226: Leslie the Lab Girl

with Chef Leslie Durso


Leslie Durso is a vegan chef and wellness expert who refuses to compromise style for sustainability. She was once known as "Leslie the Lab Girl" on Bill Nye the Science Guy, and has taken her love for education and shifted her focus from science, to food. Ever since Leslie was 8 years old, she has cared about the animals and their welfare. Over the past few years, she has emerged as a public persona, hosting cooking segments on both television and online.

Her show Accidentally Vegan can be seen on FABFITFUNTV and she regularly appears on The Doctors, Food Network, Discovery Channel, Hallmark Channel, and written for VegNews, CNN.com, Redbook, Glamour, and more, evangelizing the benefits of a mindful lifestyle, delivered with her trademark blend of sunshine-y sophistication and girl-next-door relatability.


In this episode, Leslie shares how her Italian roots meshed with her love of cooking, allow her to create beautiful, healthy, plant-based recipes today.

Leslie Durso:

Website: https://lesliedurso.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lesliedurso/

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/LeslieDurso

More About Leslie:

Although, the public mostly sees Leslie as a chef, her true love is for the animals.An established animal advocate, Leslie lends her personality through appearances and promotional support to a number of animal welfare organizations including the Humane Society of the United States, Best Friends Animal Rescue and Farm Sanctuary.

One of Leslie's biggest passions is creating a dining experience where all can sit at the same table and enjoy a meal together no matter what dietary restrictions people may have. She is grateful to work with some of the top hotel and restauranteurs in the business including the Four Seasons, Punta Mita where she has created an entire vegan program throughout the resort with the goal of making it the most vegan-friendly hotel in the world.


Leslie currently broadcasts her farm fresh recipes and warm-hearted sensibilities to an extensive audience spanning more than 130 countries via her website. Through her multimedia engagement and numerous upcoming initiatives, Leslie plans to spread the love of a plant-based lifestyle to an even broader swath of fans, including mainstream omnivores and fellow millennials.


If you are interested in working with her at your hotel or restaurant, please email Leslie's assistant Liz for more information. liz@authenticm.com

For Plant-Based Recipes: https://lesliedurso.com/food-recipes/

Visit Leslie's recommended places to eat around the world: https://lesliedurso.com/travel/

Other References:

The Humane League: https://thehumaneleague.org/

The Humane Society: https://www.humanesociety.org/

Mercy for Animals: https://mercyforanimals.org/

Animal Equality: https://animalequality.org/

Farm Sanctuary: https://www.farmsanctuary.org/

More about Prop 12:

In 2008, the Humane Society developed a ballot initiative, titled Proposition 2, to ban the confinement of pregnant pigs, calves raised for veal, and egg-laying hens in a manner that did not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs. Proposition 2 did not provide specific square feet when defining prohibited confinement. Rather, the size restrictions were based on animal behavior and movement. Opponents, such as the Association of California Egg Farmers, claimed this was too vague. Voters approved Proposition 2, and the law went into effect in 2015.

Proposition 2 did not ban the sale of veal from calves, pork from breeding pigs, and eggs from hens. The California State Legislature approved a law that banned the sale of shelled eggs from hens confined to areas that did not meet Proposition 2's standards. Regulators interpreted the law as requiring producers who wanted to sell shelled eggs in California as needing to provide hens at least 0.8 square feet per hen.


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