Jess Rice – Chef / Advocate
Jess Rice is the former chef de cuisine, co-founder, and creative force behind Avo, the first full scale, gourmet, raw vegan restaurant in the state of Tennessee. She is a dedicated advocate of the plant-based lifestyle and has created gourmet, raw cuisine across the United States.
In her former career, Rice worked in public relations and marketing. She was drawn to experiment with living foods in response to the toll late nights spent networking and long days sitting at a desk eventually took on her health. She experienced life-changing results once she eliminated animal-based foods and took a health-focused approach to preparing vegan cuisine.
Gradually, she began helping others do the same and decided to pursue formal training as a chef and coach. Leaving her sedentary office job, Rice focused on her business, My Poor Tired Liver, full-time, supplying local eateries (The Wild Cow, Juice Bar, 8th & Roast) with healthy raw foods and began teaching raw foods classes independently and with Metro Nashville’s Community Education Commission. Between 2013 and 2014, Rice completed culinary training at celebrated chef Matthew Kenney’s Culinary Academy in Santa Monica, California, and obtained detox coaching certifications and raw food chef certifications with Naturopath Dr. Amy Rachelle in Indonesia. In 2015, Rice opened Avo and made waves in the vibrant dining scene in Nashville; Avo is the first vegan restaurant to win “Best New Restaurant” in the annual and highly-anticipated Nashville Scene’s Reader’s Poll.
Jess Rice brings a fresh perspective to Nashville VegFest; she will speak to her successes, trials, and tribulations as a young, DIY, vegan business owner and will also demo one of her best selling raw vegan recipes at VegFest.
Photo by Hope Anderson, Edible Nashville Magazine.