Fire and Earth Kitchen was founded by artist, educator and self taught chef, Renee Press, as a way to bring the beauty of vegan, gluten-free cooking to life. Since 2011, she has been providing the Seattle area with unique cooking classes and personal chef services, sharing her passion for tasty home cooked vegan meals and simplifying the process for everyone. Whether demonstrating her recipes in front of a large group or preparing weekly meals in a client's home, she is completely at ease and passionately shares her love of vegan cooking and eating. Her original recipes are developed with a wide range of people in mind: newbie cooks, seasoned vegans, veg curious, those with food allergies, passionate meat eaters, and those on the path to healing with plant based foods. Whether teaching on air, in conference rooms, or in private residences across the region, her heart is in sharing how simple and delicous plant based meals can be. Her husband Nick works alongside her in bi-monthly group cooking classes, adding humor, sharing nutrition facts, and serving as esteemed sous chef and saucier. Long time partners in both life and cooking, together they share the secrets of effortless meal preparation, and expertly show how down to earth and delicious vegan meals can be.
Originally from the East Coast, both Renee and Nick are artists who spent many years living and working in NYC and traveling the world. Their love of international flavors comes from the time they spent abroad in India, South America and the Middle East.
Renee's love of creating and teaching comes from a background in the arts and education. She has always been fascinated by food and how it can bring joy and comfort to people. In 2005 she began an exploration into the realm of healthy, vibrant vegetarian cuisine by volunteering at an urban yoga ashram in the heart of NYC. She worked in their well respected kitchen, learning about vegetarian fare and the ingredients that go into it, and helped create the simple yet delicious meals which nourished resident staff and yogis. Being immersed in the fresh flavors of sunchokes, seaweed, sprouts, and sesame, sparked a new type of love affair with food at home. She adopted a vegetarian diet in 2006 and then in 2008 after coming to terms with the reality of the dairy industry she went vegan and never looked back. In 2010, after a series of health issues, she removed gluten from her diet and recipes, and the majority of her symptoms subsided. She has been perfecting her original vegan, naturally gluten-free recipes ever since, sharing them in classes and homes around the Puget Sound region. She loves desertscapes, kayaking, slow moving rivers, warm climates, all birds, but especially ducks, sweet cats, and more vegan options at non-vegan restaurants.
Nicholas' passion for delicious food from around the world originates with his traditional Polish and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, as well as traveling the Indian subcontinent twice over. After months of enjoying freshly baked naan, fragrant curries, and perfectly spiced vegetables it was hard to return to standard American fare. He went vegan in 2008 after having been vegetarian for 2 years prior. Nicholas brings his extensive background in the arts, wealth of knowledge about plant based cooking, a passion for researching the origins of ingredients, an unsurpassed work ethic, and an excellent sense of humor to every cooking class. He loves alpine lakes, mountain beavers, veganizing very non-vegan dishes like scrapple, and utilizing underused spices like juniper berries.