Authors of the popular Bosh cookery books Henry Firth and Ian Theasby have become the faces of plant-based cooking. Here, we find out what inspired them to go vegan, why it’s…
Sheffield boys Henry Firth and Ian Theasby are at the top of their game. Their first book, Bish Bash Bosh!, raced to the top of the Amazon charts on preorders, and then their second book Bosh!, became a bestseller too. Now they’re on their third book, How To Live Vegan and the boys aren’t showing any signs of stopping. A quality that both the Bosh boys share (other than a love for plant-based cookery) is a drive to keep creating. With plans to expand their reach using social media and plenty of fodder for future recipes books, the boys have lots to keep them occupied. And, while finding time to cook for themselves can be tricky, they’re determined to spread the word about how accessible plant-based eating can be, whatever your budget.
Ian: Henry and I met in secondary school when we were 11, and we became good buddies after that. Our careers took us on different paths until around about six years ago, when I started working on a startup that Henry had founded. Since then we’ve stayed together, first on the startup and now on Bosh.
Henry: Of course, we’re learning new stuff about veganism everyday, because it keeps growing. I’ve loved cooking since I got my first Jamie Oliver book when I was 15. My mum had a big influence on me as well and showed me how to cook a lot of Pakistani food. Around nine years ago, I had a personal trainer who taught me a lot about nutrition, so I’ve dissected his lessons and aligned my own recipes in a way that is similar to his.
Ian: We decided to write How To Live Vegan because loads of people were asking us questions about our lifestyle. Like, ‘why did you consider going vegan?’ And, ‘do you think it’s better for the planet?’ We quickly discovered that a lot of people equate being vegan with having knowledge around nutrition! People also become very interested in what your shoes and belt are made from, because there’s a lot of non-food stuff that’s related to this way of living. So, we thought we would put all our thinking and learning into book form
Henry: We don’t always get time to cook because our schedule is a little crazy at the moment. We’re putting two new videos up on our YouTube channel every day – one of them is a recipe that we shoot in batches and then the other is a more casual kind of vlog, so we do end up cooking together a lot – but when we don’t have a chance then sometimes it’s Deliveroo, or a veganfriendly food market!
Ian: I think that it’s a misconception that a plant-based diet is costly. The most expensive part of a meal is often the meat, particularly if it’s high welfare. So immediately pulling that out of a dish is going to make it cheaper. Then, if you’re equating that with some other form of protein, like tofu, then you’ll find that you don’t even need the same amount to make up the nutritional value. However, what isn’t available to a lot of people is the education around cooking and nutrition. We’re aware that a lot of the time, people don’t know how to cook a plant-based meal from scratch and we know that cheap meat does deliver on protein.
Henry: You can make plant-based eating easier by spending time researching what to cook. Buy in bulk, use your local farmer’s market and make the most of your freezer. A top tip that we always tell people is not to buy things in packets that are labelled vegan. Go for fresh food instead, because the minute you start buying vegan burgers and vegan sausages, which aren’t necessarily part of a balanced diet, that’s when the cost starts to go up.
Henry: If you want to try it, then start introducing veganism gradually into your life. For example, swap out your sausage sandwich at breakfast for a veggie version. Then, after a little while, swap out your cheese sandwich for something like a falafel wrap and drop the occasional vegan meal into your weekday dinner plans. People have to go at their own pace and align it with their lifestyle for it to be a long-term thing.
Henry: We wanted to make the largest plant-based video channel in the world and we did. Then, we said we wanted to write a bestselling book a year for the next year for 10 years and we’ve had two now. We’re going to keep putting these books out. The next challenge for us is finding a way to get our food to people physically, whether that’s via shops or supermarkets, so we’re exploring our options.
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