Sarah McLean is a trained chef and orthopaedic trauma nurse. She is also the author of recipe book Vegetarian Food For Carnivores and owner of the small food business of the same name.

Sarah was born and bred in Poulton Le Fylde near Blackpool before moving South to Shropshire where she discovered her love of cookery. This prompted her to train as a chef, and work in kitchens across the county.

Unfortunately the 80s were not a great decade for vegetarians and Sarah found herself constantly torn between her job and her own morals. This conflict led Sarah to become disenchanted with catering and cookery as a career and in 1996, she qualified as a nurse.

For the better part of 20 years, Sarah worked in hospitals across the county and raised her three children. However, she kept cooking.

In the early 2000s, Sarah’s husband Michael announced that his Aunt and Uncle were coming to stay from Australia. It must be known that Uncle Jimmy is forthright, as fond of a barbecue as anyone could hope to be, and disinclined to vegetarian food. 

Sarah panicked. She did not want to start cooking meat, but with three weeks hosting Uncle Jimmy, what else was she supposed to do? She did her research and discovered the meat substitute Quorn. Sarah experimented with recipes and flavours until she felt she could satisfy any enthusiastic carnivore. 

Uncle Jimmy complimented her cooking, ate seconds of her meals, and Sarah breathed a sigh of relief. 

At the end of their stay in Shrewsbury, Uncle Jimmy and Aunty Kath were picked up by vegetarian-vegan cousins to visit the wider family. Uncle Jimmy was visibly displeased. ‘I suppose I’m going to have to eat veggie food now?’ He asked. ‘What do you think you’ve been eating at Sarah’s?’ Came the inevitable response.

This family affair was the inspiration behind Sarah’s recipe book Vegetarian Food For Carnivores, created to bridge the gap between plant based and meat based food. She continued to experiment and convert much loved recipes from across the UK and the wider world. In 2020, Vegetarian Food For Carnivores was finally published.

From here, Sarah’s food business Vegetarian Food For Carnivores began. Selling a wide range of veggie and vegan food stuffs, pastries and sweet treats, VFC is based in Shrewsbury, operating through Shrewsbury Farmer’s Market and various local events.

Sarah’s recipe book is available to buy here, or you can come visit us at the market stall.