What's Your Bag: allplants
Ally Capellino launched the Ripstop group 3 seasons ago to offer alternative versions of our signature designs without compromising on what our bags are known for: being functional and hard-wearing.
Having the AC Ripstop group has also introduced us to people who are choosing alternative and considered lifestyles that are not lacking for fun or creativity.
Alex and JP Petrides are the duo behind allplants, and they embody this way of being. In less than a year they have not only overcome the possible logistical nightmares that may be involved in delivering delicious meals all over the UK, they are also winning people over by sharing their story and ethos in a relaxed and easy manner, which one immediately recognises when you meet them. We visited them in the London HQ where Alex gave some insight into an allplants world.
AC: So, you are a Frank fan, what do you carry in your bag?
AP: Frank is such beautiful backpack – I don’t really understand why all backpacks aren’t the same shape. In my bag I carry: laptop, water bottle, kindle, notebook, pen and gym kit. I always forget my charger but supplement it with a magazine; at the moment, I’m loving BRICK magazine.
AC: How long have you been whipping up your allplants meals and what led you to the idea?
AP: We both decided to drop animal products 2 years ago and were inspired to find so many new ways to bring flavour and variety to our diets. That led to us running a series of Supperclubs to try out some allplants recipes we’d developed and start to get people talking about this new wave of plant-based eating.
We quickly realized that a lot of our guests wanted to eat more plants but didn’t know how to make meals that taste great and fill you with energy, conveniently. So, this January we launched allplants, delivering totally vegan, blast-frozen dishes to homes and offices nationwide. Each meal is prepared like you’d find in a restaurant, kept fresh frozen and ready to eat in less than 15 mins. We’re now serving 1000s of meals a week across the UK!
Super Spring Risotto (Photo courtesy of allplants)
Jerk Jackfruit (Photo courtesy of allplants)
AC: Can you explain a bit about your introduction to Veganism and whether you were inspired by anyone in particular?
AP: People usually try out vegan foods for environmental, ethical or health reasons. For my brother and I, it was the realization that we can have a hugely positive impact on the environment that excited us about making a change. Animal agriculture accounts for 18% of the greenhouse gases emitted worldwide, uses up 30% of the entire earth’s land surface – for feed growing, rearing etc – and 20% of the world’s annual water usage; so even eating vegan a few days a week is a big step towards helping people & planet thrive.
There are so many resources to help, like allplants or Hardihood to recipe websites like BOSH, SoVegan and Minimalist Baker. It takes a challenging 21 days to change any habit – once you’re past that first 3 weeks, it’s clean sailing.
AC: Who comes up with the allplants recipes? It seems like you have to be very creative with food to make a plant-based but indulgent mac n cheese?
AP: Creativity is at the heart of all we do. Whether we’re trying to make our cashew cream that little bit cheesier or ensure the coconut béchamel on our moussaka gets crisp in the oven, we try 100s of different ways to balance the ingredients until we get it just right. We also work with Jackfruit, a big fruit that absorbs flavour and you can tear and pull to look much like pork – that took a lot of experimenting! But you learn so much when you start to try a more vegan approach to eating - like the fact that you can replace eggs in most recipes with soaked flaxseeds (3 teaspoon of water: 1 flaxseed) or aquafaba (the whisked water in which chickpeas have been cooked).
AC: What has the response been- is your clean approach to food popular or is there some work involved in converting the masses?
AP: Our food is healthy, but this isn’t about clean eating. Our Cashew Mac is indulgent and we love making gooey brownies or ice cream.
Eating well doesn’t mean you have to compromise on guilty pleasures. Like most people, we believe in a balanced diet – some days might be super clean, others may be a little naughty; that’s fine. We simply believe that you can have the full, delicious and pleasurable experience of living well, while eating nothing but plants.
By 2030, most people will be mainly vegan – not hippies or activists, just normal, casual and vegan.
AC: When you're cooking, what's on the menu? Do you have a signature meal?
AP: Aubergine volcanoes, lathered in cashew cream and finished with a pomegranate seed sprinkle to start, followed by a simple garlic and chilli oil spaghetti with charred broccoli and parsley tossed through. We'd finish up with a chewy caramel & cacao brownie, topped with homemade pistachio coconut nice cream.
AC: You are a keen cyclist- what is your favourite cycling route in London?
AP: Our office is right by the canal so we often cycle along it to have lunch at Exmouth Market.
With photography by Jess Ellis.