'Bacon' bites and KFC ('kruelty-free chicken'): meet Gaz Oakley, the YouTube star of vegan cooking 

Even vegans crave steak now and then – which is where Gaz Oakley and his meat-free burgers come in. Suddenly, Veganuary looks a lot more palatable Credit: Simon Smith

'I get the odd marriage proposal,’ says Gaz Oakley with a laugh. ‘More than the odd one, in fact.’ With 164,000 Instagram followers and more than 250,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, Oakley is in hot demand, and not just because of his hipsterish charm and glinting grin.

Since launching Avant-Garde Vegan on the photo-sharing 
platform in February 2016, Oakley has become a star of the meat-free world, 
and his recipes have gained the respect of herbivores and carnivores alike. Such has been the success of his more recent YouTube channel (where he cooks everything from vegan hot dogs to ‘fish’ and chips), he didn’t even have time to mark its first birthday, which passed by a week before we speak. ‘I was filming videos so didn’t have a chance to celebrate,’ he says. ‘It’s all gone so quickly, as if it happened almost overnight.’

Avant-Garde Vegan began simply as an outlet for Cardiff-born...

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