People actively smuggle Smith & Deli‘s food onto planes – that’s how addictive the dishes are. Interstate regulars even bring their own Tupperware containers and cooler bags, so they can enjoy the food at home. That’s the power of what Shannon Martinez, Mo Wyse and El Rosa are doing at the popular Melbourne vegan deli – which is the subject of their new book, Smith & Deli-cious: Food From Our Deli (That Happens to be Vegan).
They’ve reconnected people to dishes they thought they never could eat again, with clever and convincing replicas of meaty and dairy-heavy recipes. Shannon’s plant-based take on smoked salmon made Mo cry, in fact, while El’s inspired a hugely emotional response to her vegan pastries, too.
We chat about the romantic-comedy-like origins of Mo and Shannon’s first meeting, what led to them opening their first vegan business (Smith & Daughters, which also attracts long queues and dedicated fans), Shannon’s surprising appearance at a cheese festival (“I was definitely the token weirdo there”) and her successful experiments with vegan Roquefort, the legal action that followed her popular vegan tribute to Sizzler, and why it’s important to make vegan food legitimately stinky.
You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts or download it via RSS or directly. You can also find it on Stitcher and Google Podcasts nowadays. And major gratitude to everyone who has left a kind review in Apple Podcasts or even directly let me know they enjoy the podcast. It’s endlessly appreciated (and helps power some of these late-night editing sessions)!
Photography courtesy of Bonnie Savage and the Smith & Deli-cious: Food From Our Deli (That Happens to be Vegan) cookbook.