Who we are

The Vegan Academy was founded by Joris Schildknecht. He wanted to create a place where he could share his enthusiasm for vegan cooking and baking with others interested in plant-based cooking and baking. When Joris, after years as a vegetarian made the switch to vegan, he wondered how he could take plant-based cooking and baking to the next level. After much reading, brainstorming with other chefs, experimenting and testing, he developed a number of techniques and insights that made it possible to develop fantastic plant-based flavours and textures. Initially, he shared his insights in the Masterclass Vegan Cooking, together with cookbook author Eke Marien. Eventually, this resulted in the creation of the Vegan Academy. At the Vegan Academy, you will find live workshops, online courses, interesting articles and delicious recipes. Our principles are tasty, healthy, sustainable and with respect for everything that lives.

Currently, we continue to work with a small team of food enthusiasts to develop new material: recipes, workshops, courses and master classes. For instance, we are having fun “veganising” classics from the culinary tradition. The starting point is that the vegan version should never be inferior to the original. If the result is good enough, you will find it on our recipe page, in a workshop or in a course. We also like to share our knowledge with startups & producers in the food industry, to develop new and tasty vegan products together. You can find more information on our page on product and recipe development & advice..

About Paola
Since 2022, culinary and wine journalist Paola Westbeek has distinguished herself by focusing on plant-based gastronomy. Her personal journey began when her husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Paola delved into the literature of medical and nutritional research and within just two months, the diabetes was reversed – without medication – leading to a turning point in her personal and professional life. Paola wants to get people excited about a plant-based/vegan lifestyle and prove that cooking without animal products is not only healthy, but also elegant and delicious. Paola is a connoisseur and lover of French gastronomy, which is definitely reflected in her contributions to the Vegan Academy.
About Hester
My culinary discovery journey began as a chef in my own catering company and later as a culinary editor at several magazines. During my first wilderness harvest walk in 2016, a new world and palette of flavours revealed themselves to me. This definitely changed my outlook on food. Among other things, it resulted in a small home restaurant where I combine plant-based cuisine with the unique flavours of wild edible nature. New unknown ingredients are super inspiring for me. In addition, I always challenge myself to keep dishes accessible without compromising on taste. You will find these aspects and my love for travelling in the recipes I write for the Vegan Academy.
Founder|Head Chef|Author
About Joris
Since graduating as a chef, Joris almost immediately started working in pioneering vegetarian restaurants. To master all the tricks of the trade, he also gained several years of experience in Michelin-starred restaurants, where vegetarian, let alone vegan, was -literally- not yet on the menu at the time. His big passions in the kitchen from the start were (and still are) vegetable-cuisine and pastry. A few years ago, Joris made the switch from vegetarian to vegan and shortly afterwards the Vegan Academy saw the light of day. All the knowledge gained and cooking enthusiasm of Joris (and the other team members) comes together here and is used to develop the teaching materials and recipes that you as a user of the Vegan Academy can benefit from.
About Monneke
Born 14 February 1955, so yes, if I wanted, there is the possibility of retirement. But I can’t resist. Cooking is simply still my favourite pastime (besides eating good food and a few other things that are not important here). Mediterranean cuisine is my inspiration, but my culinary sphere of influence became increasingly eastern and southern. Starting out mainly with Spanish, Italian and French dishes, my interest soon expanded to Moorish, Moroccan and Turkish cuisine. In recent years, my preference has been strongly “Ottolenghified “. Nice that there are so many countries around the Mediterranean! In general, I use few recipes to the letter, but read cookbooks like novels and distil from them what flavours and textures I want to use. This inspiration finds its way into the recipes I develop for the Vegan Academy.
Website maintenance, development & design
About Neha
Neha Rau is a skilled web developer and designer with nearly ten years of experience. She has been working with Vegan Academy for the last 2 years. Known for her straightforward yet effective approach, she specializes in creating user-friendly websites that offer a seamless experience. Her work particularly shines in complex projects, where she makes complex information easily navigable. Committed to simplicity and functionality, Neha continues to refine her craft, ensuring that her designs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical and user-centric.
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