Gaz Oakley, formerly known as the Avant-Garde Vegan, is a chef and cookbook author from Cardiff, Wales known for vegan food. He was described in the Daily Telegraph as "a star of the meat-free world", whose "recipes have gained the respect of herbivores and carnivores alike".[1]


Oakley, who grew up in Cardiff, was taught to cook as a child by his father, and got his first job in a kitchen aged 15. He left school at 16 to work in the kitchen full-time. For several years, he worked in hotel and restaurant kitchens in Cardiff. He then switched careers to work in a builder's yard, becoming a sales manager. The new job offered him more free time, and he took up fitness and strength training activities. It was through this that he first started to move towards veganism. After hearing a radio interview with the vegan musician Jme, Oakley looked up videos of Gary Yourofsky, and it was these that encouraged him to switch to a vegan lifestyle. After success encouraging friends and family to transition to veganism, he decided to use his cookery experience as a form of activism. He launched the @avantgardevegan Instagram page in February 2016, and, later that year, gave up his sales job to focus full-time on activism and cookery. The Avant-Garde Vegan YouTube channel was launched at the end of the year.[2] Oakley told The Sunday Times that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in his subscriber numbers hitting one million.[3]

Oakley went on to write several vegan cookbooks, as well as partner with The Vurger Co. and Wagamama to create vegan foods.[2] In 2023, VegNews listed Oakley as one of the "37 Creative Chefs Crafting the Future of Vegan Food" in 2023,[4] and also named Vegan 100 as one of the "Top 100 Vegan Cookbooks of All Time" in 2024.[5]



  1. ^ Bryant, Amy (11 January 2018). "'Bacon' bites and KFC ('kruelty-free chicken'): meet Gaz Oakley, the YouTube star of vegan cooking ". Daily Telegraph. Accessed 8 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Gaz Oakley's story". Archived from the original on 18 March 2023. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  3. ^ Turnbull, Tony (25 April 2020). "Meet Gaz Oakley, the vegan chef that meat eaters love to follow". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  4. ^ Pointing, Charlotte (27 July 2023). "37 Creative Chefs Crafting the Future of Vegan Food". VegNews. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  5. ^ Pointing, Charlotte (10 January 2024). "The Top 100 Vegan Cookbooks of All Time". VegNews. Retrieved 16 January 2024.

Further reading