To call BOSH! a sensation is, if anything, an understatement. Since Sheffield-born friends Ian Theasby and Henry Firth founded the plant-based brand it has gained two billion views on social media and three million followers.
An ITV series followed, along with a supermarket range and four bestselling cookbooks, sold in eight languages in 60 countries.
The pair, who founded BOSH! in 2016 while living together, decided to go vegan at a similar time. With a background in apps they had a knack for creating pithy, fun and, most importantly, achievable recipe videos, entering the arena just as plant-based eating was ready to explode.
“We don’t bring a traditional vegan angle,” says Firth. “Our mates and families are all meat eaters, so we still have that tone.” They focus on how to avoid meat, rather than why, which they believe is more appealing. “Veganism is becoming less something you have to adhere to, like a religion, and more something you can dip your toe in and out of, and that’s how the biggest change is going to happen.”
Each of their five cookbooks is designed to address a topic around veganism: for example, plant-based versions of classics or how to eat healthily. The latest, BOSH! On a Budget, seeks to prove that plant-based dining needn’t be the preserve of the well-off.
For Firth, “the core nuts and bolts of vegan food are the food we should all be eating: fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains”. It’s when plant-based diners veer towards the other end of the market, highly-processed meat substitutes, that costs rise.
The key to vegan cooking, they say, is the layering of flavours. “Meat has got that complex umami flavour,” says Firth. “You can achieve something akin to that by your choice of vegetables. Mushrooms or aubergines give you that umami hit. Then you start to layer things like soy sauce, nutritional yeast or Marmite. There are so many tools you can use to build up flavour and make a delicious dish.”
Recipes from BOSH! on a Budget by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (HarperCollins, £16.99). Order you copy from The Telegraph Bookshop.
This recipe is super simple but ridiculously effective. Deliciously tender mushrooms in a rich, flavour-packed sauce with lovely mild spice. Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or pasta for a superb, warming, comforting meal!