Plant-Based Chef You Should Know: Lexx

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Chef Lexx Ambrose vegan clothing company (thus the no diary shirt) if you end up using that photo can you please credit the vegan photographer Claire Buchanan
Vegan, Plant-Based Chef Lexx Ambrose. Photo credit: Claire Buchanan

I first came across Chef Lexx on Instagram.  Their vegan charcuterie board caught my eye with its artistry.  Lexx was elevating simple, plant-based ingredients to the level of a fine-dining masterpiece.  The finesse displayed a skill that hinted at classic culinary training.  Yet, the ingredients were all vegan.  Immediately, I needed to know more about Chef Lexx.

Like other plant-based chefs, Lexx wasn’t always a vegan.  I connect with their story in many ways:

  • First, we both said we’d “try vegan for a month”.  This month eventually turned into years which has turned into a “never going back”. 
  • Second, we both strive to shake up the culinary world and our communities by elevating the presentation of plant-based dishes with the artistic skill of trained chefs. 
  • Third, and perhaps most importantly, we aim to create change with love and openness.  When skeptics speak up, we both adopt the “Just taste this” approach.  When critics persist, we both know it’s best to walk away and simply be open when someone is ready to think bigger.

Lexx’s food speaks for itself.  It is gorgeous and elegant.  Free of any animal products, it pushes the creativity limits.  Imagining a plate beyond meat-and-potatoes, it inspires imagining a world beyond the-typical-norm.  Chef Lexx inspires me to push my own creativity in elevating plant-based cuisine.  I hope they will inspire you to open your creative thinking and shake up the standard routine.

Chef Lexx vegan charcuterie boards
Chef Lexx vegan charcuterie boards

Raised on Gas-Station Lunches

Imagine you’re a seven year-old kid.  It’s early in the morning, and you’re getting ready for school.  Your single, working parent is preoccupied with her own needs.  On the way to school, there’s a quick stop at the gas station.  Frantically, a quick, processed, packaged food-like meal would be tossed in your backpack.  Later, at lunch, you’d peel back the plastic.  The smell of chemical would waft over you.  You were to eat this and be grateful.

This was Lexx’s lunch for most of her childhood.  Her meals were often “the types of food that never molded”.   As a child, meals were an afterthought.  It’s no wonder, now, that food is at the forefront of this chef’s thoughts.

Chef Lexx Ambrose raw vegan calamari
Chef Lexx Ambrose raw vegan calamari

Making an Ethical Choice to go Meat-Free

Since childhood, Lexx was an animal-lover.  However, they grew up in a community that stressed the importance of eating meat to stay healthy.  It wasn’t until they were 21 that they quietly decided to try a vegetarian diet.  They connected with another like-minded soul over the welfare of the planet.  They also moved to Vancouver and became immersed in a community of health-conscious people.  It started with an “I’ll try vegan for a month” approach.  That was over 6 years ago. 

There’s no going back.

Chef Lexx Ambrose mezze plater featuring all raw vegan elements
Chef Lexx Ambrose mezze plater featuring all raw vegan elements

Improvements in Health Since Eating Plant-Based

Going plant-based has not just affected their relationship with animals.  Rather, it has also affected them mentally and emotionally.  They consistently feel “more balanced, less mood swings, able to handle conflict better”.  In general, they feel much happier and stable emotionally.

Physically, Chef Lexx’s weight has found its “healthy normal”.  Their skin now radiates with that hallmark plant-based glow.

As a child, Lexx struggled with learning.  They faced difficulty focusing in school, a problem that they later linked to diet.  It was when they changed their diet, as an adult, that they were able to look back and see the correlation between her poor, highly-processed meals and an inability to concentrate. 

On a personal level, even relationships with others have grown much deeper.  They’ve connected on a profound level with other vegans.  The types of people and conversations they’ve been sharing are fostering a more-connected, genuine community.  It is “incredible.  I feel a level of depth in my life that was never there before.”

Chef Lexx - Soured cashew cream roasted potatoes with cracked pink peppercorn, fresh green pea purée, local red currants and garnished dill flowers
Chef Lexx – Soured cashew cream roasted potatoes with cracked pink peppercorn, fresh green pea purée, local red currants and garnished dill flowers

Elevating Plant-Based Cuisine as a Chef

Lexx was always drawn to artistic expression.  Empowered with a deeper connection to food, they have pursued this passion to elevate vegan cuisine. They began working in restaurants at age 19. Yet, they left when the type of dishes they were asked to prepare didn’t match vegan values.  Lexx signed up for Matthew Kenney’s private academy for plant-based chef certification.  This intense program from the highly-respected vegan chef gave Lexx the skills and confidence to begin carving their own path in the plant-based world.

Now, Lexx uses their talents in many avenues.  Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, they cater private events and pop-up dinners.  They work one-on-one with private individuals to create custom meal plans and guidance.  They cook for wellness retreats, where they spends days in the kitchen feeding a group of people dedicated to improving their lives.

Their cooking passion intertwines with a love for animals, too.  In a heartbeat, Chef Lexx will jump at the chance to donate time and services to The Alice Sanctuary, an animal shelter based in Vancouver.  Engaged with their community, they inspire a “gratitude and giving” attitude about sharing gifts.  Just following Lexx on Instagram, you will be motivated to become more involved in your own passions.

Chef Lexx Ambrose executing a signature dinner collaboration
Chef Lexx Ambrose executing a signature dinner collaboration

Pushing the Boundaries With Open Arms

Chef Lexx continues to explore opportunities with plant-based cooking, and they’ve been surprised by the open acceptance.  There is an increasing demand for healthier food that nourishes the body while also preserving the planet.  People are opening their eyes (and their mouths) to delicious possibilities of a plant-based diet.

As with any change, though, there are always critics.  Chef Lexx’s strategy for handling them?  Feed them.  Let the food speak for itself.  If they still want to argue, Lexx learned it’s best to walk away.  “I don’t see value in putting all my energy into someone who has their mind made up before they even give something a chance. Anyone with that mindset can live their life and come back to me when they have done their ego work.”

Indeed, this is a good lesson for any teacher.  Let us give our energy, our passion, and ourselves to our willing students.  Together, we can continue to learn from each other.  We grow as a community, bound by a common mission.

Chef Lexx Charcuterie Board


Follow Lexx and Get Their Recipes

To see the latest creations in Chef Lexx’s kitchen, follower on Instagram. I love their post for “IDGAF Bowl”. Like me, we can spend hours toiling over the food we make for others. Yet, we often barely find 10 minutes to cook for ourselves:

  • Avocado
  • Firm Tofu Chunks
  • Fancy Micro Greens
  • Balsamic Vinegar and Salt
  • No effort, still tasty, still satisfying
Chef Lexx Microgreen Bowl
Chef Lexx Microgreen Bowl

Do you relate to Chef Lexx’s plant-based journey?

Did you grow up eating from gas stations or fastfood restaurants? Has your relationship with food become more mindful as an adult?

How do you handle skeptics or critics? Do you welcome their questions and wait, with open arms, until they open their minds.

Do you view food as art? Do you find joy in expressing yourself through beautiful, crafted dishes?

Maybe you’re 100% on the plant-based, whole foods vegan track. Or, maybe you’re still trying to find what works best for you and your life. Please share your comments below: Your struggles, your successes, and what resonates with you.

Sharing-Rules

Plants-Rule,

Chef Katie


Chef Lexx prefers to be described with the pronouns “they/them”. I had to update my grammar and learn about nonbinary gender pronouns. To learn more, read this helpful article from the University of Minnesota.

The world is always growing and changing.

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Join the Discussion

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  • In your recent post about Chef Lexx, you missed one pronoun. I don’t think you intended this sentence to say “her”. Her cooking passion intertwines with a love for animals, too. I have to say, this was the first article I’ve ever read that uses “their” instead of “his” or “her” and it was disconcerting at first. Not so bad after getting used to it. Anyway, I thought you would want to know.

    Thanks,
    Bob

    • Thanks for catching that! Yes, this was the first time I had written an article using non-binary pronouns. Took a little getting used to at first, but now I understand it. Plus, I feel like I’m seeing/hearing it more and more. Thanks again!

  • Ah! I love this! I too found Chef Lexx through Instagram and adore peering through their culinary delights. So much artistry and elegance. I loved learning more about this inspiring Chef!! T

    • Thanks so much, Maggie! Glad you enjoy. I love that we’ve all connected and continue to inspire each other.

  • Thank you for using non-binary pronouns! I saw that you did use a binary pronoun when referring to Lexx’s childhood experiences with gas-station food. While perhaps accurate for that stage of their life, it’s not necessary. Probably check with them and edit to their preference?
    You’re a total rock star. I’ve been following your blog & getting your emails for several months. You’re a leader in so many ways, and the recipes & photos are mouth-watering! 😋 Thanks for stepping out with non-binary pronouns!
    MaryBeth (she/her/hers)

    • Thanks, Mary Beth. I did check with Lexx about their preferences, but we both missed this. This way of writing is fascinating – my mom (a retired teacher) was such a stickler for grammar. I love that we continue to grow and learn… even in the world of pronouns. I think I’ll keep the pronouns as they are, as that is what Lexx is approved. Thanks for noticing though!