Food entrepreneur looking to take veganism to the masses with cafe

VIndia Silvani-Jones, a vegan chef based in Leeds, has been running pop-up cafes across the city for the past two years. She is now looking to launch her own restaurant called The Jungle Kitchen.
VIndia Silvani-Jones, a vegan chef based in Leeds, has been running pop-up cafes across the city for the past two years. She is now looking to launch her own restaurant called The Jungle Kitchen.
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Growth in veganism is showing no signs of slowing down as more and more people begin to realise that choices aren’t as limited as made out, according to a vegan chef looking to set up a new restaurant.

India Silvani-Jones has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help her get her cafe, The Jungle Kitchen, off the ground.

Ms Silvani-Jones is on a mission to show that veganism isn’t a closed-off sub group and that making dietary changes doesn’t mean sacrificing good food.

“I want veganism to be more accessible to everybody,” the Leeds-based chef told The Yorkshire Post. “I don’t want people to think it’s a closed-off group people.

“I want it to be about good food. It just happens to be vegan.”

The chef is hoping to raise £3,000 through a crowdfunding campaign and will borrow the rest to help her get The Jungle Kitchen up and running.

However, Ms Silvani-Jones says she hopes to exceed that target, as “every little I don’t borrow, it gives it a better chance of being successful”.

For the past two years the chef has been going around the region hosting pop-up cafes and supper clubs at her home.

The Jungle Kitchen will host workshops teaching people the foundations of vegan cooking.

The restaurant will be based in North Leeds and Ms Silvani-Jones has looked at a few potential premises.

“I’m hoping to have around 30 covers in the cafe,” Ms Silvani-Jones said, in addition to an area for people to learn how to cook.

Workshops will have a theme looking to debunk myths around vegan food, Ms Silvani-Jones says, and help people identify alternatives to animal produce.

People in Leeds are “definitely interested” in vegan food, Ms Silvani-Jones said.

She added: “We’ve got lots of amazing independents popping up.

“It’s growing every year more and more.

“A lot of restaurants are adding vegan options to their menus.

“I’ve been selling out all my events and people that are coming are not necessarily vegan.”

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign closes on December 12 and can be found at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1377078336/the-jungle-kitchen-a-vegan-cafe-and-deli-for-leeds?ref=creator_nav

HELPING HAND: Ben Wilson, MD at MPM, with Victoria Hopkins, MD at Hopkins Catering. PIC: Tony Johnson

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