Meet Omari McQueen, The 11-Year-Old Vegan Chef Creating A Name For Himself

Photo: Instagram (@omarimcqueen)

At only eleven years old, Omari McQueen is officially the youngest restauranter in the world! Based in the United Kingdom, his pop-up restaurant, Dipalicious, specializes in serving homemade vegan Caribbean dishes. 

McQueen founded Dipalicious at eight years old, by creating a YouTube channel where he posts videos making his favorite vegan foods, such as pizza with a homemade Caribbean Kick dip. As time went by, he yearned to open up his own restaurant–leading McQueen to contact Boxpark’s CEO Roger Wade for advice. In an interview with NPR, Wade, who manages food halls across London, said that he was quite inspired by the 11-year-old’s determination and confidence. He provided McQueen with the opportunity to run his restaurant for a week at Boxpark’s Croydon location, and even waived the £1000 renting fee.

The ambitious entrepreneur’s first pop-up restaurant was held during the week of August 17th–24th. The enticing menu consisted of barbecue jackfruit with breadfruit chips, callaloo, and pumpkin soup. His signature dish, the Omari umami, was also available to try. 

McQueen tells NPR’s Richard Morgan that his next plan is to turn a bus into a food truck and drive around the UK with his father, who just so happens to be a bus driver. “You can tell people that food is healthy or kind to animals, but they won’t care unless the food is fun and delicious,” he said discerningly.  

While impressive, this is only the beginning of the journey for the exceptional pre-teen.

McQueen is still active on his YouTube channel, Omari Goes Wild, where he not only shares cooking secrets, but also provides advice for aspiring young entrepreneurs. Stay in the know with McQueen’s next ventures by following him on Twitter, Instagram, and his website.

Ayanna Nicole

Hi! I’m Ayanna, a writer and artist. Although I graduated from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with two degrees in art and psychology, I’ve had a passion for writing for as long as I can remember. By following my dreams and utilizing my creativity, I designed Jaro Magazine with the ultimate intention of bringing more positive stories in the black community to the forefront, while also highlighting our versatile and vibrant culture through Jaro’s four modes: film, books, art, and music. I also manage a book hub, which you can find on Instagram @bloomingliterature.

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