Deborah Devore wasn’t always into cooking. Five years ago, she wasn’t even excited by it. Then she and her 17-year-old son did a three-week vegan detox, and Devore’s inner chef came to life.
“I have been cooking family meals for over 30 years. Cooking was more a pleasant necessity; I knew it was important but it was not a passion [for me]. Then we did a 21 day vegan ‘experiment’, I wanted to see if we could do it, number one, and if the claims to amazing results were really true,” Devore explained.
About two years later, Devore started the Almost Vegan Cooking School in her home and she has been busy ever since.
The school’s approach is to mix a lot of education on ingredients into an extensive, hands-on demonstration. A typical class session is about two hours long.
“The students will try a lot of different ingredients during a demo, and they become familiar with those ingredients so they walk away with knowledge they keep,” Devore says. Students are supported by an on-staff cooking assistant.
“I chose the name “Almost Vegan” to include everyone. The emphasis of my cooking school is centered on the amazing benefits of more vegetables and plant food in our diet,” says Davore.
While the cooking school is a business, Devore maintains an intrinsically altruistic bent. She is an active member of the well-known A Vegan Life vegan meet-up group, based in Denver, where she is an assistant organizer. The group has nearly 1,000 members. She has been vegan for over three years, since the successful detox. Before that, she had never considered going vegan for even a moment.
“We were not vegetarians [prior to going vegan] so this was a major move in our family; everything was new, organizing the kitchen and new places to shop, the learning of new recipes and non-meat techniques. Quite frankly when I made the switch our kitchen looked like a lab experimental explosion, dirty dishes were everywhere. It seemed like I was constantly cooking and cleaning up.”
But the family was eager to try more new food.
“Everyone was hanging out in the kitchen waiting for the next new dish to taste. We ended up liking all sorts of new things we had never tried before, it was fun and messy!”
Devore enrolled in Cornell University’s online plant-based food certification program designed by China Study author Dr. Colin Campbell and emphasizes the scientific benefits of plant-based food as well as the culinary pleasure that comes with cooking them.
“I gained a better understanding of the science behind the food and developed a deep appreciation for the interconnection of diet and health for all living things. This cooking school has allowed me to share the education and inspiration to create change by the foods we choose to eat every day.”