Meet Our Chef


Guy Vaknin is a world renowned vegan chef, celebrated for his distinctive and approachable plant-based cuisine. 

Guy was raised on a kibbutz in Israel, where he was immersed in agriculture from a young age. He was taught how to cultivate food for the benefit of a community as a whole. Kibbutz means “gathering” in Hebrew, and is where he learned the values of social responsibility, sustainability, and cooperative living. 

Guy finds profound inspiration in aromas, ingredients, and flavors from across the globe. He believes that food is deeply connected to emotion, culture, and memory. As a classically trained chef, he translates this passion onto the plate and creates a transformative and unforgettable dining experience. 

Upon graduating from the Institute of Culinary Education in 2007, Guy became the Executive Chef at Esprit Events, an established kosher catering company in Manhattan. There, he met his future wife and co-founder, Tali. Together, they developed their signature vegan sushi and the Beyond Sushi brand was born. After successfully opening multiple Beyond Sushi locations throughout New York City, the duo continued their vision of creating global vegan cuisine by opening Willow and Coletta. In 2019, Guy and Tali created  City Roots Hospitality, New York City’s premier vegan restaurant group and catering company.  His most recent endeavor is Anixi, a Mediterranean Brasserie in Manhattan that features vibrant flavors  from Greece, Turkey, and Lebanon.

In 2012, Chef Guy was in the spotlight as a contestant on Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen Season 10. He also appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank in 2018 where he made one of the largest deals in the history of the show. He is just getting started and cannot wait to grow the City Roots brand.