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20 Celebrities We Had No Idea Are Vegan

We know it’s not easy to picture a life without the dairy delights and meaty treats a carnivorous diet offers up, but that hasn’t stopped these big-name stars from taking the plunge. Now, while some celebrities revert back to their meat-eating ways quicker than you can say “tofu salad,” these 20 stars have remained committed to the cause. So yf you’ve ever been tempted to say “Sayonara” to meat and dairy, perhaps try taking a leaf out of these celebs’ meat-free books.

Alicia Silverstone

It was the Clueless star’s pet that turned the tides in favor of a plant-based diet for good. Silverstone was just 21 when she became vegan, and she later spilled the beans to Oprah about what exactly sealed the deal, “I just took a look at my dog and said, ‘If I’m not willing to eat you, how can I continue to eat these other creatures that have the same desire to live, are just as funny, just as cute as my dogs?’” Seems logical!

Woody Harrelson

Hunger Games star Woody Harrelson hasn’t had an appetite for meat and dairy since the mid-1980s. The star went vegan on the advice of a New York bus passenger and has never looked back, going on to open a vegan restaurant and organic beer garden.

Demi Moore

It’s hard to believe that Demi Moore was born in 1962 — we’ll let you do the math! Age aside, the star of Ghost and Indecent Proposal has credited her plant-based diet, along with yoga and Pilates, for helping her to keep her youthful looks. Grab yourself a kale shake and get stretching, stat!


Sia reportedly converted to veganism after watching a documentary on Netflix called Vegucated. Of course, it’s impossible to tell whether the famously camera-shy hitmaker looks any happier, healthier or younger since making the switch.

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik was already a vegetarian by the time her sitcom Blossom came to an end. And when the actress landed on The Big Bang Theory, she had switched to being a vegan – after realizing she could no longer draw the line between the two. Aside from all the acting, she also found time to write a fully plant-based recipe book. Mayim’s Vegan Table was published back in 2014 and boasts over 100 recipes. Impressive!

Peter Dinklage

The Game of Thrones star is a committed vegan. So much so that he even provided the narration for Face Your Food — a film by PETA encouraging others to follow in his meat-free footsteps. Kudos to the man behind Tyrion Lannister, but what about the poor GOT props team? They must have had their work cut out for the scenes where Dinklage was seen feasting on meat. 

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande has admitted that she loves animals more than she loves most people, so it’s little wonder that the tween star-turned-pop diva decided to go vegan in 2013. The following year, she even made the bold claim to website Ecorazzi that “eating a full plant-based, whole food diet can expand your life length and make you an all-round happier person.”

Olivia Wilde

Olivia Wilde credits another Hollywood actress with helping her deal with the daily challenges of being a vegan. During the filming of Butter in northern Louisiana, Alicia Silverstone stepped up to the plate to become Wilde’s very own plants-only personal chef. Now that Wilde’s not completely clueless on the ins and outs of vegan eating, we’re sure she can transform even the simplest vegan ingredients into a tasty meal.

Tobey Maguire

A vegan since the late 2000s, former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire has become more committed than most. The star even refused to drive a Mercedes loaned to him during the shoot of Baz Luhrmann’s period drama The Great Gatsby because it came with leather seats.

Elliot Page

“Why are vegans made fun of while the inhumane factory farming process regards animals and the natural world merely as commodities to be exploited for profit?” That’s just one of the questions that 2014’s Sexiest Celebrity Vegetarian, Elliot Page, has posed while promoting the cause.


Having pushed his body to its limits with a dangerous lifestyle, Steve-O has been attempting to compensate since Valentine’s Day 2008. Not that a vegan lifestyle has put paid to his appetite – the Jackass star has revealed he still eats five meals a day.

James Cameron

James Cameron has claimed that it’s impossible to be a true environmentalist if you’re not eating a plant-based diet. The Titanic director has often urged the public to start growing their own food, while his wife, Suzy Amis, founded a school in 2006 renowned for serving only vegan food to its pupils.

Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz has made some rather lofty claims about the vegan lifestyle. The singer-songwriter, who went meat and dairy-free in 2011, claims that not only does it make you brainier, healthier and more productive, it also makes you better in bed. Maybe that’ll help convert some to the cause...

Waka Flocka Flame

“I just didn’t want to be fat.” That’s the simple reason why Waka Flocka Flame decided to give up his beloved Chick Fil A, as the dreadlocked star explained in an appearance on Vice’s Munchies site. A far cry from a crispy chicken sandwich, he and fellow rapper Raury rustled up a recipe for vegan blueberry muffins.

Bryan Adams

Ever wondered why gravelly-voiced rock star Bryan Adams still looks as slim now as he did when he first performed ‘Summer of ’69’? Well, 20-plus years of living on a largely raw-food vegan diet is probably the answer.

Travis Barker

Don’t expect to see any fast food on Blink-182’s rider. The punk-pop veterans have not just one, but two committed vegans in their line-up. Drummer, Travis Barker, made the switch after surviving a plane crash made him focus on his health. Bassist, Mark Hoppus, followed suit two years later.

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder took longer than most to convert to veganism, making the change in 2013 at the age of 63. The soul legend proved he really meant business by singing a song about the diet during the “Carpool Karaoke” segment on James Corden’s late-night talk show. The lyrics were simple, “go vegan, go vegan...”. You get the gist!

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson may well be best known for her iconic role as C.J. Parker in her Baywatch days, but the blonde bombshell has got some seriously impressive vegan credentials. With around 30 years of plant-based eating under her belt, Anderson must really know her stuff. An insider spilled to The Mirror that she’s famed for her Buddha bowls and vegan sausages. Her activism and work with animal rights organization PETA are pretty impressive, too.

Mike Tyson

So who would have expected the man-mountain that is Mike Tyson to be a fervent supporter of the plant-based diet? The former heavyweight champion, who went vegan in 2010, has even claimed that it has eradicated all the health problems his bad choices earlier in life had caused.

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain’s mother is a vegan chef, so it’s no surprise to learn that the Oscar-nominated actress is also resolutely meat-free. The star even had the props team of The Help create a fake piece of fried chicken for a scene in which her character chows down on one.

Sneaky celebrity chefs

Just like Hollywood’s elite, TV chefs have to stick at the top of their game at any cost. Unfortunately, that doesn’t come without sacrifices. Not all of the pros are willing to ditch the dairy, though. And if eating a fully animal-free diet isn’t the key to their success, then what other sneaky tactics do they use to guarantee they stay in pole position? Well, just like the rest of us, they also use a microwave, eat junk food and hate washing up. The only difference is, they’ll never admit to it. Not in public, at least. Luckily, we’re willing to dish the dirt!

Using a microwave

Yes, that last bastion of single men, only ever used for burritos or weird experiments, is enjoying something of a resurgence. Among celeb chefs, anyway. One of whom is Ugly Delicious creator David Chang. He even took to Instagram to confess his fondness for the accessory. He gushed, “The microwave is a machine from the future here in present day.” Gotta love some sci-fi in the kitchen!

Not write their own cookbooks

Now, before you get upset, let’s bear in mind that great cooking doesn’t always translate to great writing. Sometimes, a chef needs a little help in the literature department. And that’s where the ghostwriter comes in. They’re generally experienced in the food industry and know how to turn lists and weights into gripping reading. The likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachael Ray and Jamie Oliver happily employ the services of a ghost, and it definitely works for them.

Tasting food before the judging starts

While you might salivate at the look of the dishes presented on MasterChef, the judges probably aren’t. And that’s because they’re stone cold at the point that judging starts. To help make their decisions, Aussie MasterChef judge George Calombaris revealed their workaround. They taste everything as it’s being cooked, but it’s all done out of shot. Tricksy, right?

Spreading germs

Despite how cozy and comfortable celebrity chefs all seem in front of the camera, it seems many of them are missing something vital. According to a 2016 study, TV chefs don’t work according to official health and safety standards. And, apparently, we’re more likely to behave badly in the kitchen after seeing their shows. What series did they study? Good question, and yes, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Martha Stewart and Ina Garten all featured. But the very well-mannered scientists declined to comment on exactly which chefs were guilty of what. Just bear that in mind next time you eat at one of their restaurants.

They can’t really cook

Now, we’re not saying that celebrity chefs don’t know their way around a kitchen. But we are saying that some of them went to the school of life to get their qualifications, as opposed to say, catering college. In fact, Paula Deen, Rachael Ray and Tom Colicchio are among the chefs who honed their craft on the job, so to speak. Try not to let that put you off trying their food, though. They almost certainly can make edible food.

Someone else does all the work

Is this perhaps related to the previous entry? It seems that celeb chefs don’t do quite as much work as you might think. Those wonderful recipes achieved before your very eyes take an enormous amount of preparation, but it’s all done by someone else. Yup, celeb chefs don’t have to chop or weigh anything for themselves. Nice to have a team, right?

They use food stylists to make the food look good

Ever wondered why your food never looks as good as the celebs’ food? There are several reason for that. And none of them involve your cooking. Chefs often use a huge team of people to ensure that their dishes’ appearances are impeccable. So unless you’ve got some stylists and art directors handy, your pasta will always look like you made it.

Their shows aren’t filmed at home. Really.

Now, there are times when this clearly isn’t the case, such as morning-show cooking segments. But then there are series that make out that we’re seeing the celeb chef in their natural environment. Whether that’s their personal kitchen or nook, we’re oftentimes led to believe that we’re sneaking a peek into their glam home life. Except we’re really not. Nine times out of ten what you’re actually seeing is a studio replica, and one that’s been used by many a cooking show. Don’t let the tasteful decoration fool you.

They don’t eat the food they expect you to

Ever wondered how many celeb chefs stay so trim despite the enormous amounts of rich food they make? Well, it seems they simply don’t eat any of the recipes they push on us. According to Page Six, super-thin celeb chef Giada De Laurentiis maintains her figure by spitting out everything she “eats” on her shows. We’re not saying she doesn’t also work out, we’re just saying she eats way less pasta than you think. Never trust a skinny chef, right?

Their mistakes disappear

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, as celeb chefs, they’re at the top of their culinary game. Which means they must be able to make a dish from scratch with no mistakes, right? Wrong. As it turns out, they’re as error-prone as us civilians. And it’s all thanks to the magic of TV that those mishaps just disappear, leaving only seamless perfection. But in reality, they’re edited out or just re-shot. No matter what they tell you, no one is perfect. No. One.

The dishes probably aren’t edible

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, as celeb chefs, they’re at the top of their culinary game. Which means they must be able to make a dish from scratch with no mistakes, right? Wrong. As it turns out, they’re as error-prone as us civilians. And it’s all thanks to the magic of TV that those mishaps just disappear, leaving only seamless perfection. But in reality, they’re edited out or just re-shot. No matter what they tell you, no one is perfect. No. One.

They don’t do their own cleaning

Let’s face it, one of the worst parts of cooking is the washing up afterwards. It’s boring and often gross. Which is why, once you’re a big-time celeb chef, you never have to do it yourself. In fact, an entire team’s employed to return the set to its original pristine condition. And the kitchens get so bad that even the chefs are knocked out by what those teams achieve. According to Mashed.com, Chopped‘s Ted Allen once said of the cleaners, “I’m impressed by their esprit de corps. It’s a tough job – chefs don’t care how messy things get!”

A lot of food’s wasted… but some is donated

Obviously, food shows do create some waste. No one’s taking home floor food, or anything that’s been left unrefrigerated for hours. But what happens to the rest of it? You’ll be pleased to hear that edible cooked food’s generally given out to the show’s staff, who no doubt eat very well during filming. And unused or unopened food’s donated to local food banks and the like. Could be worse, though we notice that the audience aren’t mentioned in this category. Bummer.

Those hands belong to someone else

Yes, believe it or not, celeb chefs don’t even have to show up for all the shoot. Those close-ups of hands mixing, chopping and generally doing cheffy stuff probably belong to a lowly sous chef. Because why become a celeb chef if you have to chop everything yourself? They’ve clearly got better things to do, you know?

Their timings aren’t great

Who doesn’t love the idea of throwing together a meal in next to no time? No one, that’s who. And while celeb chefs absolutely know this, when they put together a recipe they seem to forget one key ingredient: time. Yup, apparently, they don’t take preparation into consideration when creating recipes. Which means that if they say it needs 30 minutes, once you’ve weighed, sliced and diced, you’re really looking at an hour.

They hide the burnt bits

Between cameras, earpieces and guests, it’s a wonder anything at all gets cooked on TV. And while, for the most part, food’s definitely cooked, it isn’t always cooked well. Even celeb chefs occasionally burn stuff when the cameras are rolling. They just don’t show that bit to viewers at home. You’d be surprised how easy it to hide culinary mistakes if you’re that way inclined. And, it seems, lots of chefs are that way inclined.

Their recipes can be worse than junk food

Ever wondered why you never hear celeb chefs talk about calories or sugar content in their rich, gorgeous recipes? There’s a very good reason they don’t mention those things, and that’s because, unsurprisingly, those recipes are not good for you. Lovely, yes. But in no way healthy. In fact, a 2012 study showed that many celeb-chef recipes have less nutritional value than junk food. So now we know why Giada De Laurentiis spits out her dishes.

They probably have no idea what they’re cooking

When you see your fave chef on the TV, you’re probably thinking that they’ve put huge amounts of preparation into their appearance on a live show. But you’d be wrong. Turns out that when celeb chefs do live morning-show segments, they have no earthly idea what they’ll be serving. In fact, they probably won’t be told before they arrive on set, maybe just minutes before their appearance. And everything will have been done for them beforehand. That’s the magic of TV, folks.

They’re stressing you out on purpose

If you’re ever lucky enough to appear on a cooking show, firstly, would you like to cook us dinner? And secondly, be warned: the celeb chefs won’t take it easy on you. And we’re not talking about the judging. We’re talking about while you’re cooking up a storm. All that walking around, prodding stuff, asking questions, or just staring at you while they whisper, it all has a purpose. Friction makes for better TV and the more stressed you are, the more likely you are to make a mistake/chop off a finger/scream at Gordon Ramsay. One serving of instant TV notoriety? Coming right up!

The cast and crew don’t eat our food

With all those celeb chefs around, you’d think the cast and crew eat like Michelin star judges at every mealtime. But as it turns out, they very much don’t eat like that. Despite the presence of, in some cases, multiple celeb chefs, they’re definitely not there to cook. Instead, the show’s catered by external chefs, often more cheaply than anyone’s happy with.

They’ll eat anything

Agreeing to judge a cooking show means you’ve pretty much agreed to eat whatever the chef-testants put in front of you. And while judges might decline, say, very under-cooked meals, that’s about the only thing they won’t ingest. According to Top Chef‘s Gail Simmons, though, sometimes that can have unfortunate consequences. Simmons explained to AOL, “There is always food that isn’t exactly as you hoped it would be. The chefs cook in really difficult circumstances and sometimes they are not on their game. But I’ve only gotten sick on the show once.”

They like it when you clap back

Believe it or not, some celeb chefs aren’t on shows just to constantly berate chef-testants with absolutely no consequences. Yup, some of them are actually there to help. And while the critiques are necessary – it’s a TV show after all – it doesn’t have to be one-way. Tom Colicchio, of Top Chef fame’s one of those judges. Talking to AOL, he said, “I really don’t care at all if [chef-testants] talk back. I mean, it’s actually fun, and I’d rather they fight for themselves. I’d rather them say, ‘You know what? You’re wrong.’”

They probably won’t hire you.

Despite all the praise heaped on winners of cooking shows, it seems that the celeb judges often don’t later employ those talented chefs. And while that might seem a tad hypocritical, there’s a very serious reason behind it. We’ll let Top Chef‘s Tom Colicchio explain: “I would hire a lot of them, but I haven’t and I won’t. Because I don’t want someone to say, ‘So and so won because Tom wanted to hire them,’ So I just stay out of it.”

They don’t film everything at once

While cooking shows always look as though the separate rounds blend seamlessly into each other over a reasonably short period of time, that’s just the editing. Believe it or not, there may be not just weeks but months from one round and the next on the likes of MasterChef. Thankfully, we only have to wait a week. But that does give the chef-testants plenty of time to practice. No wonder the judges get so annoyed…

They won’t show you everything

It may look as though cooking shows couldn’t possibly pack in more challenges, drama or amazing food into each episode, but they actually could. Like, a LOT more. What’s seen on TV’s only a small fraction of the footage amassed during filming. Entire challenges can be left on the cutting-room floor, along with who knows how many incredible dishes and insane accidents. Seems a bit of shame, really. Real-time streaming of MasterChef anyone?

They cut themselves. A lot.

It seems that knife skills are something you need to keep practicing, or you’ll end up in need of a visit to the ER. As Iron Chef‘s Alton Brown put it, “You know, [the chefs] become big on TV, and they become sloppy with knife skills. It’s like, ‘Oops! I’ve cut the Dickens out of myself.’ You know, blood all over. Sous chefs are laughing.”

They rarely work in their own restaurants

Now, this one’s… a touchy subject. It’s true that celeb chefs are in fact just that: celebs. Which means that they’re always working on a book, TV show, new restaurant and so on. But it also means that they don’t do a whole lot of actual cooking. Not in their restaurants, anyway. So don’t expect Gordon Ramsay to cook your steak when you show up at one of his many, many establishments. Not all celebs feel that way, of course. Ramsay protege Marcus Wareing thinks TV chefs should cook in the kitchens they own. He told British newspaper The Daily Telegraph that they “cannot be in more than one place at once.”

They eat rubbish

While you’d imagine that celeb chefs have absolutely top-notch pallets and only eat the world’s best food, the truth’s very, very different. Despite access to the best produce and the talent to make anything taste amazing, celeb chefs love junk food. They really, really love it. And it seems In-N-Out burgers beat the competition by a long way. Gordon Ramsay hopes that they’ll build one in London and David Chang thinks they should join forces with Chick-fil-A to create the ultimate junk-food experience. See, they’re just like us.

The grill marks aren’t real

You’ve more than likely noticed that when you grill a succulent piece of protein, it takes ages to get those beautiful char marks, if you’re lucky enough to get any at all. But when TV chefs do it, they never fail to achieve the perfect amount of char. There is, of course, a secret to it. And it’s that they turn the grills up to 11 and speed the whole thing up. But like we said, do not eat it. The char looks great, but the meat’s deadly.

They have lines – and they forget them

Yes, even celeb chefs fluff their lines occasionally. But for them that can mean having skipped an important step in a recipe, so it’s a mistake that has to be fixed. They don’t necessarily re-shoot the segment, though. Instead, they may have the chef record a voice-over – a tape of them telling you what the step is – while the video of them working plays. Voila! It’s almost like they knew what they were doing!

There’s always another kitchen

If you’ve ever seen TV chefs prepare, say, a lasagne or roast chicken on air, then there’s a good chance they weren’t the only ones cooking that day. As no one wants to watch a lasagne cook in real time, much of the actual cooking’s done on multiple dishes at different stages in a separate kitchen. It’s then seamlessly swapped in. Which means there’s lots of uncooked lasagne lying about at the end of filming.

They order extra to make up for mistakes

As we mentioned earlier, celeb chefs aren’t perfect. Which means that they have to take any possible mishaps into account when ordering in ingredients. So, if a recipe calls for a pound of potatoes, the production most likely has four pounds on hand, just in case. And the same goes for all the ingredients for every recipe they cook. That’s a lot of shopping.

Their shows aren’t aired in real-time

Picture the scene. You’re sitting enjoying a Thanksgiving special, all pilgrim’s hats and gourds, excitedly planning your meal as the TV chef bastes their enormous bird. Thing is, that special was most likely filmed several months earlier, long before turkey was on the menu. Along with the fake home kitchens, seasonal specials also aren’t what they appear to be. Because who wants to film a TV show when they should be eating sweet potato pie?

They don’t know that baking works differently at altitude

For all their talk of mouth feel, flavor profiles and great technique, it seems some chefs forget that at its core cooking is science. And as such, food was always meant to be cooked on Earth. So when, say, baking at 10,000 feet, one must take into consideration the pressurized cabin and the lower levels of oxygen. But at least one chef definitely didn’t. Emeril Lagasse once caused an explosion on an airplane using nothing but cake batter. According to the chef, the pineapple upside-down cake literally exploded in the oven. While. In. The. Air. He served bananas instead.

They sometimes leave Band-Aids in your food

Now, this must be on everyone’s restaurant nightmares list. You’ve been warned. It seems that while hygiene’s generally high on a chef’s list of important stuff they have to do, sometimes little things can slip by. Or in. To your food. Yup, Canadian chef Chuck Hughes once admitted to losing a Band-Aid in some salad and not noticing until after the food had been served. Someone got a very interesting garnish that night. Gross.

They make sorbet out of seafood

No, that’s not a joke. Or it wasn’t by the time ice cream was finished. As chef Lee Ann Wong told Delish, about the time she was kidding around about sea urchin ice cream as an emergency garnish for goose liver pate. Yes, she suggested mashed, frozen sea urchins to go with pate. And yes, it was a joke. But her boss didn’t see the funny side. She actually had to make them. No, it wasn’t popular. It didn’t stop anyone from hiring her, though, so fair play. But there’s no way we’ll ever be trying that particular hell-spawned concoction.

They secretly burn the turkey

Yes, Wolfgang Puck, that bastion of classic cookery and dreamy garlic mash once burned his Thanksgiving turkey. Because even experienced chefs occasionally have one glass too many. But here’s where it gets slightly underhand. Rather than admit his mistake, the wily cook simply removed all the offensively burned bits before anyone saw the damage. He then carved and served the bird ready-sliced, to great acclaim. He told Delish, “To my delight, my friends said it was the best turkey they ever ate!”

They forget what’s cooking

Ever put something in the oven and somehow forgotten about it? If you’re anything like us, you’ve done that at least once. Well, be comfortable in the knowledge that even pro-chefs do it every now and then. Of course, it doesn’t help when it’s, say, New Year’s Eve and the kitchen’s super-busy. But for chef John Shields, that’s no excuse. Accidentally turning a beautiful leg of lamb into jerky made for a memorable celebration. As he admitted to Delish, “I totally forgot about the lamb and ended up boiling it for seven hours in its fat.” Gross.

Caramelized onions will never cook in ten minutes

No matter what any chef or recipe book tells you, it’s impossible to caramelize onions in less than about 35 minutes. Im.Poss.Ible. How can chefs lie so openly to you? Well, they may not technically be lying. When recipes are tested, they’re done at top speed, using a stop-watch. No one cooks like that in real life. Not even chefs. So when it takes you 40 minutes to achieve gorgeously golden onions, don’t feel bad. You did it right.

They use pre-cut veggies

As chef secrets go, this is a biggie. Never mind having the sous chef prep all your julienne carrots, darling, just buy them in. Celeb chefs including Rachael Ray – again – have no problem whatsoever encouraging viewers to invest in pre-cut produce. But what she’s not telling you is that instead of a few minutes chopping, you’re actually settling for less-than-fresh veggies that won’t last very long. And don’t even start us on the extra packaging. If you really don’t want to chop veggies, may we suggest a food processor? Plus not ever listening to Rachael Ray?