YouTube star Gaz Oakley will join vegan burger group The Vurger Co. as Executive Chef as it kicks off a £600,000 expansion.
The burger brand - which will open a second outlet in October - opened its Shoreditch site in March, after a hugely successful 2017 crowdfunding campaign, in which it raised 166 percent of its target figure within 72 hours – proving to be Crowdcube’s fastest ever restaurant raise. The latest round raised the £600,000.
Gaz Oakley teamed up with The Vurger Co. earlier this Summer to create a limited edition jerk burger to serve alongside the standard menu of plant-based burgers, fries, macaroni cheese, and milkshakes. Now he will take on a more permanent role within the operation.
'Over the moon'
Oakley exclusively told Plant Based News: "When I found out [The Vurger Co.] wanted me to become their Executive Chef I was over the moon. It was a great feeling and I couldn't quite believe it.
"Obviously the burger we did together in July was such a success that it's only right we work together. This feels like a pinnacle in my career since starting Avant Garde Vegan. I've written books, but this is way up there.
"Going back to when I first became a chef at 16, working in professional kitchens and learning the trade, all I really wanted to do was create menus whether that was in my own restaurant or someone else's. Put my ideas onto a menu, and create new dishes, so it's a dream to do it with Vurger who have established themselves as a major UK vegan restaurant with big plans to grow, which I want to help with. It will be a really good collaboration with good food. "It's a dream come true and I'm really grateful."
'Excited and proud'
The Vurger Co Founder, Rachel Hugh, said: "We have worked on this round for a few months and couldn't be more excited, proud and honoured that our investors believe in us and our vision as much as us.
"We are proud also to have Gaz on board, he really understands our vision and what our customers want to see from us going forward."
She says the £600,000 will be used to 'add further sites and also take on some other exciting projects'.