Derek Sarno: bringing plant-based food to the masses

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23 min listen

Derek Sarno, co-founder of Wicked Healthy, LLC, and Executive Chef & Director of Plant-Based Innovation for Tesco PLC, has taken a fascinating journey on his path to revolutionising plant-based food across the world. From personal tragedy, to discovering compassionate eating in a Buddhist monastery, to bringing plant-based food to the masses his story provides a unique window into what drives his passion for change.

Host Stefan Gates joins Derek to hear his story, and to discover what’s next at Wicked Healthy and Tesco for plant-based food and drink.

About Derek Sarno

Derek Sarno is the co-founder of Wicked Healthy, LLC, and also serves as Executive Chef & Director of Plant-Based Innovation for Tesco PLC, where he is leading the company’s efforts to bring delicious, unpretentious vegan foods to market.

Prior to co-founding Wicked Healthy and partnering with Tesco, Derek served as the Senior Global Executive Chef for Whole Foods Market, where he oversaw global research and development for the company’s prepared foods department, worked with suppliers and leadership to develop and promote plant-based foods across the organisation, and served as Culinary Director for the WFM Academy for Conscious Leadership.

Derek is a serial entrepreneur, founding several award-winning restaurants and food service companies in the United States, including the One Hundred Club, Mahalo’s Catering, and Mizuna’s. Derek also served as the resident Chef & Gardener at Padma Samye Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and retreat center in upstate New York. During his years at the monastery, Derek grew and cooked the meals for the Sangha, and learned how to sit quietly. This time helped him become less of a jerk.

Derek is the co-author of the Whole Foods Market Diet cookbook (Fall 2018), and the Wicked Healthy Cookbook (Spring 2018). He is the proud father of Jake (a human boy), and proud foster-dad to Mildred (a ninja squirrel in Portland, OR) and Buddy (a red fox that hangs out behind his house in London.)

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