I had the pleasure of connecting with German bestselling author and celebrity chef, Attila Hildmann, and checking out his newly released cookbooks: Vegan for Fit and Vegan for Fun. I was sold on his awesomeness by this fantastic bio:
“A success story on his own, Attila lost 77 lbs after the loss of his father to a heart attack–a transformation he likes to call ‘from fat ass to bad ass.’
A self-taught vegan chef from a bratwurst-ridden society, Attila sets himself apart from the vegan movement, supporting the notion that his followers need not adopt a 100% vegan diet. Even consuming vegan meals for one day each week will improve your health, which is what he inspires avid carnivores around the world to do.”
Try one of his fantastic recipes – wild garlic gnocchi.
I wanted to get to know more about him, so I asked a few questions:
Heather: Talk to me about the German vegan scene. I’ve heard lots of good things about Berlin, are there other good cities to be vegan?
Attila: In the last years Berlin developed into the vegan capital of Europe. There are so many vegan hotspots to check out: snack bars, restaurants and bars. You definitely need to see it. The first vegan restaurant in Berlin was LaManoVerde. I am still in love with their foods and atmosphere.
Heather: Who are your role models? Are there any leaders in the health/vegan movement in Germany?
Attila: My role model is Arnold Schwarzenegger. It inspired me how he transformed bodybuilding into a multi-billion dollar market and he is also a very inspirational figure when it comes to setting up goals and believing in your dreams, no matter what other people say. When I was in Los Angeles I didn’t get to meet him but hopefully soon.
Heather: Meat and potatoes seems like the German staple — how have you been successful in getting people to mix it up?
Attila: Yeah, Germany is famous for having good Brats and pork chops so it was kind of tough to sell books here. But I have managed to sell 750,000! I guess the most important key to success is my laid-back approach to this subject and that I connected vegan with loosing weight easily. I believe that every step into the right direction helps whether it’s cutting back on meat or just eating vegan once a week.
Heather: Do you see women as helping lead a shift in Germans’ diets?
Attila: Not right now but hopefully soon. It’s important for young woman to see that you can stay in shape on a vegan diet.
Heather: Are there some lessons from your personal transformation that would apply generally?
Attila: Never ever give up no matter where you are. I was a lazy fat-ass 14 years ago and totally transformed by body and my outlook on life. I lost 77 pounds, now I am competing in Ironman Triathlons, became a bestselling author and appear on TV every week. If you would have told me that 14 years ago I would have believed you are just talking trash and making fun of me. But I set myself goals and took every step to success. It all worked out. Never underestimate the power of setting goals for yourself, the power of your mind.
Heather: What do you think about the American TV show “the biggest loser”?
Attila: I’ve heard about it but I believe that when I am going to make a vegan bootcamp on TV there will be better results and people will stay in shape even long after the show is done 😉 We did a TV show on German primetime. A father of five who loved to eat meat and was close to getting a heart attack, went on my Vegan For Fit program and totally transformed himself. He is now 80 pounds lighter, his blood values are excellent and we still work out together.
Heather: What’s your favorite music to cook to?
Attila: I rather like to concentrate on what I am doing. The sizzling sounds of a frying pan or chopping vegetables on a cutting board is music to my ears. 😉
Check out Attila’s work on his website AtillaHildmann.com
Win a copy of Attila’s 2 cookbooks!
I had a chance to check out his cookbooks, which are packed with amazingly fun recipes like chili with avocado cream, spaghetti with tofu bolognese, matcha shakes, Asian sesame burger, quinoa croquettes, zucchiniloni with pumpkin olive filling and basil pesto, Berlin toast with cashew banana filling…
These sound amazing! I would have loved to find these on a menu when I was in Germany 🙂 And I’m excited to say that one of you lucky people will win a copy of both of his books!
One of the entries is to leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite potato dish is! I don’t tend to eat a lot of potatoes, but when I do my favorite is roasting them with lots of other veggies and season with garlic and herbs.