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Industry Profile: Allison Trice of Juniorís Veggie Soul

BY JEANETTE HURT
PHOTO BY DAVID SZYMANSKI

Oct. 2018

The lines sometimes snake across the sidewalk at the Juniorís Veggie Soul booth at South Shore Farmers Market. The business ó an offshoot of Fondy Farmers Marketís Juniorís Smoked BBQ booth ó is the brainchild and baby of self-taught chef Allison Trice, whose partner Kevin Junior runs the meatier of the businesses. When sheís not at the Thiensville, Brown Deer and Fondy farmers markets or teaching private cooking classes, Trice is the chef at Milwaukee Public Schools headquarters. As she served happy customers at the Thiensville Farmers Market, Trice talked with MKE Lifestyle about vegetarian cuisine, barbecue and the secret ingredient she canít live without.

How can a veggie-centric booth be an outgrowth of barbecued meats?

A lot of people have come to our [barbecue] booth and said, ďI would love to have some barbecue, but Iím a vegetarianĒ or ďIím vegan.Ē Kevin is focused on his meats ó thatís his thing ó but Iím like, ďI could do this.Ē So last year, someone told me that the South Shore Farmers Market is a really good market and that a lot of people over there are vegetarian. I asked the [market organizers], ďDo you all have a vegetarian tent?Ē They didnít, so I applied and I got in. This is my first year doing this.
 

Are you a vegetarian?

Eating is balance. You canít have barbecue all the time. Believe it or not, since weíve been selling barbecue, Iíve become more of a non-meat-eater. I taste our food to make sure it tastes right ó thatís what youíre supposed to do as a cook ó but Iím not eating plates of it. Iím a ďflexitarian.Ē I eat very flexibly.
 

What do you sell at Juniorís Veggie Soul?

I make a mock tuna salad, I make smoked baked beans, and I do a sweet potato dip. I do a ďpeamole,Ē which is like a guacamole, but itís made mostly with peas and just a little avocado for thickness. I do veggie burgers and smoked tofu. At our [meat booths], I donít sell vegetarian barbecue, but I do sell our vegetarian dips.
 

Is Juniorís Veggie Soul vegan?

No. I just cannot embrace vegan cheese. The funny thing is, Iím not the biggest cheese person. I met a lady who made some nut cheeses and they were decent, but they still donít melt or do what you need cheese to do.
 

What are you looking forward to making this fall?

I have a massive garden, and Iím growing collard greens and kale, tomatoes and tomatillos, jalape-os and poblanos, and I will just put it right back into our stuff. I cannot wait to make soups. At my job [at MPS], Iím really known for my soups, and they sell out. I canít wait to make some African peanut stews and chilis, and all of these will be vegan. I also am growing three varieties of pumpkins. I do a stir-fry with pumpkin, and I will do more spreads. I make all savory dishes with pumpkin. Pumpkins have a richness and an umami flavor.
 

What ingredients do you have to have on hand?

The No. 1 ingredient I have to have is smoked paprika. It is expensive, but when you get it, youíll be like, ďOh my God, this is the best seasoning Iíve had in my life.Ē
 

What kitchen tool or tools canít you live without?

A food processor. You have to have a food processor. An emulsion blender is also good. If you donít have space in your kitchen for a food processor, you can have space for an emulsion blender.







 

This story ran in the Oct. 2018 issue of: