Search

Hackney chef serves up big vegan flavours

PUBLISHED: 14:41 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 14:41 19 February 2020

Chef Atreka outside her restaurant, All Nations Vegan House in Dalston. Picture: All Nations Vegan House

Chef Atreka outside her restaurant, All Nations Vegan House in Dalston. Picture: All Nations Vegan House

All Nations Vegan House

Hackney chef Atreka runs a Caribbean vegan restaurant and says she’s all about eating naturally and promoting ‘livity’ – or life energy. Holly Chant reports

Spelt dumplings with vegan coleslaw, smoky potato muship and Atreka sauce. Picture: All Nations Vegan HouseSpelt dumplings with vegan coleslaw, smoky potato muship and Atreka sauce. Picture: All Nations Vegan House

A Hackney chef says Caribbean food doesn't need meat to taste good and hopes her plant-based Jamaican meals will get more people picking healthier alternatives and giving vegan dishes a go.

Atreka Cameron says veganism has drastically improved her health and she wants more people to get involved in a plant-based diet - even if it's only every now and again.

"Sometimes you say to people it's vegan - especially Caribbean people - and because they like the taste of their natural spices and herbs they shy away 'cause they think [the food] will be bland.

"My Caribbean vegan food gives them the same big flavours," said the chef.

Chef Atrika showing love and support to a young author Makaylah Safiya William's who produced her own book about her first every trip to the Gambia. Picture: All Nations Vegan HouseChef Atrika showing love and support to a young author Makaylah Safiya William's who produced her own book about her first every trip to the Gambia. Picture: All Nations Vegan House

Her Dalston restaurant, All Nations Vegan House, is the first to serve up vegan 'Ital' meals in Hackney and it's reviving the Rastafarian plant-based food philosophy which has, for almost a century, rejected processed meats and foods.

It's all about eating naturally and promoting livity or life energy.

You may also want to watch:

Atreka began eating and cooking vegan over ten years ago and started her business from home, sending out menus on watsapp.

All Nations' menu changes often. Pictured is a lentil salad with sweet and sour jackfruit and smoky sweet potato. Picture: All Nations Vegan HouseAll Nations' menu changes often. Pictured is a lentil salad with sweet and sour jackfruit and smoky sweet potato. Picture: All Nations Vegan House

"I used to jump on the train come down and deliver the food. A lot of Hackney workers used to watsapp me," Atreka said.

But Atreka's passion for cooking began when she was a little girl growing up in Jamaica. She learnt to cook by watching her mother and would cook her family dinners.

"In Jamaica, you're as mature as you act. If you act like you can do something, they don't hold you back," she said.

The mother-of-seven says she comes alive whilst cooking and thinks people are becoming more conscious about the food they eat.

"I think that's what's turning people to a plant-based, Ital or vegan diets," she said.

Before, All Nations Vegan House was there, the building on Sandringham Road was home to All Nations Cafe and All Nations Barbers. Atreka is proud to be a part of the history of the place and so kept the name it has held for decades.

She told the Gazette: "Muhammed Ali and Marvin Gaye used to come here and trim here. It had a chain of celebrities used to come into the shop and right now the history has returned because I have a lot of celebrities coming in also - so the energy has come around full circle."

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Hackney Gazette