Maxine is a former professional vegan donut maker
Get to know Maxine in this cook Q&A, and get her “Vegan Tamales” 5-8PM on FRIDAY (3/9) in Logan Square!
Q. How did you first learn to cook?
Maxine: I’ve been cooking forever! When I was a kid, I was really into cooking and baking shows on PBS. My mom isn’t much of a cook (sorry mom!), so if I wanted anything interesting, I had to figure out how to make it myself.
My first job was in catering. Since then, most of my jobs have been in kitchens or food retail. My most recent job was making many many dozens of vegan donuts from scratch in the middle of the night!
Q. What can you tell us about your “Vegan Tamales” and what inspired them?
Maxine: I grew up with the typical big Mexican family. Every year, we would get together for the holidays and help my nana prepare the tamales.
One year, after declaring that I was vegan, I brought a lentil loaf to Thanksgiving and didn’t eat the tamales. Everyone made fun of me and I ate my sad lentil loaf, not even considering that I could just adapt my nana’s recipe to make them vegan. My nana has since passed, but these tamales are pretty close to my memory of how we made them when I was a kid. I hope she would approve!
Q. How would you describe your cooking style?
Maxine: I make pretty comfort food! I like simple things prepared well, but I also want it to be visually appealing. I need my food to be colorful and full of vibrant flavors.
I love vegetables and try to include as many as I can with everything I make. I’m also really into making as much from scratch as possible. I go through phases where I’m like, nah, let’s not buy that, I can make it myself. Other times, convenience wins out and I’ll just buy the freakin’ carton of soy milk.
Get Maxine’s “Vegan Tamales” 5-8PM FRIDAY (3/9) in Logan Square! And follow her to see what she makes next!
The Shmeal Team. 🐖💻