Meet Chef Mark Reinfeld

An award-winning chef and authority on plant-based cuisine, Chef Mark is the founding chef of the Vegan Fusion Culinary Academy. Mark has over 20 years of experience preparing and teaching creative vegan and raw cuisine and has written eight acclaimed books. In 2017, he was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame.

Mark’s culinary education began early. “My first role model was my grandfather, a renowned chef and ice sculptor. He could carve a life sized version of Michelangelo’s David,” Mark said. “He continued cooking and carving ice through his eighties, and was actually carting around an oxygen tank and wielding a chainsaw.”

After college, Mark took a year off to travel the world. He became a vegetarian while working on a kibbutz in Israel. “I saw the impact we have on animals and realized a plant-based diet was the only humane choice,” he said.

After spending several years in San Diego working in the booming natural foods industry, Mark launched Blossoming Lotus Consulting, teaching vegan and raw cooking all over the world.

“Then I went to Hawaii for a two-week vacation and ended up staying for eight years,” Mark laughed. He opened the Blossoming Lotus Restaurant on the island of Kaua‘i and oversaw its growth to become a destination named “Best Restaurant on Kaua‘i.” It also inspired his first book, Vegan Fusion World Cuisine. Published in 2004, it was co-authored with Bo Rinaldi, with a foreword by Jane Goodall, and won nine national awards, including “Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA.”

Since then, Mark has authored seven more award-winning books and has led vegan and raw cooking workshops and chef trainings around the world. He serves as the Executive Chef for the North American Vegetarian Society’s Summerfest and offers consulting services for clients including Google, Whole Foods, Kroger, Danone, The Humane Society, Bon Appetit Management, Aramark, Sodexo and more.

The Vegan Fusion Culinary Academy is the culmination of his dream to bring mindfulness, passion and compassion to the culinary world by encouraging more people to discover the pleasures and benefits of plant-based cooking.


Chef Mark Reinfeld has been a guest on 1 episode.