The Seed Food & Wine Festival 2014 (SFWF) takes place this October in and around the beaches of Miami. This annual gathering celebrates spirits, craft beer, fine wine and all kinds of plant-based cuisine, while raising health awareness. SFWF is overjoyed about the support it is receiving from some of the biggest names in the vegan community.
The Seed Food & Wine Festival 2014 has signed up a stellar cast of celebrity chefs, authors and health experts to appear at the Festival, starting with the world’s leading raw food chef and best-selling author, Matthew Kenney; 2014 James Beard Award nominees Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby; and author Brendan Brazier, a former professional Ironman triathlete considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on plant-based nutrition.
Kenney, an entrepreneur, bestselling cookbook author, culinary educator and celebrity chef, has earned several accolades, such as being named one of “America’s Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine, earning the French Culinary Institute’s “Outstanding Graduate” award, being named a “Rising Star Chef” by PBS, two nominations from the James Beard Foundation in the “Rising Star Chef” category and Veg News magazine’s “Chef of the Year.” He will also be opening his first Miami location, this winter in the Wynwood area, White Lotus.
The charismatic Kenney has also owned several highly regarded eateries in New York, appeared on various television talk shows, and served as speaker of the popular TEDxOKC Talk in 2011. In order to spread his extensive knowledge, the master chef also founded the Matthew Kenney Academy, the world’s first raw food culinary institute. Vegan foodies attending the SFWF’s intimate dinner events, one of which will be hosted by Matthew Kenney Cuisine, are in for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Landau and Jacoby own and operate Vedge, one of the most lauded vegan restaurants in the country. Landau is widely recognized for wowing the judges on the popular Food Network’s series, Chopped. His creative and flavorful use of such basket ingredients as chia seeds, dandelion greens and tempeh garnered Chef Landau the win last year, making him a Season 15 Chopped champion.
The husband and wife team are also co-authors of vegan cookbooks Horizons: New Vegan Cuisine and Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small that Redefine Vegetable Cooking, a bestseller widely hailed by such respected authorities as Publisher’s Weekly and the Chicago Tribune. Vedge was also named one of the “10 Best Cookbooks of 2013” by Entertainment Weekly.
Celebrity chef and Chopped judge, Amanda Freitag, has spoken highly of the couple’s culinary abilities, their restaurant and their cookbook, saying, “Rich Landau is a highly skilled, inspirational chef who always makes me happy with his food and his energy. He and his wife Kate have created an incredible restaurant in Philadelphia and a work of art in this book. Vegan? Yes! Magic, no . . . this is pure passion at work!”
Keeping its promise to bring together the best, most widely recognized and highly respected plant-based diet authorities together, SFWF is proud to include Brendan Brazier as one of the hosts and speakers at the inaugural SEED Food & Wine Festival. Brazier, a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion and author of the bestselling Thrive cookbook series as well as co-founder of Thrive magazine, is scheduled to host not one, but two SFWF events. In addition to hosting an educational workshop on Festival Day, Brazier will co-host SEED’s VIP Cocktail Party with Maranda Pleasant, filmmaker, founder and publisher of one of the bestselling magazine about conscious living, Origin, and co-founder with Brazier of bestselling magazine, Thrive.
Also on hand will be award-winning chef, author and activist Mark Reinfeld, dubbed the “male equivalent to a vegan Rachel Ray” by Publisher’s Weekly; distinguished chef and alumnus of both the International School of Detoxification and the Matthew Kenney Academy, Nicolas Torrent; farm-to-table activist and chef, Robbie Errichetti of Thyme Catering and Loba restaurant in Midtown Miami, and Juice Goddess, Dr. Etti, with more chefs, health experts and celebrities to be announced.
In the spirit of paying it forward and promoting conscious plant-based living around the world, SFWF is donating the proceeds from all its ancillary events to Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization; and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit organization that promotes a plant-based diet, preventive medicine, and alternatives to animal research through education and outreach.
Plant-based diets lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, as well as lower the risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. Such diets are also eco-friendly and promote an end to animal cruelty. SFWF will demonstrate that plant-based diets are not only healthy, but delicious by providing the 5,000 estimated attendees with five full days of delectable vegan food, wine, spirit and craft beer samples, as well as cooking demonstrations and educational workshops.
Tickets and passes to the five days of festivities go on sale July 15th with prices from $10 to $125 per event or a all inclusive vip experience for $375. Follow the Seed Food & Wine Festival on Twitter and Instagram: @SeedFW and Facebook: Facebook.com/seedfoodandwine or on the web at www.seedfoodandwine.com.
MAKE PLANS NOW TO VISIIT VEGGIE FEST CHICAGO
ONE OF THE LARGEST VEGETARIAN FOOD FESTIVALS IN NORTH AMERICA
VEGGIE FEST CHICAGO RETURNS TO NAPERVILLE, IL AUGUST 9-10
(Naperville, IL) It’s almost time to fill up your car with your friends and family and head to the 9th Annual Veggie Fest, the largest vegetarian food and lifestyle festival in North America! With a huge international food court; health professionals speaking on diet, lifestyle, and environmental issues; engaging food demos by restaurant owners, chefs, and authors; an incredible children’s tent with face painting, clowns, and crafts; live music from some of Chicago’s best bands; and over 100 vendor booths to explore, it’s easy to see why over 25,000 people from around the world attended the two-day Veggie Fest last year.
And there’s even more you can do at Veggie Fest! If you’ve been curious about the vegetarian diet, you can sign up for the Vegetarian Challenge to receive free support, recipes, and tips for going vegetarian for 14 days. Thousands of people have felt the benefits of taking the Vegetarian Challenge, and you can, too! And while you’re having a great time at the festival, you also can give back to the community by donating blood or bringing non-perishable vegetarian items for our food drive benefiting People’s Resource Center in Wheaton.
Join us August 9-10 in Naperville, IL and you’ll see why the vegetarian way of life is sweeping the globe! Veggie Fest isn’t just for vegetarians — it’s for everyone! It’s a weekend of fun for the whole family, and we can’t wait to see you there!
For the full schedule and more information about Veggie Fest on August 9-10 in Naperville, IL visit: www.veggiefestchicago.org
Contact: Jonathan Kruger
Posted by Danielle Bussone on Jul 9, 2014 in Vegan, Vegan Food Quest: Veggin' Out and About Southeast Asia! | 0 comments
ENJOYING “CREATURE” COMFORTS ON TIOMAN ISLAND, MALAYSIA!
by Caryl Eyers
Since the last Vegan Food Quest update, we’ve spent a week on Tioman island in Malaysia and then journeyed back to Melaka (also in Malaysia). It’s been a thought provoking part of our trip, as well as one that found us eating some seriously good vegan food.
The highlight of our trip to Tioman was getting to experience the beauty of the natural world by swimming with a sea turtle in the wild. This was not an organized trip where a boat drives around looking for wildlife and then drops anchor so tourists can jump into the water to take photos. We were just swimming with our snorkels along the reef, when we saw a green turtle feeding on the coral.
We swam with it for over an hour watching how gracefully it moved and how peaceful it seemed. It was a truly beautiful experience but also heartbreaking to know that the species is endangered because of threats caused by humans. Having watched how freely it swam through the sea, miles upon miles of ocean to explore, we wondered how people can keep them and other sea creatures in captivity?
After Tioman, we returned to Melaka and quickly began to settle into local life. People in Melaka are some of the friendliest that we have met and it’s been easy to find out more about life here. After talking to people in our local health food store we found out about a ‘green festival’ that was happening near us. Although it was a small event, the passion and enthusiasm of these Malaysian environmentalists was huge. Their focus is mainly on organic food and products that are kind to the environment (like making your own enzyme water from kitchen waste to replace cleaning products). We had some very interesting conversations about the link between veganism and the environment.
As part of their outreach work, they were trying to encourage people to eat a more organic, vegetarian diet and had some great vegan food to offer. They served a healthy version of a kind of fruit rojak, a Malaysian fruit salad with a spicy sauce. Also, offered was a vegan version of a salad called ‘yee sang,’ which is usually eaten during Chinese New Year celebrations. This was a welcome gift and we loved the fact it was served on recycled cardboard trays with recycled spoons — no planet unfriendly plastic and polystyrene here!
Our neighborhood has a weekly night market where we go to stock up on fruit and vegetables and wander around the stalls that sell little treats to eat. The great thing about this market is that everything is fresh and there’s so much to see. No longer is weekly shopping a chore; it’s now more of an adventure of sights, smells and sounds, not to mention new tastes.
A favorite treat are the fresh ‘popiah’, wheat flour pancakes (made with no egg) filled with bean sprouts, lettuce, fresh cilantro, cucumber, minced fresh garlic, tofu, chili sauce and stewed jicama. Popiah aren’t normally vegetarian, let alone vegan, as they often have a whole array of animal products in them but we are lucky that Charlie, our local popiah seller, makes a vegetarian version that he is happy to make vegan for us.
One of the reasons many people choose a plant-based lifestyle is because it is healthier for you. A lot of people assume that because you are vegan, you must be healthy. Sadly it actually turns out to be very easy to be an unhealthy vegan, especially when you’re traveling. Everywhere we go there seems to be an abundance of readily available, deep fried vegan snacks. Not only is this kind of food really cheap but the vendors are positioned in strategic locations at time of day when you just fancy a little something.
Take these ‘pisang goreng’ or banana fritters, it has proven near on impossible to walk past the stall without picking up a few.
And if we do manage to have enough willpower to walk by these, we have to walk by Mr Kumar, selling vadai – more delicious fried snacks, this time originating from India but widely available in Malaysia. He’s so friendly that we always like to stop and chat and he always gives us a bag of vadai which are lentil cakes that are spiced with chili and curry leaves and then deep fried, or small lentil donuts that, yes you guessed it, have been deep fried. There’s something wonderful about eating fresh vadai, served from the back of Mr Kumar’s motorbike, accompanied by a mouthful of fresh green chili, but its probably fair to say that they don’t have a regular place in a healthy whole-food, plant-based diet.
We’ll be leaving Melaka soon, hitting the road again on our Vegan Food Quest to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world. Next stop: back to Kuala Lumpur to test out some luxury hotel restaurants and then on to Java in Indonesia where a whole new vegan cuisine awaits us — hopefully!
Only NINE days to go to the advent of one of most happening VegFests in the country!!! The Richmond Vegetarian Festival hosted over 12,000 visitors last year and this year promises to be even better. Located on the verdant grounds of Bryan Park in Richmond, Virginia, in the Azalea Gardens, even the parking lot is shady and gorgeous! The June 21st festival will begin at 12 noon and last until 6 pm. A rain date is set for July 5th, same time same place, should the event have to be cancelled due to inclement weather. The festival’s Master of Ceremonies will be Richmond’s favorite meteorologist, Mike Goldberg, who is also an animal lover and music enthusiast.
Posted by Danielle Bussone on Jun 11, 2014 in Vegan Food Quest: Veggin' Out and About Southeast Asia! | 3 comments
MELAKA — A FOODIE DESTINATION IN MALAYSIA!
by Caryl Eyers
As we landed back in Kuala Lumpur after our stay in Bali I was already missing the Balinese food. Our last visit through Malaysia meant we got to try some great new vegan food and revisit some old favorites. I was hoping this visit would be just the same.
After a few days, we boarded the bus and headed south for a couple of hours to Melaka, another of Malaysia’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. Much like Georgetown in Penang, who got their UNESCO listing on the same day, Melaka is a great foodie destination in Malaysia with the mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese heritage producing some of the best food you can find in the whole country.
Don’t let either the name or the location fool you; this South Florida suburban strip mall dining establishment is far from your average neighborhood fare. When I say far, I mean Falafel Bistro & Wine Bar (FB) takes your palate on a journey to remote destinations along the Mediterranean, brimming with exotic herbs, spices, flavors and textures. FB is conveniently located in Coral Springs, FLorida, just off the Sawgrass Expressway (869), at 5677 Coral Ridge Dr., in the Heron Lakes Plaza. Hungry patrons come from near and far to immerse themselves in this sophisticated, multi-sensory atmosphere created by chef/owner and culinary genius, Ilan Cohen. But be forewarned, once you sample his fare, you will undoubtedly become addicted!
It’s no secret that Southern California is a mecca for healthy living including a wide variety of healthy eating options. With sun year round, the locals can enjoy outdoor activities and fitness, and fuel that lifestyle with access to fresh local food. Got special dietary requirements or allergies?
Calling all supporters of the local, sustainable, organic food movement! Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) will be hosting its annual High Country Farm Tour this summer.
Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Suzanne Fleishman, Program Coordinator at (BRWIA). On June 28 and 29, BRWIA will be hosting the High Country Farm Tour for its eighth year. The farm tour itself will encompass 20 farms in Ashe and Watauga Counties, surrounding the towns of Boone, Banner Elk, Valle Crucis, and West Jefferson. Program Coordinator Fleishman describes it as “a wonderful event to connect the people who eat the food in our community and the people who grow it.”
The 3rd Annual Charlotte VegFest is an event not to be missed! Just on the horizon, it takes place next Saturday, May 17, from 2-7pm at Plaza Midwood. The festival celebrates vegans and vegetarians of all categories — people who just want to eat healthier, those who wish to create a sustainable environment for their children, those who love and protect the rights of animals, and everywhere in between. Those non-vegetarians who just want to see what all the fuss is about are welcome as well. There is something for everyone at the Charlotte VegFest.
Located in a dated nondescript strip mall, flanked by Asian restaurants, a nail salon, massage parlor, and insurance agency, Au Lac is a health conscious culinary oasis. As you stand outside of the plain white mall, the darkened door in-front of you, with it’s simple Au Lac sign above, it’s easy to assume this asian inspired restaurant will be much like the other’s in the mall but once you step in the change begins. Serving plant based food with a commitment to offering healthy and delectable bites, the food will wow and delight your senses.