If ever there was a testament to the correlation between a plant-based diet and high energy, it’s Pinky Cole – The Slutty Vegan.
Owner and founder of a restaurant empire, Cole started The Slutty Vegan out of her two-bedroom Los Angeles apartment in July of 2018, selling her signature burgers fresh to order via Instagram, Uber Eats and DoorDash. Soon after, she relocated to Atlanta and began serving burgers from a mobile food truck that had made its way out west, often popping up in L.A., with lines around the block.
Since then, the new mom has opened brick-and-mortar restaurants, infiltrated Shake Shacks with an exclusive “SluttyShack” burger, launched PETA’s Push for Food Justice, partnered with partner Derrick Hayes to provide life insurance policies to 25,000 Black men, paid rent for local businesses during the pandemic, and paid the tuition of 30 Clark Atlanta students. Cole also purchased a car and life insurance for the family of Rayshard Brooks who was slain by police outside an Atlanta fast-food restaurant. She is the founder of the Pinky Cole Foundation that provides a roadmap for black economic progress achieved by creatively leveraging economic opportunities, successful risk-taking, and innovation.
“I have a different level of mental focus and clarity that I didn’t have before I went vegan,” Cole tells L.A. Weekly, who is actively scouting L.A. locations for her next restaurant to open this year in the city’s competitive vegan landscape.
“Going vegan really allowed me to have a different vibration and frequency that allows me to show up how I do. I’ve always been a ball of energy; I’ve always had that show up in me and since I went vegan, I’m at 1,000%. I can multitask more and don’t feel foggy, and my mind is not cloudy in every single decision I make.”
In June, she will come out with her first cookbook, Eat Plants, B*tch, which includes 91 plant-based recipes, including avocado egg rolls, her black pea cauliflower Po’Boy and oyster mushroom parm, as well as others inspired by her Jamaican heritage and is geared towards the meat-eater.
“Vegans have already figured it out,” she says. “The recipes in the book are foods that non-vegans already eat on a regular basis, so it’s literally just veganized. We use impossible meat for the spaghetti and meatballs, but you can use any kind of plant-based protein — there are so many on the market now. Beyond Meat and Incognito are great, too. There are so many options now and it just shows how we are evolving as vegans. At one time we could only get our food in the produce aisle, but now plant-based products are in every aisle.”
While Cole still lives in Atlanta and has found herself in a business orbit she never dreamed of, she considers L.A. her spiritual city and is looking forward to a return.
“I love L.A. because it’s the healthiest place I’ve ever lived in my life. I’ve always been in the best shape of my life living there. Every time I go back, I get a renewed energy that I never get tired of and I’m looking forward to opening my vegan restaurant there soon.”
Eat Plants, B*itch is available for preorder here: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Eat-Plants-B*tch/Pinky-Cole/9781982178321