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Vicki Chelf was born in Kentucky where she was raised on crispy cornbread, fluffy white biscuits, fried potatoes, pinto beans, greens, fried apple pies, and other delights that Southern country cooking is famous for. Growing up with rich delicious food was a mixed blessing, because although cooking with ease comes naturally to her, Vicki became an overweight kid.

After naturally shedding the excess pounds in her teen years, Vicki vowed that she would never be overweight again. After a youthful period of extreme dieting and exercising, she decided to learn how to stay trim and fit in a healthful manner. In 1971 she become a vegetarian and moved to the Laurentian Mountains where she learned to speak French and wrote La Grand Cuisine Vegetarienne, which stayed in print for over 20 years. She founded Le Pommier Fleuri, which today is one of the largest health food stores north of Montreal. She also wrote four other books that were published in French.

In 1982 Vicki sold Le Pommier and moved to Sarasota, Florida to follow her dream of pursuing a degree in fine art. In Sarasota she wrote Cooking With the Right Side of the Brain, which was followed by The Arrowhead Mills Cookbook, and others. Vicki has taught classes and workshops about healthy plant-based cuisine since the mid 1970’s.

She has traveled extensively which helped mold her unique cooking style that combines the creativity of a fine artist with a first-hand experience of various world cuisines. She is an avid gardener, active painter, and long time practitioner of yoga and meditation. In 2008 Vicki received a bachelors of science in Holistic Nutrition. She has co-hosted a weekly radio show called Sustainable Sarasota, for over 5 years on WSLR 96.5 FM, and hosted a local TV show.

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Today’s Brilliance from Vicki Chelf

One definition of enlightenment is, "no problems." I like this. At first it seems simplistic, but the more you think about it, the more its wisdom is revealed. Everyone desires to be healthy and happy, and as I get older I am beginning to believe that it is easier than we think. There's an enormous amount of confusion, guilt and dysfunction surrounding how to take care of ourselves. This, I believe, is reinforced by industries that profit from our ignorance. There are only two dietary and lifestyle choices - either we choose to live, and act accordingly, or we choose…

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