Pop-Up Health Food: Shawn Harrison’s Tephra Vegan


Tephra Vegan is the Queen City’s premiere pop-up serving locally sourced, organic fare. When open, this pop-up features a three-course dinner of sumptuous, imaginative vegan cuisine courtesy of Chef Shawn Harrison.

Shawn is a native Charlottean, and he is intimately connected to the city’s culinary scene. Over the course of his prolific career, he has worked in the kitchens of over thirty restaurants across the city. Inaugurated to the culinary lifestyle at fifteen, he’s labored doggedly to get to where he is today.

“Over the years, I have taken perceived failures and setbacks as a learning mechanism for recipes, techniques, and aesthetics that I have utilized in a separate and unique culinary movement,” Shawn says.

At around fourteen years old, Shawn was first introduced to an animal-free lifestyle through what he calls “environmentally minded, straight-edge hardcore bands.”

After working at so many restaurants that inundated him with meat products, Shawn decided to make vegan cuisine the real focus of his career.

Shawn sees vegan cooking and eating as something that can be made accessible to everyone, and explains, “people should be aware that veganism is not circumscribed to only privileged individuals. A compassionate lifestyle is a comprehensive and attainable way of life.”

As he has learned to marry his own culinary voice with that of vegan ingredients, Shawn finds himself intrigued by infusing vegan food with Southern flavors. “I love Southern cuisine,” Shawn explains. “It’s deceptively simple. Its overt humbleness makes deep-flavored animal free renditions approachable and memorable to everyone.”

While some people might be hesitant at first to try anything labeled vegan (myself included), Shawn provides meat-lovers with some comforting advice— “When food is familiar, of a consistent quality, and not over-complicated, even the ‘most traditional’ of eaters are at least willing to give it a try.”

If you’re up to trying some delectable Southern vegan fair for the holidays, Tephra Vegan will have holiday meals, available for pre-order starting this week, delivered to your doorstep just in time.

For more info check out: www.ChefShawnHarrison.com