Gallusser-Warner understands the struggle. "I stopped eating meat fifteen years ago, after I discovered what veal was, but growing up in the South around comfort food, I really missed those flavors. Who doesn’t love mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy, pot pie, corned beef, stuffed cabbage, chicken fried steak -- not to mention the desserts! These are the foods I grew up with, the foods my grandmother and mother would cook for me. And I chose to sacrifice those foods for my love of animals."
That is, until she learned to recreate them without meat or meat byproducts. "You can make anything vegan if you put your mind to it. I’ve made ‘chicken’ pot pies that were better than the real deal... I continue to surprise myself sometimes."
Louisville’s vegan scene is creating an inclusive culture, and it’s making new traditions to hand down to the next generation. These chefs, restaurateurs, and everyday folks are grafting veganism onto old Southern roots, and developing this cuisine in a new, modern light. They’ve set out to prove that it’s possible to choose this lifestyle for your health, the well-being of the planet, or your love of animals, and still take part in the communal dining spirit that is essential to Southern comfort.