Ellen DeGeneres’ Chef Reveals Vegan Cooking Secrets

Chef Roberto Martin

Roberto Martin never set out to be a vegetarian, much less a vegan, chef. But this adventurous omnivore changed his perspective when talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Ross hired him as their personal chef.

“I took it as a challenge,” says Martin, 39. “When I worked as a personal chef for other celebrities, I had constraints such as the wife doesn’t eat fish or the husband doesn’t like onions. I figured I’d do what I do best, which is cook my regular dishes, but just not use animal products.”

Martin figured out a way to make dishes like fried chicken without meat, eggs or dairy taste so delicious that even his employers’ more carnivorous friends enjoyed them. “They felt that it was very different from what they were getting from devout vegan cooks because I was just making regular food vegan instead of making vegan food,” Martin says. DeGeneres was so appreciative that she featured him on her show, and then she told him “You’ve got to make a book.”

That book, Vegan Cooking for Carnivores, was just published, and it remains on several bestseller lists. SecondAct caught up with Martin, who lives with his wife and their son in Los Angeles.


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