the community cafe run by the same organisation. Divine fate intervened and it was through this job, where Karen was planting, growing and harvesting food at the farm, then taking it to the cafe and turning it into fantastically fresh plant based dishes, that the professional chef was born, and Karen found her chosen calling.
The years that followed found Karen learning and growing as a chef in London and beyond, working for some of the leading names in the vegan and raw food world, including InSpiral, Nama and Wild Food Cafe. This journey took her to a position as the opening Head Chef of the flagship Marylebone branch of The Gate, one of London’s oldest and most distinguished vegetarian restaurants. During her time at The Gate she was able to show how diverse and delicious plant based food can be, instigating changes to the menu which moved from having only 50% plant based dishes to being 100% free from dairy and eggs by the end of the year, and converting the owner and executive chef in the process!
Karen now lives on a gorgeous house boat with her husband and herb garden on the River Thames, moored on the Berkshire/Oxfordshire border. She divides her time between swabbing the decks and swimming in the river, creating delicious food for her friends and family, making videos and recipes for her online Plant Based Pirate Crew, teaching a range of popular live classes, running community cooking sessions for low income families, and providing catering consultancy for businesses and events.