Miyoko Shiner – Vegan Pioneer

Miyoko and Pearl at Rancho Compassion.

This week, you’re going to hear from a woman who wears many hats. He is a cookbook author and chef, self-confessed turophile and cheesemonger, animal lover and activist, restaurant developer and entrepreneur.

He is a philosopher.

a traveler

A mother.

a guardian

I first discovered Miyoko at the grocery store. Like many of you who are either vegetarian or lactose intolerant, I was looking for a dairy-free butter that cut above margarine. I threw away the seven different types of butter I had in my fridge (I was a newbie baker who appreciated the regional differences in churned cream), and I didn’t think a vegan butter could approximate the richness it gave me when I finally went plant-based. But lo and behold, in the dairy aisle, I spied a box with navy blue font called “Myoko’s European Style Butter” that promised just that. I threw a box in my cart and when I got home to my kitchen, I was thrilled to find Miyoko’s promise? Deliver it.

Me and Miyoko at Expo East in 2017.

Miyoko’s Creamery, formerly Miyoko’s Kitchen, opened in 2014. By 2016, the company had grown 300% year-over-year and set up shop in a 28,000 square foot production facility in the middle of a cluster of traditional dairy farms. Bay area. Because that’s the type of woman Miyoko—if you’re going to start a non-dairy creamery, do it in the dairy capital of California. I think this was before the conflict created between dairy vs. non-dairy came to a head and Miyoko was ready for it. In 2020, Creamery sued the California Department of Food and Agriculture to maintain the company’s right to use the words “butter” and “cheese” on its packaging and marketing materials.

Miyoko wins.

Unfortunately, this was not the end of Miyoko’s legal battle. As some of you may know, Miyoko was removed as CEO of the company that bears her name in June 2022. Earlier this year, the company sued Miyoko under various legal claims. According to Miyoko, this came as a complete surprise. Miyoko argued against wrongful termination, gender discrimination, retaliation, and the like. Just a few weeks ago, the company and Miyoko issued a joint statement, indicating that all legal claims against each other had been dropped.

I met with Miyoko after the lawsuit was filed, which I recorded this podcast on (in late April), and once more after the claims were dropped, last week during the Vegan Women’s Conference. I would say two things:

Miyoko deserves our respect for her privacy. And as such, I made it clear to him that I will not jump into the controversy swirling around him.


Miyoko Shina is a lot. But over everything?

Miyoko Shina is a warrior.

Are You Ready, Ep 49, with Miyoko Shiner

Apple Spotify | Google YouTube

This week’s recipe inspo – Simple Berry Galette.

Now is the season for berries. All berries taste like candy – more so than usual. So, this week’s recipe inspo uses those antioxidant-rich fruits for a very simple, but really crowd-pleasing dessert. I made these two for my family and everyone There were seconds!


  • 1 sheet vegan puff pastry (make sure it’s thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup vegan whipped cream


  • Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  • Place a sheet of puff pastry on a flat surface and start rolling it with your rolling pin. To avoid the pastry sticking to your surface, turn it over at least once. You should have a 9 x 11 inch rectangle.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the top of the puff pastry and use your rolling pin to roll it into the dough. Flip and repeat. Using a sharp knife, score around the dough, an inch from the edge (so you have a rectangle within a rectangle—see photograph or video). Make sure not to actually cut the dough.
  • Place the puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. While the puff pastry is baking, microwave the raspberries for 30 seconds. They should be very runny.
  • Add the melted preserves to your fresh raspberries and stir until the berries are evenly coated.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sugar to your blueberries along with the lemon juice. Stir.
  • When the puff pastry turns golden brown, remove it from the oven. Gently tap the center of the sheet with the back of a spoon and press it down.
  • Pour the raspberries into the center and spread. Next, add the blueberries. Serve with a little whipped cream on top.

Updates and random stuff.

  • Mercy farm Be sure to tune in to The Korean Vegan YouTube channel next week for a special vlog from Rancho Compassion—the animal sanctuary that Miyoko and her team have dedicated so much of their hands and hearts to!
  • Signed book. If you’re looking for signed copies of the Korean Vegan Cookbook, you can find them here and here. They make great gifts for those who forgot to use their original copy!
  • What I see. Alas, we have caught up to the current season black list. We thus break from James Spader et al. And now in London with Carrie Fuller the diplomat. It was a little slow to start, but we’re halfway through and we’re enjoying it a lot. As you read this email, legacy Conclusion and I may or may not be inspired to invade your inbox mid-week (tsk tsk) to share my spoiler-filled thoughts!
  • Do you know BTS fans? I was recently gifted these incredible life-like figurines of BTS. For the record, I am not part of the #BTArmy; However, I find it strangely soothing to have guys watching me while I cook – especially when I’m cooking Korean food. I think it’s because I know this is the closest I’ll get to EVAR cooking for them! If you’re interested in gifting these to that person in your life who is obsessed with BTS (statistically speaking, there’s bound to be at least one person in your life who would love these figurines) or If you want to pick one up for yourself (I won’t judge you, I promise), check them out here.

Parting thoughts.

I once wrote something like:

Driving into Mariano’s the other day, I concluded that there is nothing quite so beautiful as a Chicago sunset coming through thick yellow drops. I was stopped at a traffic light on 18th and stat for a late grocery run. From there, I could see the ghostly silhouettes of passengers embraced by the broken twilight. The train carries them from work to home and from home to work, and thus, carries within its steel ribs a million hearts that have traveled a million miles—along the throbbing arteries of my city, across the deep languor of the lake, and the smiling horizon that beckons and warns. …

Randomly, I thought of a girl I once wrote about. I saw him standing at the traffic light at LaSalle and Grand, grinning against the end-of-day traffic din. It was summer then. She wore a sleeveless slip of a dress and her copper hair was pulled back. With Twilight in full bloom, the freckles scattered across her bare shoulders glistened like caches of lost stars against her fair skin. He turned the corner and I lost sight of him, but didn’t think before I thought of all the places these jerks must have seen, the lips they ate, the hearts they burst under the guise of their moods. I thought then, as I think now, of green things—a pair of unfamiliar green eyes, bolts of green cloth flowing through my hands like a happy river, the green sea and its huge mouth welcoming me into the damp halls of echo. I can’t name it.

– Joan

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