• Haile Thomas' Pantry •
“Haile is an example for all of you, what your little powerful voices can do to change the world.” - Michelle Obama
@MichelleObama, ditto. At 17 years old, Haile Thomas is the youngest Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in the US, and the CEO of HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth)- an organization that has empowered thousands of kids to live healthier lives. She is a health activist, unabashed plant-based foods lover and views cooking as a journey- an outlook that’s led her to compete on Cupcake Wars and even attend the State of the Union as Michelle Obama’s guest(!). Follow along as we take a look in Haile’s pantry, where 90’s pop is playing and the shelves are a vegan’s dream: milked walnuts, nut butters, tahini and farmers market produce for days.
The Haile Shop
My food & kitchen style is definitely classic meets creative, vibrant, and whimsical. I try to make my dishes really unique in terms of flavor profile + combos & be as vibrant as possible. Whether that's using super fresh ingredients, natural food coloring like butterfly pea flower powder, or combining spices and cuisines that don’t classically fit. I feel like the ultimate win is a dish that is beautiful and pleasantly surprising inside and out. That’s what I aim for every time I cook.
My main kitchen inspiration stems from just being out in the world and exploring all of the creative ways chefs prepare plants. Every time I travel abroad or within the states, I make it a goal to visit at least one really cool vegan restaurant. Seeing the magic that chefs create with plants leaves me inspired and in awe of how innovative we can be with food. I’m always pumped to recreate something I tried and put my own twist to it when I get home.
markets & shopping
I mainly enjoy shopping from farmers markets, one of my favorites being Beacon Farmers Market. I love getting my hands on the produce versatility that each season brings. So during summer, we’ll grab all the delicious berries, cherries, peaches, beautiful herbs and lots of cool mushrooms. It’s an adventure, and I always see something new each week - which I love. It presents the opportunity for my cooking to have another layer of diversity.
I learned to cook when I was about 5 years old. First by watching my mom cook and then slowly but surely joining her. Whether it was stirring or tasting, I was always around to witness her unleash her creativity in the kitchen. We also watched a LOT of Food Network together when I was younger, so I feel like those two combined definitely created my interest and love for cooking.
To Sum it Up:
one or two items that are always in her fridge: arugula & tahini (or almond butter)
her go-to inspiration cookbook: The Flavor Bible
her most trusted kitchen tool: Vitamix Blender
5 adjectives that describe her pantry style: diverse, fun, practical, overstocked, global
her all-time favorite market: Chelsea Market - because of a. the spice shop, b. the vegan sushi spot, & c. the grocery store with soo many interesting ingredients. Every time my mom and I visit we buy SO many spices and eat way too much sushi. It’s ridiculous but so much fun.
her favorite music to jam out to in the kitchen: Kendrick Lamar or any pop music from 90s-2000s.