A cheeky play on words, the founder behind The Lazy Chef Lunch Club Chip Lopez is one of the hardest working women you’ll meet. She just started her line of plant-based dishes last year, and yet she’s already been shaking the branches of the local culinary industry. The Lazy Chef caters to on-the-go people who’d like to lead healthier lifestyles, learn more about wellness, and have access to thoughtfully prepared, nutritious meals.
One of her hand drawn menus
For Cebu’s Creative Tribe Series (CCT), Chip shares with us how she found her “something,” turned her passion into a thriving business, and inadvertently changed the Cebuano dining scene. It doesn’t hurt that she looks stunning as she accomplishes all of this on a daily basis, just before you’re about to grab lunch.
Thank you for being a ray of sunlight, and inspiring us here at CCT, Chip!
1. What made you fall in love with promoting wellness, and preparing healthy dishes? (Let’s trace your roots)
In July of 2013, I decided I was going to the States to visit my brother. He knew how much I was falling in love with yoga and how it was starting to change me in all aspects. So he suggested that I should do an internship at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute for both yoga and culinary training, and luckily, I got in.
To sum up my experience in those few months:
- I met some of the most amazing people in my life
- I was treated with so much love, respect and appreciation by people I worked with
- I made the much needed paradigm shift…to make a significant change and for life to make sense, you have to go inward. You take a look at yourself, what you’re putting in your body, you choose and filter your thoughts, you learn to quiet your mind, and you go in search for your Creator and when you get do all this—you ground yourself, and hold on as tightly as you can.
Because I know what a plant-based diet did for me, I want to pay it forward. I want people to see that being healthy is not something you do overnight. It’s all those big things and little things, it’s being gentle with yourself and more importantly, it’s finding joy in what you’re doing.
Being healthy doesn’t have to feel like a punishment; making that change can be fun. And food is always a good place to start.
The Lazy Chef’s Veggie Burger
2. Please share with us what your creative philosophy is.
I started The Lazy Chef Lunch Club because I wanted to share my newfound excitement with vegetables. Most of us hesitate when trying to shift to having a healthier diet because we have this preconceived notion that healthy equals unenjoyable.
The Lazy Chef’s Eggs in Purgatory with Ratatouille
I started experimenting and just making vegan versions of my favorite dishes. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I didn’t miss the meat.
Cebuano delicacies puso and barbecue veganized
I hope that people see vegetables in a different light. I don’t want to trick them into eating their vegetables; rather, I want our plant friends to shine on their own.
The Running Vegan Corn Chowder with Roasted Garlic Bruschetta
Mushrooms when cooked and seasoned the right way can taste absolutely amazing. The sky is the limit if we only allow ourselves to step outside the box. I always say a plant-based diet is not for everybody, but blue-sky thinking is.
Wild rice with Mixed Mushrooms and Roasted Garlic Mash
3. Aside from your work, what other things are you deeply passionate about?
Yoga. Walking into my first class was the best decision I ever made. Everything just unraveled after that.
And people. The mystery of human resilience fascinates me. I want to share my testimonial that when life gives you lemons, you don’t have to make lemonade. Toss it out and make beet juice. Go and search for your Great Perhaps—however long it takes. Because when you find it, I swear, nothing else will matter.
4. What is it like to pursue and hone your craft in Cebu, and to represent the city that you’re from?
The reason why I decided to come back was I wanted to share with Cebuanos everything that I learned. I didn’t want to do it anywhere else.
The first few months after I got back was tough, a lot of doors were slammed in my face. But I fought back because I believed that those people who said “no” to change did not define Cebu. My Cebu, the city that I love so much, has the most number of blue sky thinkers than anywhere else in the world.
And after 6 months of trying, Cebu fought back with me in the form of The Lazy Chef Lunch Club.
5. To people who’d like to follow your footsteps…what would you like to tell them?
Our mission is not to force people to make that change. The best thing we can do is to live by example, share our stories and find joy in what we are doing. T.S Eliot said it best: “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”
Brave the waves,