A Derry woman has made her debut appearance as a TV chef on Ireland’s most popular morning television show.
Áine Carlin was showcasing one of the many recipes which look set to make her ‘Keep it Vegan’ cookbook an overnight success.
Having just hit the shelves last month, the all vegan cookbook is already stirring up interest in the English market and is about to be released in Germany and the US.
For Áine, daughter of Marie and Hugo from the Culmore Road, the book has been a genuine labour of love.
The 33-year-old decided to adopt a vegan diet four years ago, along with her husband Jason, after the pair became determined to improve their health, and their ethical footprint on the world.
“Like most people, our diets were full of meat and dairy products,” Áine told the Journal.
“I remember at the time just feeling really rubbish and tired and lethargic. We weren’t sleeping great and I thought it was time for a change. I decided at the time to look into exactly what it was that we were eating and really horrified me. After that both of us had no hesitation about going vegan.”
Áine and Jason were based in Chicago at the time, which the former Thornhill pupil says was an ideal place to make the lifestyle change.
“They have a lot of healthfood providers there and we could get good vegan food quite easily. It was always pretty easy to find the vegan alternative but in other places it can be a challenge.”
Now living in Cornwall where she continues to write and work alongside her husband in the film making industry, Áine said she believes the UK is beginning to catch up when it comes to catering for those, like her, who don’t eat or use animal products.
“London is definitely getting better but what amazed me recently was that during a trip to Belfast, vegans were better catered for there than in London, I had some amazing food in Belfast.”
Áine’s books is one of the first specialist vegan books written for people in the UK.
“It’s practical, the recipes are easy to follow and people will be able to get most of the ingredients here. A lot of vegan books are written with the US market in mind but this will be practical for British and Irish people.”
Asked if she’d consider doing more TV work Áine says she’d have no hesitation.
“It’s something I’d be very interested in and it’s a route I’m pursuing at the moment. “ Áine’s book, Keep it Vegan, is currently available at Easons in Foyleside.