After spending a week in Italy with Vegan Chef Leslie Durso, there was no way I could NOT bring her on the podcast!  Leslie describes herself as a “level 5 Vegan,” meaning that she’s intense about all things vegan - no meat, no dairy, no animal byproducts, plant based...the whole package.   But I would expand her description and tell you that she is a Level 5 Human Being. She shows up in her life and in her business so powerfully and gracefully that I wanted to make sure you got the chance to know a bit more about her and her philosophies.  


When Leslie started her blog in 2010, she had no credentials.  She was not a trained chef. She was not a nutritionist. She had not gone to culinary school.  But she did have the desire to establish herself as an expert in her field and an insane drive to bring plant based eating to the world.  A few months later, and with the realization that tens of thousands of people were coming to her site, she got serious and creative and started her career as a Vegan Chef.  


Now, Leslie partners with the Four Season Hotel, implementing vegan menus, hosting retreats and running their wellness programs.  She runs Vegan Retreats (like the one I just came back from) in her beloved country of Italy. She has a TV show called Accidentally Vegan on the Fab Fit Fun TV Network.  She’s appeared on The Food Network, The Discovery Channel, The Hallmark Channel, Everyday Health and Mother Nature Network and has written for MindBodyGreen, VegNews,, Redbook, Glamour and Maxum, just to name a few.  


You could say she’s earned a bit of credentials.  ;)


But her credentials are not what we talk about.  We talk about how she has stayed true to herself - her ethics, her values and her goals - during her business journey.  


We discuss…


  • How she got focused and serious with her blog and how she monetized it through advertising and promotions.
  • How her modeling and acting career lent itself to her current work.
  • Why she decided she didn’t need to go to culinary school and how she instead went on a mission to be mentored by great chefs all around the world.
  • How she leads her life with the belief that she is doing good in the world and showing up to provide value and how she lets that belief system fuel her career.
  • The difference between dreams and goals and how doing the next best thing, just one step at a time has accumulated into a LOT of progress for her!
  • Practices and habits she has to stay grateful for the present moment and her understanding that she is always in the middle of her journey.  


In a world where you can literally be anything and do anything, Leslie’s story is a great reminder for each of us to stay true to ourselves on our business journeys, so that we can design the life and business we truly desire!


Check out more about Leslie here →