Rika + Doni are a couple, photographers, global travelers and vegan foodies based in Oregon, but living elsewhere as often as possible. The term “miam” is just a way of saying yummy in French and represents their desire to discover decadent vegan cuisine and recipes around the world together.
Running Vegan Miam is a full time project for Rika – along with developing recipes, testing cookbooks and products, editing photos and being responsible for social media and web administration she also travels in search of new inspiration, unique perspectives, lasting memories and insider vegan travel tips. When she’s not working on Vegan Miam she’s working as a creative designer/developer.
Being Taiwanese is intrinsic to who Rika is and factors into how she views and tastes food. She loves her soups brothy, appreciates her veggies and isn’t afraid of a bit of funk and fermentation. Her passion for Asian cuisine is undeniable, but through her travels she sees her palate and personality growing more than she ever imagined. She loves the scientific approach of recreating dishes sampled during her travels when she is back home in her own kitchen.
When Rika’s not in the kitchen working on a recipe or at her computer running Vegan Miam she’s likely reading a Scandinavian crime novel, watching a British television series, eating vegan salted caramel or spending time with any and every animal she can find.
Rika has been a vegan since 2006. Beyond her diet, when she has a choice she chooses compassion, she chooses vegan.
Doni is the resident ’second opinion’ in the kitchen, always on hand to help craft new dishes and offer a different perspective during the development stage of recipes. Give him a knife or put him over the plancha and he’ll feel right at home, just keep him away from the mandoline!
Doni brings his passion for travel to Vegan Miam in the form of our vegan travel reports, airline & hotel reviews and vegan city guides. When he’s not looking for new vegan eats he’s often watching his beloved Liverpool FC or wandering with his camera between dusk and dawn in search of light.
Having spent a considerable bit of time in France, Sweden and Denmark during his formative years, he’s well versed on what it takes to be vegetarian in a foreign country, culture and language.
He gradually phased into a vegan diet recently after being a lacto-vegetarian for the majority of his life.
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How did you guys meet?
Rika and Doni went to the same University. He surprised her with vegan cupcakes with her name, RIKA on them and loads of French greeting cards with “MIAM” on them. And vegan miam was born.
You travel a lot, so far which has been your favorite food destination?
Thailand is their favorite food destination. Cheap, tasty, culturally aware and open to vegetarian and vegan diets and the food is often made to order so even non-vegan restaurants are able to accommodate.
How did you guys get to travel so often?
Travel is their passion and to be able to continue doing it requires a bit of effort and plenty of flexibility. Doni keeps a firm eye on airfare deals, makes great use of their frequent flier miles and hotel loyalty points and also uses Airbnb to find long-term deals. They much prefer to be a traveler than a tourist, and being able to stay in apartments can not only save money but also provide a more local perspective.
Doni is available to consult with travelers to plan trips and find the best deals. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in a consultation.
What is the ONE “magic” ingredient you can’t help but to always use in your cooking?
Miso. If you asked Rika which one ingredient she absolutely needs, it would be a good sea-salt, but the one ‘magic’ ingredient for her is Miso. It delivers that umami flavor that provides an added depth and complexity.
When and why did you become interested in vegan cooking?
Rika really only got interested in vegan cooking in the last 2 or so years and it was the travel that propelled her to cook more.
In late 2011, she initially started her blog to share their experiences as vegan travelers but quickly found that their experiences abroad motivated them to craft dishes inspired by their travels.
There is nothing more rewarding than bringing food back, both figuratively and literally, from their travels.
While traveling, Rika and Doni love to craft local dishes using locally sourced ingredients but they also enjoy bringing concepts and dishes back from their travels to veganize at home.
What is your photography gear like?
May I post vegan miam recipe & photos on my Web site?
Please understand that it takes hours to post, edit photos and create content for a blog.
It’s okay to post an image from Vegan Miam with logo and direct link to the original post and/or recipe (directing your readers to the original recipe on veganmiam.com). Altering an image is an unacceptable practice of reproduction or use, e.g. removing the logo/watermark. If you would like to reproduce anything more than an image, contact Rika at email@example.com.
Recipes that belong to Vegan Miam or the cookbook author cannot be duplicated on social networks or any other pages unless with a written permission by Vegan Miam, the cookbook author and/or the cookbook’s Publisher.
If you edited the recipe to make it your own, that is perfectly fine, but please include the credit to Vegan Miam (http://www.veganmiam.com).
What is your favorite vegan and/or vegan-friendly restaurant around the world?
1. Naturalmente Restaurante Vegetariano in Bogota, Colombia
2. Wayward Vegan Cafe in Seattle, Washington, USA
3. Departure Restaurant & Lounge in Portland, Oregon, USA
4. Vedge and HipCityVeg in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA