Chicago VeganMania 2014 Chef Demos
Note: This page is from our 2014 event.
We'll post information about our October 10, 2015 event as it becomes available

Learn from some of the best vegan chefs in town (and beyond).

This schedule may possibly change a bit. Click on each chef's name to read her bio.

11:00am Ellen Jaffe Jones
author: Paleo Vegan and Eat Vegan On $4 a Day

12:00pm Jo Kaucher
Owner/chef: The Chicago Diner

1:00pm Susen Hunter aka Chef Green V
Corporate chef: Native Foods Café

2:00pm Chef AJ
author: Eat Unprocessed

3:00pm Linda Szarkowski
Owner and chef: Green Spirit

4:00pm Kirti Sheth
Owner and chef: Arya Bhavan

Chicago VeganMania began hosting Chef Demos in 2010, and they have quickly
become one of the favorite events in the festival. We are still finalizing our roster for this year (we'll be announcing it as soon as we can!), but we can promise it will be as exciting as always.

Some of the chefs who have demoed at past Chicago VeganMania events include the Vegan Black Metal Chef, authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Miyoko Schinner, Fran Costigan, Ste. Martaen's Laviyah Ayanna, and many others.

As always, everyone who attends a chef demo gets to sample the tasty creation they were just taught.

About the Chefs
Chef AJ

Chef AJ has followed a plant-based diet for over 36 years. She is a chef, culinary instructor, professional speaker, and author. With her comedy background, she has made appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, David Letterman, and more.

Chef AJ is author of the popular book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight. The book is half confessional memoir, half delectable recipes. It chronicles her journey from junk-food vegan faced with a diagnosis of pre-cancerous polyps, to learning how to create foods that heal the body. Many of her recipes can be seen on her YouTube cooking show The Chef and the Dietitian. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University and is a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.  Learn more about her at
Susen Hunter, aka Chef Green V Susen Hunter Corporate Chef S. A. Hunter – aka “CHEF GREEN V” – uses her vegan superpowers for Native Foods Café, the nation’s premier fast-casual, plant-based restaurant group, headquartered in Chicago, IL. As part of the Native Foods Café Culinary Team, Chef Susen travels across the country to NFC locations presenting free cooking demos to the public and spreading vegan love and knowledge. Chef Susen was raised in a family heavily into dairy farming, cattle ranching, and horse-racing. As a result, she had her heart broken by the “business as usual” deaths of a few beloved cows and many horses until one fall day when she lost a favorite mare to a horseracing accident and declared that no more could she accept the life she was living.

Since then, she has become a dedicated advocate for eating compassionately, creating a sustainable planet, and educating others about healthy living. Chef Susen has a diverse culinary background which includes experience in family restaurants, the galleys of luxury yachts in the Caribbean, the kitchens of clients as a personal chef, in health and wellness clinics, and in years of catering and recipe development as a vegan chef. Over the past decade, she has presented countless demonstrations and talks explaining and promoting a vegan lifestyle and its associated health benefits. Additionally, she has worked as a nutritional consultant and writer for several clients including a worldwide dietary supplement company. It must also be noted that Chef Green V is obsessed with kitchen gadgets and cookie cutters. But she is in therapy and getting help for the cookie cutter issue. You can follow Chef Green V on Facebook at  and on Twitter.
Ellen Jaffe Jones

Ellen Jaffe Jones is a certified personal trainer (AFAA), certified running coach (RRCA) and currently 7th in the US Women's 60-64 1500 meters. She's placed in 73 5K races for her age group, and has done 2 marathons and 6 half marathons since '06 "just" on plants. She's the author of myth-busting books: Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, Kitchen Divided, and the co-author of Paleo Vegan: Plant-Based Primal Recipes, and Running, Eating, Thinking with a book on vegan fitness in '15. Learn more at

Jo Kaucher

Jo Kaucher, a Chicago native and self-taught chef, learned tricks of the trade as an experienced cook & baker in restaurant/hotel kitchens. She became vegetarian in 1971 and hasn’t looked back. In 1983, she co-founded the meat-free Chicago Diner, intuitively pioneering the combination of vegetarian cuisine with comfort food flair.
Kirti Sheth

Kirti Sheth Kirti Sheth is a vegan/gluten-free/raw Indian Chef and the Chef of Arya Bhavan restaurant in Chicago. She enjoys being hospitable, being around people, and nurturing them with products coming fresh from the Home we all share... the Earth.
Kirti has been vegan since she was a child, of her own choosing. It’s something that came natural to her, so she believes it’s been God’s plan all along for her to do what she does.
With a background in agriculture and years of experience growing organic produce on her own land in India and the U.S., she's made it her purpose to promote healthy eating for everyone.

Kirti is constantly at work coming up with new vegan, raw and gluten-free recipes and it’s a great pleasure for her to hear people say they feel better when they eat her food.

Julie Marie Linda Szarkowski Linda Szarkowski is a graduate of the internationally renowned Living Light Culinary Institute. While there she received certifications in the Benefits of Raw Food Nutrition, Chef and Instructor. She also holds certifications from both Alissa Cohen’s Living on Live Food Program and The Un-cooking School. Linda has been a chef at the award winning Chicago Diner and at Beet’s Cafe in Austin, Texas. In addition to teaching classes with Green Spirit, she has taught at the Raw Gourmet International and has been a demo chef at the Taste of Chicago for the past 3 years.

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Chicago VeganMania, September 29, Broadway Armory

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