Today you can find Chef Angela Lowe at events, cooking for clients, and as the host of a new web series. In addition she has cooked at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, The New York Vegetarian Festival and The Culinary Collective pop-up dinner series, but she didn’t follow a straight path to get to this point. Even though she started cooking as a child when she first learned from her grandma, her professional life hasn’t always been in the kitchen.
Lowe skipped college and focused on becoming an entrepreneur. She moved to New York from Minnesota and promptly started her first business. Her team of personal trainers and health food experts worked with executives and music moguls such as Sean Combs, Total, 112, Angie Stone, and Touré from MSNBC. Lowe cooked for many of these clients at their homes.
A few years later, Lowe decided to use some of the contacts she made in her fitness business to branch into fashion with her own company, Funky Lala. This venture began with a t-shirt and custom clothing line but transformed into one of the first e-commerce, multi-brand websites. At this point, Lowe was designing custom clothing for Prince’s New Power Generation, Aerosmith, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alicia Keys, Missy Elliot, Nelly Furtado, Jenna Elfman and more. No longer “just” a designer, Lowe created a company that offered brand marketing, event production, and consulting. Soon, major industry figures—such as Allure, Elle, Hugo Boss, Baby Phat, Rodarte, and Patricia Field—asked her to produce fashion shows and events. She also collaborated with her friend Rebecca Minkoff on the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards and the MTV Music Awards.
Not only was Lowe working with big names in the fashion world, she began focusing on educating others. She created and held signature workshops, the first of their kind, in major cities around the country. She was giving aspiring designers the full picture of the industry by teaching them how to build a brand and handle the public relations and business side of fashion. With her own company, she created a full women’s wear line, and she put together a t-shirt project and custom denim collection. She also opened a brick and mortar store where she sold seventy-five lines of high-end apparel, footwear, and handbags. Because of her expertise, she was asked to teach guest workshops at Parsons
At the peak of her success, Lowe decided to take a vacation to South Africa and go on safari. During this trip, she realized her life was so hectic she couldn’t enjoy the simple things. She wanted time to gather around a table to chat, exchange ideas, and eat great food. She decided to switch gears and get back to the kitchen. A long-time vegan, Lowe knew that she wanted to focus on the sort of healthy meals she cooked during her first business venture. She enrolled at the Natural Gourmet Institute, which is the only health supportive cooking school in the country.
After graduating from NGI, Lowe cooked at many incredible events, including the 2014 New York City Wine & Food Festival where she cooked with Matthew Kenney, Tyler Kord, and Daphne Cheng. She was also a part of a NYFW event that featured Lululemon and Gabrielle Bernstein. She has cooked at the Vegetarian Food Festival kick off dinner and worked with various charities, including UHAI. She hasn’t abandoned the fashion world completely, though, and can often be found planning food-focused events for those in the industry. Her primary focus is on elevating the image of plant-based cuisine through her own cooking, events, and catering services.
Most recently, she created The Culinary Collective. Her concept was to create a space where talented chefs could prepare plant-based meals and bring people together for unique food experiences. She launched this pop-up dinner series at a townhouse in April. The Collective has been getting a lot of press and opened to rave reviews. The Daily Meal called it an “innovative vegetable-forward dinner series.” Matt & Nat called the food, “So delicious it drives one to distraction,” and said, “The Culinary Collective is not to be missed.” Perhaps the best review came from The Examiner, who gave The Collective five stars. It seems as if Lowe has achieved her dream of bringing people together. In the article, Shaina Moskowitz writes, “The space was cozy and conversation came naturally with fascinating guests all who share a love for vegan dining.”
Never one to rest on previous successes, Lowe will continue the Culinary Collective pop-up dinners and produce innovative plant-based events at various locations throughout New York City. She plans to expand her audience by launching a YouTube channel that focuses on food, travel, and culture. She is also working to produce a TV show. She says that she plans, “To spend the foreseeable future working on this show, organizing select events, writing a book, and traveling,” and she’s in the process of launching a food product business.