What made you decide to cook and live exclusively vegan
S. Tunca: My motives were actually quite unspectacular. I read a newspaper article about vegan nutrition about twelve years ago. At the first moment my professional curiosity was aroused. How can I, as a chef, cook entirely without animal foods? Thus I started a one-month test phase and occupied myself extensively and immediately with the matter of vegan cooking. For ethical and ecological reasons, I have remained true to the vegan way of life and do not regret this step at any time.
What did you have to give up with a heavy heart?
S. Tunca: I wouldn't say that I had to do without something with a heavy heart. Rather, I would say that I have gained a lot of new positive insights as a result. Of course, the change was difficult for me at the beginning to completely give up animal products, because I used to be a very passionate meat eater myself. Therefore, in my initial phase, I often tried to imitate well-known meat dishes. It's not like meat dishes don't taste good. I'd have to be lying if I said that. I wanted to have the taste that I was familiar with, but consciously refrain from killing living creatures for my enjoyment.
What matters in vegan barbecue?
S. Tunca: Roasted flavors are the key! No different than if I were grilling with animal products. Spices, fresh herbs and marinades are also particularly important.
What is an absolute must?
S. Tunca: Homemade sauces, dips, relishes and marinades are an absolute must.
What do you recommend that the chefs among our readers look for when grilling vegetables?
S. Tunca: When grilling vegetables, marinades are important! That is: fresh herbs, good oils and a high temperature!
Most dishes for grilling don't get beyond vegetables, why
S. Tunca: I wouldn't say that! Marinated tofu or self-smoked tofu, various tempeh varieties (in the classic sense made from fermented soybeans), where now a wide range is offered from various legumes, such as from chickpeas, beans or even lupins. These bring rich variety to any barbecue event. But also textured vegetable protein, called TVP for short, offers a wide range of options for vegan grilling.
Is the secret in the sauces that you dip with it?
S. Tunca: Sauces are an important ingredient to enhance any barbecue event, whether vegan or with animal products!
Pickle or season?
S. Tunca: This varies, depending on taste and what grilled food you want to process. But personally, I tend to pickle grilled food more. Preferably overnight or at least for a few hours.
Herbs or better purist?
S. Tunca: I personally am a big fan of herbs! Therefore, for me, here with the fresh herbs!
For LUSINI Professionals, Serkan Tunca has cooked his favorite recipes. You can find the delicious dishes with video and detailed instructions here:
Serkan Tunca lives and works in Munich. As an independent chef, he provides guests in Munich, Germany and all over Europe with delicious vegan dishes. In workshops and seminars he gives tips on how easy, varied and colorful vegan cooking can be.
Over 60 colorful and delicious recipes of plant-based cuisine from 20 chefs, food bloggers, restaurateurs, TV chefs. Among them four recipes by Serkan Tunca. Best of all, all royalties go to climate protection projects! You can buy the book wherever there are books. Published by Ventil Verlag.