Do “Cougar Wings” with an Asian fusion sauce sound like something you or your kids would like?
Chef Anthony Thomas thinks so, and he has the followers (and customers) to prove it. The Washington, D.C. self-taught chef, who’s been cooking for 13 years, has always been interested in thinking outside the box, mixing spices and flavors that span the culinary world. His mission, in fact, is to provide “interesting, unique dishes that you haven’t seen anywhere else” by incorporating exotic and unexpected ingredients into a dish. Hence, traditional chicken wings mixed with unexpected flavors.
He’s also big on education. Which is why, along with being a personal chef, he’s also a six-time self-published author with books that range from illustrated children’s cookbooks to recipes and tips on eating healthy.
His latest, The Little Vegan Chef, was inspired by quarantine and relies heavily on the cooking he’s done at home with his 4-year-old daughter, Ashlyn, who’s a big fan of anything involving pasta. The illustrated cookbook features Ashlyn as the main character.
The book, like the others he’s written, is built around personal experience and features relatable recipes that anyone can tackle. The Little Vegan Chef follows Mommy, Daddy, What is That? – a fruit and vegetable guide inspired by family trips to the grocery store and the many questions Ashlyn would ask in the produce aisle. He’s also published Ashlyn Eats, a children’s recipe book for new parents looking to provide homemade baby food, #ChefAntWOW, a recipe book that encourages cooking at home (and avoiding fast food) and Making Healthy Eating Fun Again.
Thomas’ mission to educate began in 2010 when he started doing Facebook cooking posts. The goal at the time was to introduce people to flavors and combinations they may not be used to.
As his recipe repertoire on social media grew, people started reaching out to him for his recipes, which sparked the idea of a book. That was in 2014. At first he geared his writings (and recipes) for adults but then, when his daughter was born in 2015, he expanded into writing for children (and their parents).
As his daughter got older and her curiosity sparked in the kitchen, he continued to write to “inspire fellow toddler parents to re-imagine grocery trips with their children as exciting educational journeys.”
The Little Vegan Chef was published in April 2020.
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