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Chris Kelly | Photo: Phoebe Rourke-Ghabriel | June 28, 2013
This isn’t your grandmother’s health food. But hot young vegan chef Stephanie Hoban does use Mamaw’s juicer!
Stephanie Hoban, 25, is indulging in something that her nonstop schedule rarely permits. She’s taking a coffee break. “I really don’t have a social life,” laughs the petite brunette with a glossy mane of waist-length hair. Small wonder.
Hoban is the chef-owner of new Ripe Market Café, which is open Sundays at the Eastside Urban Harvest Farmers Market. In addition, she’s the dietician for all Snap Kitchen locations, offering healthy prepared meals. Then there’s her ripe-cuisine.com blog which is regularly updated with recipes for “veganized” versions of classic dishes. And she caters on the side.
Practically the only time she gets to see her lawyer boyfriend, Cole Ramsey, is when he serves as the cashier for Ripe while Hoban makes delights such as cornmeal-crusted avocado tacos. “Cole is my eye candy,” Hoban smiles. “He just draws customers into the café.”
Hoban began her culinary journey in high school at Houston’s St. Agnes Academy, becoming a vegetarian and throwing her barbecue-savvy parents for a loop. “They didn’t know what to cook for me,” she says, “so I decided to explore on my own.” She went on to earn degrees in nutrition from NYU and Texas Women’s.
Hoban now lives back in Bellaire—with her mother and “a mini pin-rat terrier” rescue pup named Presley—where she does all of her recipe development, testing and cooking in a kitchen with her mom’s old Cuisinart and her grandmother’s juicer. It’s a juicer, incidentally, that provides the young vegan chef inspiration. “Mamaw started juicing carrots long before most people,” Hoban observes, “and now she’s 90 years old!”
Christopher Guest, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, So Delicious nondairy ice cream, musician Nick Waterhouse
Microwave popcorn, Blue Tube headsets, Bloody Marys, procrastination, “anything involving needles and shots,” artificial sugar, closed-minded people