The vegetables chef and baker shares his personal journey come veganism, his experience on The good American Baking Show, and also much an ext in ours exclusive interview!

When it pertains to vegan baking, chris Tucker is innovating the plant-based bakery scene. The hairstylist-turned-vegan chef and baker specialization in creating European-style recipes with a touch of southerly charm—examples include cream puffs infused through the spices of peach cobbler, and éclairs filled v sweet potato pastry cream. Throughout his time in London top top The an excellent American Baking Show, Tucker was offered the possibility to showcase the recipes he had been creating for his hair clients, and the recipes turned out to it is in a struggle on the ABC television show. After return from London, Chris continued crafting baked goods for his clients and made the transition from styling hair come whipping up recipes in the kitchen full-time. In 2018, Tucker opened up his own business, Betta with Butta, whereby he continues to develop custom vegetables cakes, cookies, and also more.

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We spoke v Chris Tucker around his time top top The great American Baking Show, his trip to a vegetable lifestyle, and also the inspiration behind his business, Betta through Butta.


VegOut (VO): tell us around your experience on The great American Baking Show.

Chris Tucker (CT): gift on The great American Baking Show to be such fun! Personally, I had actually never been to London, so the entire thing was such a brand-new experience for me. I immediately fell in love v the city and could absolutely check out myself living there one day. Don’t gain me wrong, because that the length of time the the show was filming, over there wasn’t much time because that sightseeing, yet I to be able to prolong my expedition at the finish of shooting, in ~ which time mine parents join me and we did every the touristy things. Filming to be grueling, emotional, overwhelming, exciting, and altogether miscellaneous I would certainly do all over again if given the opportunity!

VO: What is the incentive behind your organization Betta with Butta?

CT: The inspo because that Betta through Butta came from the simple nature the supply and also demand. In my past life (before stepping into my vegan chef role), i was a hairstylist. Being in the kitchen has constantly been part of mine DNA, and I couldn’t run from it anymore after being on the show. Once I changed from London, ns turned my existing hair clients into catering clients. In for being ~ above the show I had currently introduced my clients to this foreign side of me they never knew about. I would certainly constantly lug in small goods and also talk around what ns was trying out with in the kitchen. I already had the clients, i just had actually to look in ~ them from a different perspective. I began doing their cakes for birthdays and catering their smaller events. The company just prospered from there! my motto has constantly been, and also still is, that everything is Betta through Butta (nowadays the Butta just happens to it is in vegan!).

VO: We recognize that you attract much of your culinary affect from the European style of baking. Exactly how do you incorporate this through your southern roots?

CT: ns love the method the European style of baking uses, and also it plays a large influence in my recipe development. Being from the South, my spices tend to lean an ext towards the homestyle Southern influence of my grandparents’ restaurant that I prospered up working at. This days I may take a cream puff (very Euro) yet infuse the spices of a southerly peach cobbler. Top top the Bake Off, i remember Paul Hollywood thinking that an éclair i made no going to work for him yet then he ended up loving it. The éclair (again, very Euro) to be filled through a sweet potato pastry cream and topped through a toasted meringue and also candied pecans. This was a nod come a sweet potato pie (very Southern).

VO: Why did you select to walk vegan, and also how has actually transitioning come a vegetable lifestyle adjusted the way you bake?

CT: mine vegan journey has been quite a long road. I began by offering up red meat and only ate chicken and also fish. I then to reduce the chicken and also would finally give increase the fish as well about 10 years later. I was vegetarian for the longest time but had this preconceived notion that since I was a baker, I can never give up dairy. Mine husband and also I had been told about What the Health more times 보다 we can count, and also one day it’s what we made decision on for our the town hall “pleasure.” The minute the doc ended, us cleared our refrigerator of every animal product, thus beginning our roadway to veganism! i couldn’t, in an excellent faith, continue putting out commodities from Betta through Butta that i knew to be either harming my clients, the environment, or the animals, therefore from that suggest on, all of our products came to be vegan as well. That has absolutely been a finding out curve, however it’s been one that is exceptionally fascinating to me in ~ the same time. The scientific research behind the vegetable market, and what something an easy like the brine native a can of chickpeas can do, is mind-blowing to me!

VO: i beg your pardon of her recipes many represents that you room as a vegan baker?

CT: One cooking recipes that best represents me as a vegetable chef is mine GF/V cacao Chip Cookie. Reason being, I have actually never had actually someone taste one of these cookies and also not say that it’s the finest cookie they’ve ever had (vegan or otherwise). Mine goal together a vegetable chef is come prepare food for world (who might or may not it is in vegan) and have them gain it due to the fact that it’s an excellent food. Ns aspire to be the vegan chef world call upon once they desire to conference a mixed group of people—with all different eating habits—serve castle an incredible meal, and also then shock them in ~ the finish by telling them the was completely plant-based. Ns don’t think there is anything that can’t it is in veganized.

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VO: It says on her website the charity is at the main point of your business. Which local and also national organizations have actually you recently partnered with?

CT: Yes, we think in giving ago to the neighborhood in which we serve and also nationally. We introduced our own initiative over the pandemic that focused on providing family members who had actually been economically affected due to COVID-19 v birthday cakes (free that charge) for your kids. Blowing the end a date of birth candle and making a wish is something all kids should have actually the chance to do, and also we want to take part in that. Ns did a call-to-action on Instagram, and within a pair of weeks we had garnered bakers from around the world, including Canada, India, and the UK, and also countless states here nationally. At Christmas, us partnered with The Alexis project for a toy drive and collected almost 500 toys for their organization’s Santa’s Workshop whereby they permit parents come come in and also shop for your children. It to be so much fun to be a component of and also just the begin of ours partnership v that organization.

VO: What’s following for Betta v Butta?

CT: ns don’t like to border myself come what may be next because the possibilities room endless! I will be making a expedition to Detroit in September because that a guest residency at Frame, where I’ll be serving whole Southern vegan meal as a nod to my grandparents’ restaurant, Tuckers Inn. There will be fried chicken, collards, mac ‘n’ cheese, corn casserole, and many other fun process before and after. If she in town, join us!