News on Sunday

Eat with fingers : vegan restaurant conquers Mauritian food lovers 

Michael and Geraldine.

With only one bite, your pessimistic concepts about vegan food will quickly melt. Healthy, fresh and delicious, the dishes at this vegan restaurant will leave you craving for more. Geraldine and Michael, the directors of Eat with Fingers, share with us their story of how they decided to open the first 100% vegan restaurant in the island. 

They are nothing like what you have tasted before. Mouth-watering and nutritious, these vegan dishes, yes you read it right, vegan dishes, and we are not exaggerating, are finger-licking good. You might even convert to a vegan after stepping into this restaurant. Opened since 2017, ‘Eat with Fingers’ is definitely one of a kind, simple and charming restaurant that promises a delectable experience. 

The 100% vegan restaurant saw light with Geraldine and Michael, husband and wife, both as business partners, too. Austrian, aged 37, Michael met the love of his life in 2006 while on holiday in Mauritius. They married three years later and moved to Vienna where Geraldine worked as a Visual Merchandiser in a renowned clothing company and Michael as Deputy Manager at the Austrian Telecom. 

It was during their spare time that the couple discovered that they both had a passion for food, especially vegan cooking. “Geraldine started to photograph our creations and created a food blog on Instagram ‘Eatwithfingers’,” uttered Michael. The latter stated that he had known for many years that he wanted to have his own business. “The final decision to not wait any longer and just do it came quite spontaneously during a visit here in Mauritius. Opening a restaurant was not our first idea of an owned business. The plan was to build a food truck and drive around the island. Unfortunately, we did not get the needed permissions for that.”

Vegan Restaurant

Despite the ups and downs, the love birds finally decided to open their vegan restaurant in the north of the island. “We wanted to create a place where our guests would feel comfortable, with a convenient but modern and simple interior. A place to work, meet with friends or just enjoy a delicious meal. Our dishes are influenced by many cultures. We want to offer food that people know but maybe never ate in a vegan version like burgers or wings made of cauliflower,” they shared.

If you are allergic to any food items or want to adapt a dish to your taste, Michael and Geraldine are more than happy to provide, according to customer’s demands. “We do step out of the line for our customers if they have any wishes. We also offer cooking classes, private cooking courses or a ‘rent a chef’ service.” But who or what inspires them to create their unique scrumptious vegan dishes? “There are a lot of persons that inspire us; different food blogger and chefs. Impossible to name all of them,” stated the couple. 

Vegan market the fastest growing worldwide

A term which sounded strange to many, today vegan and veganism have conquered a big part of the food market worldwide. As people are becoming more health conscious and the fact that supermarkets and manufacturers are offering more vegan options, the vegan business promises to expand further in the years to come.

“It is no surprise, due to the many benefits vegan nutrition provides for oneself and the environment. Eating plant-based or mainly plant-based helps you to lose weight, lowers your blood sugar level and lowers the risk of heart diseases, just to name a few. Your way of eating has also a huge impact of the environment. Reducing meat consumption drastically reduces the greenhouse gas emissions, conserves water and energy. Needless to say how important that is in times of climate change and fighting climate change,” underlines Michael. 

Since they are permanently living in Mauritius, the couple confides that it has witnessed a lot of change already on the local vegan market. “Supermarkets offer more and more plant-based food and cosmetics, restaurants provide vegan meals and the demand of people craving for non-animal products is growing and growing. But Mauritius is still at the beginning of its vegan journey.”

But to people who still have the conception that vegan foods are dull and blend, we asked the couple: What would they say? “This is exactly the motivation that drives us to improve ourselves every day, creating new recipes and promote the vegan lifestyle. It’s about time to change peoples’ minds that vegan food is boring and tasteless. And we invite everyone that needs to be convinced to come to Eatwithfingers,” uttered the vegan couple, who does not hide that it is challenging to manage their personal and professional life. “Besides the work in the restaurant, there is also a lot of business-related work to do at home, also on Sundays, our only day when the restaurant is closed. So the times we can just let go and focus on ourselves become even more important to us.”

Their advice to those dreaming of launching their own business: “Make sure you are clear about what it means to start your own business - and that is work, work, work on the first hand. But it also gives you the freedom to do what you love. Be courageous, creative and focused and your dreams may come true.”

What is veganism?

Veganism is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. A vegan diet includes all grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits, and the nearly infinite number of foods made by combining them. 

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