Zel Allen attended the college of life experience. Her first career was secretary in the aerospace industry. Her primary vocation was stay-at-home mom, keeping pace with her four active, now-grown children. Following the birth of her fourth child, she flirted with show business in a 15-year gig as professional belly dancer and dance instructor.
All the while, Zel expressed a strong interest in gourmet cooking that blossomed into a catering business. Establishing Plum Pudding Kitchen, she developed a line of unique, steamed puddings during the catering endeavor. The exceptional puddings acquired a loyal following, including clients like actress Angela Lansbury and radio personality Robert W. Morgan. For several years during the holiday season her more than 25 steamed puddings were a dessert highlight in homes throughout Southern California. Many were even shipped to cities around the country.
When a focus on healthy eating opened a new door, the vegan journey led Zel to partner with her husband in 1999 to begin publishing Vegetarians in Paradise, an online vegetarian magazine read by more than 100,000 visitors monthly. Vegan for 21 years, Zel presently spreads the message of a healthy vegan lifestyle by teaching vegetarian cooking classes at Glendale Community College in Southern California.
She lives in Granada Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, with her husband, Reuben, and her cat Fuzzy, once a homeless kitten.