The herbivorous butcher shows you how to make his vegan meat in the first cookbook

Aubry and Kale Walch, the siblings behind The Herbivorous Butcher, will release their first cookbook this fall. The simply titled The herbivorous butcher’s cookbook will show readers how to make the vegan meats the Minneapolis-based company is famous for, including chicken, Porterhouse steak, deli meats, and more. The book offers more than 75 recipes for meats and dishes made with them, all drawn from the experience of the siblings running the first vegan butcher shop in the United States.

After a friend who is a cookbook author himself recommended the duo try their hand at writing a cookbook, the Walches spent the pandemic downtime doing exactly that.

“Aubry and I have always wanted to share our recipes but have never had the time to test and perfect so many recipes. However, at the start of the pandemic, we only had time to try and re-try recipes until we had a set we were proud of,” Kale Walch told VegNews. “We’re so excited to share not only some of our meat and cheese recipes that we’ve been making since our days at the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market, but also recipes from our homeland of Guam that our ancestors have been making for centuries.”

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Make Vegan Meat, Herbivore Butcher Style

At their Minneapolis-based shop, the Walches are constantly tinkering with recipes to develop new meats, cheeses and accessories that give The Herbivorous Butcher its unique shine. While other siblings might dread the idea of ​​working together, this duo have succeeded by sharing a passion for veganism and dividing up the work – with Kale Walch working on new products and recipes while Aubry Walch finds ways to make them viable.

The duo also applied these principles to creating their first cookbook. “While we were writing the cookbook, we were still living in the same four-plex apartment building and constantly dropping our new recipe tests on each other, and with each other’s feedback, we tweaked each recipe. in those written in the book,” said Kale Walch.

As pioneers of the vegan meat industry, the Walches hope readers will see the book as both a foundational tool and a fun resource for unlocking the endless possibilities of vegan meat staples like seitan. “My greatest hope is that readers can experience the joy I first felt when I realized the limitless possibilities seitan had to offer,” said Kale Walch. “For me, it was a puzzle: how to use different juices, herbs, spices, binders and cooking methods to turn protein-rich flour into everything from steak to sausage.”

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He also hopes home cooks will use the book as inspiration for their own entirely new creations, building on what The Herbivorous Butcher established when he put vegan butchery on the map. “It was a culinary challenge that could benefit from all the traditions, and the more I learned, the better my products were,” Kale Walch said of creating vegan meats from scratch. “I hope readers can start this journey like me, creating new vegan meats like I could never imagine.”

America’s first vegan butcher

Originally from Guam, the Walches opened The Herbivorous Butcher in 2016 after selling their vegan products at the Minneapolis Farmers Market for two years. The Walches developed the idea for The Herbivorous Butcher after witnessing a lack of local vegan options.

“We ate fries and side salads when we ate at the restaurant and it was completely traumatic,” recalls Aubry Walch. “Even mentioning our insane idea of ​​opening a vegan butcher shop to people was a faux pas. People would say, ‘A vegan what? … Now that’s an interesting idea, which in Minnesota is code for, ‘I’m uncomfortable, next topic, please.’

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In 2016, the term “vegan butcher” was unheard of, but The Herbivorous Butcher’s offerings — which include charcuterie by the book, brats, ribs, sausages, prepared meals and specialties — quickly caught on. national attention, attracting crowds of customers curious about their meats and cheeses. Fast forward to today and their creations, admired by the likes of WuTang, Guy Fieri and Jon Stewart, can be found in many area restaurants and are available for delivery in all 50 states.

And the initial pushback on the semantics around “vegan butcher” didn’t last long as the term gained traction, thanks in large part to the popularity of The Herbivorous Butcher. Once “vegan butcher” entered the lexicon, everyone wanted to use it to describe a new era of meat-making. So much so that the Walches had a long battle with one of the world’s biggest food companies, Nestlé, who wanted to trademark the now coveted term. The Walches won that battle in 2021 when Nestlé dropped its pursuit.

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Soon after, the duo moved on to their next adventure: opening Minnesota’s first vegan fried chicken shop, Herbie Butcher’s Fried Chicken. A pared-back space compared to their sprawling flagship butcher shop, here the siblings serve buckets of perfected vegan fried chicken; sides such as mac and cheese and coleslaw; and maple butter cookies, as well as milkshakes (made with NadaMoo ice cream) with various mixes.

“Now the options are endless and unbelievable, and there are vegan butcher shops all over the country and the world and we can hardly believe it. Just saying this brings tears to my eyes because we are come so far as vegans,” Aubry Walch said. “Vegan butchers are becoming mainstream, slowly but surely, and it’s music to our ears because it means choosing compassion is becoming mainstream. It’s nice.”

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The future of the herbivorous butcher

With Nestlé killed, several groundbreaking vegan companies in their pockets, and a cookbook on the way, the siblings look to a future where vegan food continues its upward trajectory.

While plans to open additional vegan butcher shops outside of Minneapolis aren’t immediately slated, they aren’t discounted either. “We will diversify soon,” said Aubry Walch. “We are planning for the long term and if we grow out of state, we want a strong, sustainable plan that will stick.”

For now, the siblings are planning events around promoting their first cookbook that could bring them closer to their fans through cooking demonstrations and talks across the country. “Our goal is always to continue to raise awareness and facilitate vegan consumption without sacrificing anything, and we hope this cookbook is a big step forward,” Aubry Walch said.

To learn more about vegan butchers, read:
2 new vegan butchers are coming to Los Angeles
UK’s first vegan butcher sells out on opening day
A new vegan butcher shop will open in Ohio

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