Thursday, October 29

Bitchy Vegan Homo Serves Up Some Delicious Mean and Green

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by Ilona Westfall

With a name like Bitchy Vegan Homo, it’s obvious these aren’t your sweet old nana’s baked goods. But frankly, a BVH “Best Damn Brownie” will blow her finest recipes out of the water. The vegan brownies and other treats sell like hotcakes at Cleveland-area pop-ups, festivals, and other events, while the lifelong cooking aficionado’s recipes and Youtube cooking videos attract plenty of views online. We talked to the Bitchy Vegan Homo himself, Dave Huffman, about his brand name, veganism, and what’s coming up next. AND we also snagged a recipe for Vegan Zucchini Muffins (exclusive to The Buckeye Flame).

How bitchy and how homo is the Bitchy Vegan Homo?
I think it depends on the day for both. The name started because I was making dinner one night for one of my best friends and we’re just busting each other’s chops and he said, “Shut up, you bitchy vegan homo.” And I was like, “That’s going to be the name of the show,” because I had been talking about a YouTube cooking show. I immediately went online and bought the domain and claimed the accounts and all social media platforms. It took me almost five years before I actually did something with it. But to answer your question, people that know me very well say that I definitely have a bitchy side. I always say that servers at restaurants probably think I earned my name. When I’m at events, everyone is like, “You don’t seem very bitchy.” It’s like, well, I’m in a good mood, you’re here buying vegan brownies from me. Like, I’m not going to be too mean. And how homo… Pretty homo I guess. I think my pink Converse tennis shoes would tell you how gay I am.

Why should people transition to a vegan diet?
Everybody has to make that decision for themselves. What makes it the most important thing to me has always been an animal rights issue. I stopped eating red meat when I was 12 or 13 and I’d still eat chicken and fish for a little while after that, but I never was able to eat anything off of a bone. Like that was always just too like visceral. If I could reflect it back onto my own body, I just could not process it. So I would say I can eat a carrot because I don’t have a carrot. I can’t eat ribs because I have ribs. That’s kind of how my mind works about it, but there are so many other great reasons to become vegan. The environmental impact of it is undeniable. Why live your life with cruelty in it if you can not. I know that’s weird coming from someone whose name is bitchy, but you know what I mean? I always say that people have evolved above the food chain. We understand the science of food. We understand where we need to get nutrition from and the vitamins we need. We can get all that we need from plants. So why would we take the life of another living creature just because you “like the taste of it.” I think that’s not a very good reason.

Is there a connection between being LGBTQ+ and vegan?
No. I’m always surprised that there aren’t more queer vegans, to be honest with you. Whenever I meet another gay vegan that comes up to me at one of these events, I’m like, “Yay!” Because there doesn’t seem to be as many as I would have expected. And I don’t know why that is. I only have maybe one other gay vegan, close friend. I just wish everyone was, but I don’t know that there’s a connection between me being gay and me being vegan as much as it’s just always been who I am and I’ve always had a hard time not being me.

What does the future hold for Bitchy Vegan Homo?
There were a lot of things that were in the works: I had a couple of people’s weddings I was going to be doing desserts for, but then the wedding got canceled and all the veg fests have been postponed or canceled. So this year has been a big question mark. I’m doing a lot more pop up events since the veg fests aren’t happening. I’ve got something brewing for August that I’ll be doing with Melt Bar and Grilled again. Melt and I have partnered before, where they’ve offered the Best Damn Brownies at their Cleveland locations. We’re going to be doing something like that again, as well as me doing a pop up at one of the stores. And hopefully some more videos in the not too distant future. I’ve got some new dessert ideas that I’m trying to launch as well for each of these next pop ups. I always want to have a new thing so that it’s not just always the same stuff, even though the brownies are still what everybody is excited for and I’m certainly not going to deny people the Best Damn Brownie.

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Ilona Westfall is a Cleveland-based freelance writer. When she’s not penning articles for a variety of northeast Ohio publications, she’s roller skating with Burning River Roller Derby, rolling d20s with her D&D group, or getting muddy in the woods. Follow her on twitter @IlonaWestfall. 

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