Fantasia Taylor’s Favorite Vegan Holiday Recipe From Her Chef Joya
Turn up the volume on Fantasia Taylor's Christmas After Midnight album while you cook her favorite vegan holiday meal, because we have her all-time favorite vegan Christmas recipe, shared exclusively with The Beet from her personal chef.
The former American Idol winner initially switched to a plant-based diet well over a year ago for health purposes and told her 4.5 million followers of @tasiaword about her new-found vegan diet in a video of her cooking vegan food with the caption, "Healthy Living ITS TIME!!!!"
Since then, the superstar continues to stay true to her commitment, posting all kinds of delicious-looking vegan meals on her Instagram page, you will find everything from dairy-free mac and cheese to apple crumble.
Fantasia admitted in one IG post that vegan food is some of the best she's ever eaten – we're looking at you, Chef Joya – who is Fantasia's vegan chef.
Chef Joya may be the secret to Fantasia's plant-based success, but one thing we're certain of, she has the secrets to the sauce – and the entire recipe for what Fantasia and her husband Kendall Taylor both love to eat if their Instagram posts are any indication.
Fantasia is always boasting about her delicious vegan soul food eats, and shares how much she loves to eat whatever Joya makes. On her feed, Chef Joya shares how much she enjoys chef-ing it up for the superstar and her husband Kendall Taylor. They worked together to create elaborate vegan menus for special occasions such as their Valentine's Dinner, her vegan birthday party, and right before their daughter was born last May, a special vegan baby shower to mark the impending arrival of baby Monique, for the couple's friends and family.
In order to find out the scoop about Fantasia's latest vegan diet favorites, her upcoming holiday meals, and more, The Beet spoke to Chef Joya, who gave us a look into the behind-the-scenes plans and shared what are Fantasia's most-loved dishes, including what she plans to make for the upcoming holidays.
The Beet: When and how did you meet Fantasia?
Chef Joya: It was October of last year when I received a DM from someone regarding personal cooking, but I thought it was spam so I didn't open it. The next day, I got another message but this time they included Fantasia's name so I told this person to call me, and she did. It happened to be Fantasia's personal assistant who explained she found my IG from one of Fantasia's background singers who's been following me for years because she loves the look of my food. The next week, I cooked for Fantasia as a test trial and she loved my food.
The Beet: What was the first meal you made for Fantasia?
Chef Joya: I made my Not Yo Mama's Meatloaf, which is still one of Fantasia's favorite meals.
The Beet: What are some of Fantasia's favorite vegan meals?
Chef Joya: Well, she really likes the meatloaf but she also loves my vegan pork chops, mac and cheese, crab cakes, and spinach and artichoke "chicken". What I really love about Fantasia is that she trusts me to make whatever I want to make for her. She loves soul food so I cook a lot of that, but I also like to switch it up so sometimes I'll make Caribbean food or Asian food, but if I serve something healthy, she's normally like, "Ooooh....nahhh."
The Beet: What does Fantasia eat in a day?
Chef Joya: Well right now there has been some dietary changes, Fanstia is following a strict vegan diet but normally I would make some kind of breakfast with greens and switch up the kind of cuisine whether it's soul food or the Caribbean, for lunch and dinner I would make some of her favorite meals like the mac and cheese, crab cakes, or meatloaf. I like to switch it up because I don't want people to get bored. I do have to say, she loves broccoli and her greens.
The Beet: What are you making Fantasia for the holiday?
Chef Joya: Well, as I said, she's going through some dietary changes right now so anything could change. But, what I would plan to make is the meatloaf, mac and cheese, rice pilaf, greens and veggies, roasted broccoli, and asparagus because she really loves her greens and veggies.
The Beet: What does Fantasia's husband, Kendall Taylor like to eat?
Chef Joya: They eat all the same vegan stuff I cook but Kendall is not s stew or soup person whereas Fantisa loves soups and stews.
The Beet: What's their favorite vegan dessert?
Chef Joya: They absolutely love my peach cobbler with a scoop of ice cream.
The Beet: Do you have any advice for aspiring plant-based chefs or anyone who wants to improve their cooking skills?
Chef Joya: Listen to what people want, recreate those things people love. You have to understand flavor and learn techniques. Whether someone is eating vegan for animals, health, or the planet, we all like one thing in common, good-tasting food.