Why meat is on the menu for plant-based Yorkshire chefs BOSH! in their new cookbook

What started as a health kick has now led to two vegan friends running a huge online “restaurant” sharing their love for delicious food.So why have the Yorkshire born BOSH! Boys - who made a name for themselves as plant-based chefs - named their latest cookbook MEAT?

Our plant-based reporter Sophie Mei Lan Malin, also from Sheffield, chats to Henry Firth and Ian Theasby aka BOSH! from their London studio in Hammersmith.

Eight years ago Henry and Ian setup BOSH! after Ian decided to go on a health kick and try vegan food.

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While Henry thought he was “crazy” at the time, when he discovered how going vegan was better for the planet he decided to try it too.

BOSH! Meet the vegan chefs from SheffieldBOSH! Meet the vegan chefs from Sheffield
BOSH! Meet the vegan chefs from Sheffield

Henry said: “That was a big push for me to try going vegan. I then realised how much better I felt and easier it was.”

The pair, who were living and working together at the time, said there weren’t many vegan cookbooks, takeaways or restaurants.

“The learning process we went through inspired us to set up the channel,” added Henry.

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This gave birth to BOSH! as the pair set about creating vegan dishes and recipes.

BOSH! release their new cookbookBOSH! release their new cookbook
BOSH! release their new cookbook

“Fan favourites are the cauliflower buffalo wings which have found their way onto a lot of pub menus,” said Henry who thanked the venues that actually credit their recipe. “There’s our chilli which is a staple amongst veggies nowadays.”

Ian said their crispy chilli tofu from their first book is still popular. “We get told it is delicious time and time again,” he said.

Now the pair are trailblazers in their own right, and getting your first Bosh recipe book has become the ultimate initiation into veganism, especially for plant-based eaters in Yorkshire.

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Henry said: “More supermarkets in Sheffield stock our products than anywhere else.”

Sheffield had already become a city of music but thanks to Ian and Henry and a range of independents, the former industrial city is now a go-to vegan foodie haven, helping to put some of the city’s venues and ingredients on the culinary map.

But while their unique recipes and stunning videos have earned them a whole army of plant-based eating fans, they, like most vegans, face criticism.

Almost every meal or coffee with a new person involves a discussion on veganism, from the health benefits or perceived lack of protein or vitamins from the lifestyle to the idea that being vegan is a luxury.

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Recent headlines about the impact of processed plant based food is another criticism vegans face regularly and something the boys are also well versed on.

Henry said: “People say I don’t like this ultra processed food. If you’re looking in your shopping basket are you asking if everything is ultra processed?

“Because if you are only concerned about vegan meat then maybe there is a bit of unconscious bias.”

The boys cut through the noise with their accessible range of products and cookbooks such as BOSH! on a budget.

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Their latest offering in the cookbook market is titled Meat, “showing you how to cook delicious dishes that feel and taste like meat, but are in fact 100 per cent plant-based.”

The ideal guide to people who are transitioning from eating meat to adopting a plant-based lifestyle.

Henry said: “You can have meat made from plants. We want to show you just how tasty, meaty and textured things can be when working with plants.”

Another argument non-vegans tend to make is all vegan food is rabbit food and lacks flavour.

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But Ian added: “(MEAT is) the best book for people trying a plant based lifestyle. Food you actually want to eat. All of it is full of texture.”

MEAT looks set to be the ideal plant-based bible for those turning vegan for January in the annual Veganuary campaign alongside many shops and restaurants serving up BOSH! products and recipes.

Ian hinted their dishes will be in some major restaurants throughout the country, and added: “January is our favourite month of the year.”

So what’s next for the BOSH! boys who’ve sold over one million cookbooks and have had two billion views to their vegan recipes?

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Ian who lives in London with his vegetarian partner is expecting his first in November and Henry and his vegan partner are already busy with his first child who he is currently bringing up plant-based.

Henry said: “Baby Bosh it almost writes itself. We’re thinking about it.”

But he said they’d wait until Ian comes out on the other side of having a newborn and maybe manage a night’s sleep.

However they are inundated by people who want to cook vegan food for their little ones.

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Henry said: “If anyone wants to get in touch in Sheffield about that we’re more than happy to talk to them.”

So what impact has going vegan had on Ian and Henry’s health?

Ian said: “ Anyone who hasn’t tried a plant based diet should give it a whirl. It’s truly fantastic.”

When the boys had a recent health check including their full bloods, Henry said they both got “absolute rock star scores.”

He added: “Give it a try, what have you got to lose?”

MEAT will be released on August 17, costing £22 RRP

Go to bosh.tv