If you aren’t familiar with the culinary genius of Wicked Healthy (the blog, cookbook, and more!), then it is our absolute pleasure to introduce you to chefs, and brothers, Chad and Derek Sarno. Featuring amazing creations such as celeriac pot roast and just about every way to cook mushrooms to mimic any meat you can imagine, Wicked Healthy has done an incredible job at showing the world that vegetables can be transformed into just about anything you can imagine. But building up an impressive recipe repertoire is only one part in their joint mission to transform the food system with plant-based cuisine.

Derek is the former Senior Global Executive Chef for Whole Foods Market and currently serves as Chef and Director of Plant-Based Innovation for Tesco, one of England’s largest grocery chains, and he recently launched a highly successful vegan takeaway line called Wicked Kitchen. He and Chad are co-founders of Good Catch Foods, a company that makes plant-based seafood, and Chad now serves as the VP of Culinary for the company. Chad formerly worked as the Senior Culinary Educator, and RnD Chef for the Global Healthy Eating program for Whole Foods Market, and was formerly the VP of Plant-Based Education and Culinary Wellness at Rouxbe, the world’s largest online cooking school. He has also launched multiple courses including the Professional Plant-Based Certification course.

As you can see, Chad and Derek are both extremely dedicated to working as hard as they can to bring plant-based food to the masses – but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In an exclusive interview on the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast, Derek dives into the other initiatives they have in the works, one being a mushroom-based meat company that works with chicken farms to convert their farms into mushroom grow houses. During his time at Whole Foods, Derek had to visit many livestock farms, and he explains that there is a stark similarity between mushroom grow houses and chicken farms, aside from the obvious cruelty involved in the latter. His goal is to work with livestock farmers to transition out of the meat industry and offer them an opportunity to become mushroom suppliers for their company, Wicked Meaty. In his view, this would incentivize farmers to stop harming animals and provide a sustainable source of income that will ultimately produce a healthy meat substitute. Given the growing success of the meat alternative market alone, this would certainly be a win.

In addition to this exciting new brand, Derek also talks about plans to launch a Wicked Healthy online cooking program to teach anyone and everyone to make their delicious plant-based food. He and Chad are also in the process of launching a docu-series with Woody Harrelson (whom Chad used to work with as a personal chef) that will highlight people creating a more sustainable food system around the world.

To hear more about the exciting endeavors Derek and Chad plan to take on and to learn more about Derek’s unique background and mission, you definitely don’t want to miss this episode!

You can listen to the full episode below or on the following platforms: iTunesSpotify, and Stitcher.


If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast for new episodes with food industry leaders, health, and sustainability experts, as well as entrepreneurs and creative minds who are redefining the future of food – and order your copy of the #EatForThePlanet book!

Image source: Wicked Healthy