Padmanadi has been in Edmonton since 2002 and is dedicated to providing delicious vegan dishes to herbivores and carnivores alike. Chef Martin Flint has cooked for the restaurant for several years and now works as the assistant manager and occasional chef.
How would you describe your cooking style?
In a word, my cooking style is vegan. Having been vegetarian for many years and strictly vegan for the last seven years, I will only use vegan ingredients in anything I cook. I try to keep my cooking simple, using as few ingredients as possible to create uncluttered dishes that allow fresh, natural flavours to come through.
What’s your food/restaurant philosophy?
Here at Padmanadi the whole team is dedicated to bringing an awareness of the vegan lifestyle to the people of Edmonton and all who come through our doors. We aim to show everyone that there is an incredibly tasty, wholesome alternative to what I call the SNAD (Standard North American Diet), and it’s available here in the capital of “beef country.”
What inspired you to become a chef?
I have long been dismayed by the sad lack of good vegan food available in restaurants and hotels around the world. I don’t think vegans should have perhaps one or two choices of restaurant or just eat mountains of pasta and tomato sauce or fries and salad! Perhaps it was this that made me want to try to do something positive. When I first came to Padmanadi some eight years ago I was completely captivated by the owner, Kasim, who really inspired me to try my hand at doing something that he could see I was passionate about. With his guidance and expert help from his daughter Maya, I learnt the ropes and am still learning.
What’s the first thing you ate that made you realize food was an important part of culture?
I have always believed that food and the sharing of food is a cornerstone of every culture that has ever been on the earth. There is nothing more fundamental than the preparation of [food], and the “breaking of bread” with your neighbour.
What do you think is Edmonton’s next big innovative ingredient?
It’s really hard to tell. After sun dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, who knows? Personally I would like to see an increased interest in the numerous types of fungi now available.
Why should people visit your restaurant and try your food?
People should come to Padmanadi to try something different. I guarantee they will be amazed by the selection of wonderful food on offer; every dish a beautifully cooked and presented explosion of flavour that will leave them counting the days until their next visit. As I say to all our guests, “you come in as a customer but you leave as a friend.”
Padmanadi Vegetarian Restaurant
10740 101 Street
Edmonton, AB T5H 2S3
Tues – Fri: 11am to 2pm; 4pm to 10pm
Sat-Sun: 10am to 2pm; 4pm to 10pm