My name is Kiki Blake. I’m a formally trained vegan chef living in Casper, WY. I have been vegan since February 2010 and have had a passion for cooking ever since. At first, I went vegan for ethical reasons. The thought of eating animals disgusted me and at the time, nothing else mattered. I didn’t even consider the fact that I had no idea how to cook for myself. Going vegan in Wyoming at that time was slightly difficult and confusing at first, so my mom bought me my first vegan cookbook 500 Vegan Recipes by Joni Marie Newman and Celine Steen. That book showed me that I didn’t need any fancy ingredients to be vegan. I could get everything I needed at any regular grocery store. Most importantly, it uncovered a love for cooking that I never knew existed.
I quickly became fascinated with the vegan food trends in larger cities and began following the works of various plant based chefs across the country. Through my interest in those chefs, I discovered the former Natural Gourmet Insititue for Health and Culianry Arts (now the Natural Gourmet Center at ICE), an 80% plant based culinary school located in New York City.
Over the years, I began cooking and baking for family and close friends, which quickly turned into selling cupcakes. A year after graduating high school, I attended the Natural Gourmet Institute and completed their chefs training program in January 2016. After school, I worked at a vegan cafe in NYC before moving back to Casper.
When I moved back, I felt desperate to find good vegan food and the only way I found that was by cooking it myself. I had many people suggest that I sell my food at farmer’s markets, so I decided to run with the idea. Eventually, people began requesting full dinners, so I started creating menus. Thus, the concept for Vegan in Wyoming was born. There wasn’t a plan, just inspiration and passion. I wanted everyone to feel like they had access to vegan food anytime and anywhere, even in the land of meat and potatoes!