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Meet the Shefs: Maria Frustaci Kennedy

You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy Maria’s “Hearty” Jackfruit Salad.

SHOP: Maria’s “Hearty” Jackfruit Salad.

Born into an Italian family, Maria has always been surrounded by the delicious food and wonderful traditions. Her first memory of cooking is with her Nonna and grandma Vera in Brooklyn. “My Nonna would give my sister Luisa, my cousin Concetta and I aprons, and we would knead dough for hours while she prepared Calabrian specialties.”

In college, Maria continued to prepare homemade dishes but never considered it as a career. After working as a graphic designer and teacher, Maria realized that cooking is truly her passion. “Once I became a mother, cooking clean, healthy meals for my family became a big part of my life. Learning about plant-based cooking took it to another level.”

Because of her husband’s back and neck issues, Maria started to research anti-inflammatory foods and create vegan meals for his health. He felt better almost immediately. Soon, Maria decided the whole family, including her children, would benefit from plant-based, vegan cuisine.

“It has been one of the best things we did for ourselves and our family. We both feel better overall and feel good about what we share with our children.” Maria started creating hearty, healthy vegan meals that are delicious, nutritious and satisfying. “Being a part of Shefs has been huge. Not only am I doing something I love and feeling good about it, but I’m helping others and feeding people which I love to do!”

Maria hopes to show those who may not be excited about vegan food that it can be yummy too. And she’s looking forward to seeing all the women share their stories and recipes! 

“My Irish meat-and-potato-loving husband has gone plant-based. Pain-free and in better health, he has never been happier. While our selections may have changed, the flavors have not. I make sure my family eats well with healthy, clean ingredients that won't compromise the tastes we love.”  


With Shefs, Maria feels blessed to share her love of cooking non-traditional meals with anyone interested in plant-based meals. Your body and the environment will benefit greatly!

SHOP: Maria’s “Hearty” Jackfruit Salad.

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