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Power Plants: Local chef uses vegan soul food to uplift spirits and diets in Columbus

Power Plants: Local chef uses vegan soul food to uplift spirits and diets in Columbus


Chef Ishmael Rahman lives his life by maintaining high vibes through vegan soul food dishes. As such, he’s the founder of pop-up vendor Power Plant Kitchen. Sustaining a plant-based lifestyle for 20 years, Rahman looked to his long-time dietary changes as inspiration behind Power Plant Kitchen, along with satisfying his loyal vegan following.

“As I got older, I knew I needed to make a change in food that didn’t make me feel sluggish,” Rahman said. “My thought behind Power Plant Kitchen was, ‘Doesn’t everyone want to feel this way? I cannot be the only one.’” 


Reflecting traditional Carribean and soul food, Rahman uses foods that are both vibrant in color as well as health benefits. Witnessing friends and family members suffering from cancer and hypertension, Rahman dedicated his business to empowering customers through foods high in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. The Power Plant Kitchen menu—which changes between a rotation of signature meals like BBQ Pineapple Chikn Bowl, Ishmael Veg Lasagna and Bakon and Avocado Sandwich with Fried Plantains—has nearly changed the habits of traditional eaters.

“A person once told me, ‘if I could eat like this everyday, I’d go vegan.’ I’ve had to get more creative with marketing and the menu,” Rahman said. “During the pandemic…the world shut down, so I was in search of a new crowd of people who wanted to change their lifestyle and old eating habits.”

Looking forward to incorporating soups and stews on Power Plant Kitchen’s holiday menu, Rahman plans to work consistently with seasonal produce. With fresh, efficient and environmentally-friendly foods, Rahman doesn’t just plan to change the conversation about Black-owned vegan options, he wants Power Plant Kitchen to change the vibration.

“Food has energy, it impacts on all aspects of health,” he said. “Eating an unbalanced, heavy processed diet I believe can drastically reduce your mood and state of mind. I want to uplift communities with good food.”

Learn more on Insta at @powerplantkitchen

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