We sat down with Jess Abrasion of YamChops, Canada’s first and only vegetarian butcher shop (yes, you read that correctly!) to talk all things YamChops, vegetarian and about their delicious Chef’s Plate Szechuan Stir Fry recipe!
What’s the story behind YamChops? How did it come to be?
YamChops is North America’s first and Canada’s only vegetarian butcher shop, and we offer plant-based protein alternatives to the GTA. We believe plant-based proteins can be a staple of any kitchen or diet. Our recipes appeal to all types of eaters: flexitarians, vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free and even soy-free folks.
Opened June of 2014 (our first location is 705 College St.), YC is a labour of love created by Michael, Toni and Jess Abrasion, ad agency owners turned vegetarian butchers. Our products include: butcher counter items, salads, cold pressed juices and juice cleanses, grab-and-go lunch boxes and so much more. Our corporate location also incorporates natural specialty retail items produced by other manufacturers.
What’s the big fuss about supporting local restaurants? Why’s it such a big deal?
When you support your local restaurant, you’re making a choice to spend your dollars with companies whose dollars cycle back into the local economy. Our version of local includes the type of service you’d expect at your local butcher shop – only with a plant-based twist. This means a truly extraordinary service experience with a knowledgeable and friendly staff team trained to not only serve you a delicious meal but also give you an exceptional service experience.
What are the most loved dishes on your menu?
- Szechuan *Beef* – a crispy “beef” dish with caramelized onions and red peppers that we think is better than the real thing. Try it with Chef’s Plate!
- Black Pepper *Beef* – tender Gluten-Free “beef” with a spicy, peppery tang.
- Cashew Chick*n – our “chick*n” with red chilies, green onion and cashew.
- Ground *Beet* Burgers – from shredded beet to parsnip to turnip, these burgers are chock full of veggies highlighted by tarragon and pistachio – for an elevated take on the traditional veggie burger.
- Tuna-Less Tuna – chickpea-based “tuna” with all the fixin’s, including celery, dill pickle, caper, vegan mayo and dill.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start incorporating more vegetarian dishes into their diet?
Taste and texture don’t have to suffer when you choose a vegetarian or vegan meal! With the options available today, you can have it all!
What’s the absolute best part about the Chef’s Plate Szechuan Stir Fry?
The “beef” will fool even the staunchest meat eaters with its texture and flavour. This is a dish you’ll be proud to serve… though you might not want to share it!
Get started with Chef’s Plate with 2 free plates off your first order