Francois Demers (Franck ‘o Brains)
He’s a local celebrity, dedicated papa and husband and a fantastic vegan chef, the creator of the vegan website Show Me Your Veggies, drummer/guitarist and a member of Canada’s psychobilly/horror-punk band The Brains and a smokin’ hot babe on fire.
François is the whole vegan package and I, out of the goodness of my heart (with his wife’s permission of course) am giving you have a little piece of him to keep forever.
Jennifer June - How long have you been a vegan, what inspired you to do it and how has your philosophy evolved since then?
François -I went vegetarian in 1989 and vegan in 1997. It just made sense to go vegan… I felt like a million bucks just by being veggie .. It was time to push it further and say bye bye to eggs and dairy . I experimented the raw food and my level of energy increased !! I was amazed on how easy it was !
The main main reason why I stopped eating animals was compassion . I was also disgusted by the whole meat industry and how they have no respect for life . I decided to express myself into an immediate boycott of that violent and heartless industry .
Jennifer June - As a touring musician, I imagine it must be difficult to find food you can eat while the road. In your experience, are some countries/cultures more accommodating or vegan-friendly than others?
François - Touring in the USA is the worst ! It’s nearly impossible to find decent food anywhere .. its all greasy, processed and when you say youre vegan people look at you as a communist in the 1950’s
Europe is still very meaty but I manage the find fresh stuff and get decent meals. There’s a lot of veggie options in Germany , maybe not so in Romania and eastern Europe but at least they don’t deep fried everything !
Whenever in Berlin , everyone has to try the Lemmy vegan burger at Tiki Heart … it’s a vegan pattie cooked in Jack Daniels ..!! awesome
Jennifer June -There are plenty of
wankers people who criticize vegetarian/vegan lifestyle choices and some of them come up with some really interesting comments/questions. Are there any veggie myths would you like to expel?
François - I am not a preachy preachy guy so I just explain that after all the information I’veI read and the facts I know , its better for me and my kids to eat a plant based diet . Also ,people are very worried about my protein daily intake .. its amazing and nice of them ! I only tell them to worry about they’re own .. too much = acidifying etc etc
I don’t like being told what to do so, I don’t do it to others . What I do though is I preach with actions .. like inviting huge Texan carnivores over for dinner and see the look on their faces!! It always rewarding to have compliments from traditional meat eaters over your cooking .
Jennifer June - Do you find it challenging to raise your son as a vegan with so many outside influences?
François - Its not challenging , they only thing is the annoying uninformed people judging and asking way too many questions about the reasons why I impose my lifestyle !! You have to impose a lifestyle anyway … !! Also even though everything is vegan at my place .. I let him eat meat sometimes when visiting friends and family … I explained to him why I chose not to eat animals and he gets it … I want the decision coming from him , naturally . Otherwise he will rebel and go to the first McDonalds he sees ( Still never went at 6 years old !!)
Jennifer June - Are there any vegan chefs in particular that inspire you?
François - Erick Tucker , chef at Millenium restaurant in San Francisco for his inspiring haute cuisine creations and new ideas !!
Sarma Melngailis Chef Owner at Pure Food and Wine in NYC . for the non dogmatic approach to her raw food haute cuisine !
Jennifer June - In 2001 I had a massive crush on you. Was it obvious?
François - Was it before or after I screamed at you ?
Jennifer June - Mean. For the record, that was a total misunderstanding on your part. I was entirely innocent and sweet in all of that. Speaking of sweets, what are some of your favourite vegan indulgences?
François - Right now is the Tofurky vegan pepperoni pizza and any Coconut bliss frozen desserts.
Jennifer June - Rumour has it, you offer a variety of awesome services through your web-site, including cooking classes. Can you tell us a bit more?
François - I do coaching and classes to anyone looking to improve or change their diet. I go food shopping with them , we learn how to read labels , demystify some weird ingredients ( what the hell is amasake , Savii seeds and other chia thingys?). How do we use those weird ingredients and what are the benefits of including them into the diet . Then we go and cook some meals with them and then realize that its not that hard at all to prepare yummy recipes with quality weird ingredients ( its only weird because of all the brainwashing lobbies of the mainstream industry that pushes milk, soy, meat and other nasty genetically modified inorganic food items down our throats )
I like to show how easy and fun it is to come up with fresh ideas without using recipe books . I bring the creativity out of the people and that is priceless.
Jennifer June - I’m still signing my boyfriend up for your cooking classes. He tells me I’m not allowed to eat chocolate because it’s not vegan. So much to learn…
Any future plans or projects coming up that we should keep our eyes and ears open for? IE Shows, books, babies, world domination etc…
François - I still have the urge to re open a restaurant … but it has to be something very special .. still in the thinking process in between diaper changes . Just had the joy of having a second child …
Would love to write a book but again, not a recipe book but rather a guide to cook better without any dogmas and use our creativity to have more fun while cookin healthy and vibrating meals.
Jennifer June - Do you have a favourite recipe you would like to share with our readers?
François - Two of my favorite vegetables are Kale and avocados(I know ,I know its a fruit!) . Kale is packed with vitamins and minerals and to get the most of it you have to eat it raw (like most fruits and veggies). There’s a way to prepare kale so it looks and feel like its been gently steamed …. Take off your ring, clean your hands and MASSAGE it . 2-3 minute with a bit of salt and it becomes soft and wilted ! So here’s my…
KALE AND AVOCADO SALAD
For the salad:
1 large bunch curly green kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped (about 5 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 carrot, grated
1/2 a large rutabaga, grated
1 avocado, sliced
2 scallions, minced
1 teaspoon black or white sesame seeds
For the dressing:
Zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
In a large bowl, pour olive oil and salt over kale. Massage the oil and salt into the kale for 2-3 minutes, until the kale starts to break down and wilt. The kale can benefit from having a half hour of relaxation after its massage, but that isn’t strictly required. Top with carrot, rutabaga, avocado , scallions and sesame seeds. Mix together dressing ingredients and toss with the salad.