“Trying Vegan with Mario” is my favorite plant based cooking show. The host Chef Mario Fabbri, is on a mission; to learn to cook vegan cuisine from the top vegan chefs and nutritionists in the world. I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with him about his journey exploring plant based cooking. He also shared his favorite Valentines day recipe with us (jump to the end)!
From Ted Talks to Tik Toks, I can’t wait to see what Mario has up next on the menu!
Tell me a little about yourself …
M: I grew up in Chicago where I always knew I would work in the food industry. My dad ran a family business making Italian Sausage. At 18 years old I had to decide between going to college and taking over the Sausage Factory. I decided to go to college at the University of Colorado but I dropped out after one year because I wanted to start my own business.
I started a business called Banana Reel that creates cooking shows and advertisements for food companies. This is how I learned to make food content. Years later I would start my own cooking show that aired on television in New York City. Today I host a variety of cooking shows, I also do catering and cook for private events.
Why did you start your vegan journey & cooking channel?
M: I became interested in vegan cooking because in my early 20’s. I saw the power that food can have on your health. I met people who had reversed their heart disease by switching to a plant based diet. This made me completely change the way that I eat.
At the time I was producing other people’s cooking shows, but most of the recipes were insanely unhealthy. So I decided I wanted to create a new show where I would be the host in search of the best vegan recipes. We launched the first two seasons in 2019-2020 on Channel 1 in New York City. I also have a Roku channel that you can download called “Trying Vegan with Mario”.
What have you learned so far?
M: This journey has taught me that food is one of the most important pieces for daily happiness. We all love eating it, we enjoy cooking as an art form and if we eat healthy we can completely change how we feel. I used to have a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast and I would need a nap by 2pm; now I start my day with a smoothie and have more energy than ever before.
What are you most proud of and what sets you apart from others?
M: I’m most proud of my company’s mission. We do our best to make videos that tell meaningful stories. We work on projects that help other people live longer, more sustainable lives. I’ve turned down countless sponsors and partnerships from businesses that have unhealthy products. I’m incredibly proud to work with a number of meaningful start-up food brands and help them grow into big businesses.
Are you sustainable in other ways?
M: We focus on making cooking shows that teach recipes that use sustainable ingredients. We do advertisements for food brands that make efforts to reduce their environmental impact. For example, we partnered with a veggie burger brand that’s main ingredient is a bean that grows in the dessert and therefore uses practically zero water to grow and is incredibly high in protein. Those are the types of businesses I like to support. Also, on the catering side of the business, when we cook for events we use local, plant-based ingredients.
What do you ultimately hope to achieve?
M: My long term goal is to own an entire network of healthy cooking shows. Picture Food Network but instead of fried food and BBQ competitions; everything is plant-based and with a positive message. I’d like to have a physical location with multiple kitchen studios to help emerging talent produce new shows. I’m also partnering with more doctors and food product companies to give them advertising through my cooking shows.
Is there anything else you want readers to know about what you do?
M: During the pandemic, I accidentally became a TikToker and now I’m obsessed. TikTok is a great way to test creative ideas and give quick recipes. I also gave a TEDx Talk that could be helpful for people who want to try eating vegan. You can check it out here: Mario Fabbri | Delicious Recipes To Save The Planet
Mario’s goal is to inspire people to become more aware of where their food is coming from, and eat more sustainably for our planet. Trying Vegan with Mario is streaming on Roku and available on select cable networks.
Check out his e-book and website here: Tryingveganwithmario.com
Until next time…
Strawberry Ice Cream Date Crusted Cupcakes
- 1 Medium Mixing Bowl
- 1 Sheet of Wax Paper Cut into Circles
- 4 Mini Pie Pans (or a muffin tin works too!)
- 1 Vitamix or other High Speed Blender
- 1 Measuring Cup
- Measuring Spoons
- 12 Medjool Dates
- 1 ½ C Strawberries
- 1 Banana
- ½ C Raw Cashews (Soaked in a bowl of filtered water for at least two hours or overnight)
- 3 tbsp Coconut Milk
- 2 tbsp Agave
- 3 tbsp Coconut Flakes
- Take the pits out of all of the Medjool dates.
- Place 7 dates in a bowl and using your hands, mix them together. Really dig into those dates like playdough and knead it until it becomes a paste-like consistency. (If it’s too sticky, get your hands a tiny bit wet).
- Place a circular piece of wax paper at the bottom of each pie shell so that the pie will pop out easily later.
- Take a handful of the date paste that you just made and form it to the frame of your pie pan shells. Push the paste to the bottom and sides of each shell. Add or remove date mixture as
- Place the rest of the dates, 1.5 cups of strawberries, 1 banana, ½ cup of cashews (soaked and rinsed), 2 tablespoons of agave, 3 tablespoons of coconut flakes, and coconut milk in the blender. *Depending on blender’s power, you might need more coconut milk, so add little by little, just enough to blend it up. (We used a Vitamix, an extremely high-speed blender)
- Pour the creamy blended filling into your date crust pies.
- Decorate the tops with anything you like! Strawberries, coconut flakes, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, cherries would all be great.
- Place them in the freezer for at least one hour or overnight
- Remove from freezer and scoop them out of their shells. You can use a fork to get underneath the sides of the pies and they should pop out easily.