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Meet the Instagramer: @mississippivegan on plant-based Deep South classics

We’re following Timothy Pakron, a New Orleans-based writer and photographer with a passion for all things meat-free.

By National Geographic Traveller Food
Published 19 Jun 2019, 08:00 BST, Updated 25 May 2021, 16:03 BST
Vegan rolls
Vegan rolls.
Photograph by Timothy Pakron

What kind of food did you grow up with in Mississippi?

I grew up on the coast, and because my parents are from New Orleans there was a lot of po’ boys, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, plus Southern classics like turnip greens, grits and cornbread

How long have you been vegan, and what made you become one? 

I became vegan nearly 13 years ago. I watched a behind-the-scenes video of factory farming and knew immediately I couldn’t support harming animals in any way. I’d always felt deeply connected to plants, so making them the foundation of my diet was easy.

You now live in New Orleans — is it a vegan-friendly city?

Yes, the vegan scene is much better here than it used to be. I’m still figuring out my favourite places to eat, and creating a food guide to the city. Other than that, I just soak up the energy and traditions that exist here and apply them to my own cooking and recipe development. 

What do you like to cook at home? 

Everything! Soups, stews, gumbo, roasted vegetables. Bread baking is fun. I’m non-stop, honestly. 

Where are your go-to restaurants in Louisiana and Mississippi?  

I love Mopho in New Orleans — they have really good vegan specials on Thursdays, and delicious spring rolls and pho. I also like Good Karma in Biloxi, Mississippi. It serves delicious Indian vegan cuisine and the owner is hilarious. She’ll most likely be there if you stop by.

What’s the biggest misconception about veganism? 

That we stop eating delicious food to punish ourselves. The truth is we simply want to be connected to our food choices and make sure they’re in alignment with our ethics, the environment and our health. 

Phyllo rolls.
Photograph by Timothy Pakron

Four to follow: Timothy's favourite followers

1. @alison__wu
Alison’s eye for detail and use of colour is impeccable. Her account is dreamy and she’s a delight to follow.

2. @linda_lomelino
Linda’s dessert photography is incredibly seductive, and her use of light and editing skills are exceptional.

3. @thekitchenmccabe
I don’t know how Kayley, a busy mother, has time to create all her gorgeous food. Her styling is among the best on Instagram.

4. @ful.filled
A passionate foodie, Bella’s compositions and ingredients make you want to run into the kitchen and get cooking. 

Published in the June 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller Food

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