Pinky Cole, who proudly admits she is both slutty and a vegan, brought her wildly popular plant-based burgers from Atlanta to Eat Drink Vegan in Pasadena over the weekend.
The line for her famous One Night Stand, Ménage a Trois and Fussy Hussy was 100 people deep all afternoon and resulted in Cole serving a record 1,000 plant-based burgers at the final bow of the Vegan Coachella.
It was just her second time popping up in L.A., the first being last March 31 at Taco Mell Catering on Crenshaw, the same day Nipsey Hussle was shot at his nearby store while helicopters circled the neighborhood.
“L.A. is like my second home,” Cole tells L.A. Weekly on a breezy afternoon in the Brookside Golf Course at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
“I’ve been soft looking for locations in Los Angeles,” she says. “I lived here for a while. It would make me so proud to be able to come back here, the vegan capital of the world.”
The high-energy Baltimore native grew up in a vegetarian household with her Jamaican family and didn’t even know what McDonalds was until she was 13 years old.
“I was marinated in a vegetarian [environment],” says Cole, whose biggest fans include Tiffany Haddish, Taraji P. Henson, Will Smith and Tyler Perry.
Fast forward to college and starting to eat chicken and beef, she gained weight and began feeling sluggish. In 2007, she completely removed all meat products from her diet and just ate fish. Five years ago, she made the complete shift.
“I no longer wanted to eat anything that came from an animal or had a mother,” Cole says. “For five years, I’ve been meat-free, cruelty-free and clean. It’s the best decision I’ve made in my life. When I made the transition back, the amount of clarity I had was dramatic. My skin changed because I no longer had the flesh of a dead animal in my body, I lost weight and all my puffiness went away. My thoughts are clear now.”
Since August of 2018, the “Slut Mobile” quickly became one of the most sought-after food trucks in Atlanta, with hundreds lining up every day to experience vegan junk food. Soon after Slutty Vegan opened a brick-and-mortar location that brought out over 500 people. Cole’s been crisscrossing the country feeding throngs of hungry fans and is now looking for a nook in L.A.
The popular One Night Stand is an impossible burger patty loaded with vegan bacon, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and Cole’s secret slutty sauce on a vegan Hawaiian bun. Her Ménage à Trois adds vegan shrimp to the mix, and if you like it spicy, the Super Slut comes with jalapenos and avocado.
Cole says that her burger revolution has resulted in more and more African Americans discovering the plant-based lifestyle.
“To see so many black people and minorities come and embrace this lifestyle shows that veganism has nothing to do with color or class and has everything to do with living a healthier lifestyle, even if it starts with comfort food,” she says.
“When you see the long Slutty Vegan lines, it’s people from all different cultures coming together for the same thing — a healthy alternative, even if it’s cheeseburger and fries. They can come together, expand their horizons and try something new. And we’re doing it in a fun way, we’re not preaching.”