Deirdre McCafferty was born in Dublin in 1953. She always loved animals but did not realise she could be a vegetarian. This change became possible while living in Boston, USA, in her 20’s. In 1982 she attended and then worked at a raw vegan healing centre called Hippocrates. The focus was on human health and healing, and Deirdre was delighted when shown how to be vegetarian. It was a relief to no longer eat animals, and it was healthier and good for the environment.
Deirdre and her Irish husband Neil (1952-1993) returned to Dublin inspired by a holistic lifestyle in 1986. They opened Cornucopia on Wicklow Street as a health food shop and small vegetarian cafe.
Gradually over the past thirty-six years, under Deirdre’s guidance, the cafe expanded and grew into the larger building next door. With the current leadership of Deirdre’s daughter Dairine and head chef Tony Keogh Cornucopia has gradually transformed into the restaurant it is today.
Deirdre believes in giving people health wrapped up in delicious taste, and that great flavours and textures are what people want. Some people change quickly to a vegan lifestyle, but for others, it is a gradual process, and nothing convinces like great flavours, which she feels Cornucopia provides in it’s healthy delicious plant-based menu options.
Cornucopia has published a vegetarian cookbook and, more recently, a vegan cookbook with Tony Keogh which gives lots of instruction on making tasty, healthy vegan soups, salads, mains, desserts and snacks – changing the world one meal at a time.
Deirdre is delighted to be talking about her vegan business at Vegfest and hopes that eventually, all restaurants will be vegan.