Team Vida Vegan HQ has a dream (okay, and at least 107 projects in the works), and that dream is to one day attend Expo West. From the looks of the Internet and all the jealousy-inducing photos we’ve seen, this year was bigger, better and more vegan-friendly than ever. I mean, it had its own vegan-specific hashtag, #VegansAtExpo. That’s really saying something. Like I said, one day, the sampling will be ours, because it looked like a blogger-hopping blast!
To tide ourselves over until we bring on the exhibitors at the next Vida Vegan Con, we put together this hashtag roundup from the tradeshow.
Hint, hint, we’d love to see all these folks and products at VVC2015*! Right?! Let’s make it happen.
*Dude, the much-anticipated VVC2015 city & dates are seriously, seriously coming your way early Spring, which means oh, so, soon. I hope you subscribe to our official Vida Vegan HQ newsletter! (because it’s an infrequent, imperative source for these things).
Enjoy these highlights via Instagram & Twitter, some thoughts from Michele and myself, and prepare to contemplate: Is 2014 the year of the vegan fish stick, or what?
Michele says: I am so G-to-the-D excited about these, and I can’t tell you why. Fish sticks were always the grossest, but I loved fish & chips—which now seem just as gross. So why do I want a vegan fakey fish? Whyyyy?
…because who can ever get enough of JJ’s Cocomels?
Fan favorite! (And we’re talking about the bacon and our friend Jared)
Speaking of bacon, we sure are A-OK with another nifty vegan seitan bacon hitting the market. Anyone seen this in Portland yet? Or better yet, we’ll come to you!
Clearly a necessity with the non-stop sampling going on.
Everyone (okay, at least three people in Jess’ Instagram feed last week) are raving about these new Field Roast burgers! And breakfast sausages! For that matter, I must admit, I’m a little disappointed when I visit Seattle and every other restaurant doesn’t offer *something* Field Roast. Come on, home town pride!
Cue freakouts. People have seriously been waiting for this. The year of the soy yogurt shortage even saw me breaking out my slow cooker and making my own. I’ve got Artisan Vegan Cheeses to make, people. Fortunately, the WholeSoy factory is up and going and I can report that it’s recently been spotted at the Hawthorne New Seasons (again, here in Portland. Have you seen it your way yet? Do tell! People are depending on you. I had no idea this many people I knew ate so much nondairy yogurt).
Looks like 2014 is gonna bring us even more vegan cheese. No issues here. Let’s push things forward and get some standards.
Okay, you know team VVC takes ferocious pride in the VVC Swag bags, but even we’re a little jealous here!
What would you love to have from this pile of goodies? Personally, I want to get my eager little hands on this and plan on stalking the roaming SD truck later today:
Michele says: So Delicious, I knew you were listening in on my dreams.
Also ongoing: The Vegan Ice Cream Revolution! I’m partial to coconut and soy, but keep the options coming. More for everyone!
Hello, Spork sisters (and hairstyling inspiration for the day)!
Who’s down for some faux tuna? (Karla, I’m talking to you)
And ah yes, having tried Beyond Beef myself, I could EASILY see this fooling nearly anyone eating at Taco Bowl. I’m normally one for black beans, but if this is the future, let’s get started.
Michele says: Personally, creamy foods like mayo creep me out, but I love that there’s a gourmet/upscale vegan market. It’s products like this that help us broaden the perception of “vegan.”
There you have it! Expect new cheeses, fishy stuff, crumbles and even more vegan bacon heading your way (or order it online through nice folks like Austin’s Rabbit Food Grocery and Portland’s Food Fight!).
And don’t worry, we’ll take one of everything for Janessa.
Some roundups for additional swooning:
- Meshell in your city: Awesome Stuff we saw at Expo West, Parts 1, 2 & 3
- Field Roast: Expo West 2014
- Veggietorials: Natural Products Expo West: Vegan Favorites
- HealthyVoyager: Top Picks of Natural Products Expo West 2014
- Vegan Gourmand: The Vegan Zombie Tour at Natural Products Expo West
- The Veracious Vegan: Natural Products Expo West Days 1, 2 & 3
- Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth: Natural Products Expo West 2014
And John, we are eagerly awaiting The Laziest Vegans recap!
Did you attend? Did you have a favorite? We’d love to hear about it!
It’s almost here! This Saturday evening (December 7, 5–7pm) is Vida Vegan’s holiday event, Holiday Hors D’oeuvres & How-Tos—hosted by Janessa Philemon-Kerp, Jess Sconé, and Michele Truty. We’re down to the fun stuff: final recipe testing and crafting and practicing our demos.
If this is the first you’re hearing about it, then yipes stripes, grab one of the few remaining tickets now so you can hang out and eat and drink and craft with us this weekend! If you’re in the Portland area, we’d love to see you there! And keep an eye on our Instagram feed, where we’ll continue posting photos of our testing and behind the scenes prep sessions.
We’re having a great time playing with wintery flavors. Just check out our menu!
Savory spiced popcorn
Red curry carrot dip
Cauliflower goat cheese
Speakeasy smoked Yukon Gouda
Coconut vinegar quick pickles
Cheese Plate fromage fort & crackers
Baked maple bourbon popcorn
Depression-era chocolate cake with chocolate ganache
Italian olive oil citrus cake
Candy cane chocolate–chocolate chip cookies
Spiced apple-red wine punch
Sparkling cranberry orange punch (non-alcoholic)
Hands-on papercraft table (gift tags and menu/place cards)
Décor ideas, tablescaping
Homemade gift-giving ideas
So yeah, loads of food and fun, and a special gazillion tips throughout the evening.
And we’re putting a bunch of the recipes together in a little booklet for attendees, with a little homemade present, too! And who knows, you may win one of our door prizes. Now you can see why we’re so excited.
Remember, this private event is 21+, so bring ID. Hope to see you there!
The ladies of Vida Vegan—Janessa, Jess, and Michele—are throwing a December do! It’s a party with a purpose, a lovely evening of mingling and eating and drinking…and inspiration and education. We’ll help you get ready for your wintery event, cozying up with friends and family and food and fun.
We’ll have vegan sweets and savories, party-worthy punch and cocktails/mocktails, and décor ideas. Demos, hands-on crafting, and a special take-home gift!
Learn more about this 21+ event here, and get your tickets here—it’s a small space so make sure you don’t miss out. (And here’s the Facebook event, so you can let the machines mark your calendar for you.)
After wrapping up VVC 2013—you know, returning rental fire extinguishers and dropping off the recycling from the Galarama—Janessa, Jess, and I all collapsed for a few good hours. Like real hard.
But then the sun rose, and it was back to spreadsheets and emails and meetings. Even with Janessa flying all over the damn globe, we’ve been videochatting and scheming and daring to dream. And we gotta tell ya, we’re pretty excited about the future of Vida Vegan. (Aside from VVC3, because yes, we’re obviously planning that too!)
The website: Vida Vegan Headquarters. Sure, we’ve given ourselves a little spit ‘n’ polish here, but by mid-2014, we hope to bring you an expanded site, where we can share so much more with you, including an events calendar and forum threads…because not everyone wants to be on Facebook, and besides, we can be a lot better organized here.
Vida Vegan Focus. More one-day intensives, like our Fall 2012 Tech offering, where we focus on one main topic for a small group. In 2014 and 2015, we’re looking at topics like Photography, Ethical Business, Blog Building, and Organization & Outreach.
The Vida Vegan Creative Retreat. What could you do with five or so days to focus on writing or photography while eating all vegan food in a relaxing setting? Maybe with breaks for yoga or meditation or a little nap under a tree? We’re location-scouting for a very intimate group (think a maximum of 30) for some loosely guided artistic/work retreat.
Online courses and guides. We know not everyone can travel to our events—although we are definitely getting out on the road to reach more of you—so we’re developing some very focused online courses and downloadable guides so you can get your learn on while still in pajamas (which is exactly how we do a lot of our planning). Let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!
Local events. We’ll also be producing some smaller, Portland events…maybe even one in early December 2013.
Sooo…that should keep us all busy for a bit!
Hey, all! The Galarama soiree is tonight!
Advance tickets sales are now over, but there will be tickets for $20 at the door. Bring your local friends and plus-ones!
Here’s our bar menu reposted from Galarama.org:
#Galarama Bar Menu
Featured Cocktail & Mocktail: So Delicious Creamsicle
$6/ $4 (sans vodka)
Grain-free vodka, mandarin Jarritos (or soda of choice), orange juice,
splash of So Delicious coconut creamer. Over ice.
Grain-Free Vodka + Choice Of:
Cranberry Hot Lips Soda
Orange Mango Spindrift Soda
Lemonade Sprindrift Soda
Grapefruit Sprindrift Soda
Spindrift Raspberry Lime Seltzer Water
Root Beer or Soda Float $4*
with any of the above flavors and a scoop of So Delicious Vanilla Ice Cream
*Made with Vodka $6
***Any drink in keepsake VVC mug $10***
Beer + Wine
BridgePort Summer Squeeze (bottle) $4
Vegan Wine (Red or White) $5
Loise d’ Estree Brut Sparkling Wine $20
Jello Shots! $3 or 2 for $5
assorted flavors ~ vegan, organic, made with Monopolowa grain-free vodka
Bottle of Spindrift, Hot Lips or Jarritos Soda $2
Plus: The Sexy Vegan, Tandem Treats, Taco Pedaler, Artisan Vegan Cheeses from Miyoko Schinner, Eastside Distilling, our exciting Silent Auction for Chimp Sanctuary Northwest, and the So Delicious Ice Cream Spectacular.
Location (!!): Staver Locomotive, our unique home for the evening, is located at 2537 NW 29th Portland, OR 97210 Trimet.org #15 bus and Portland Streetcar to NW 23rd. Use the Trimet TripPlanner to easily figure it out! There is street parking and free parking in the Powells Warehouse lot.
The week of Vida Vegan Con II has finally begun! If you’re attending, you should have received a super important email about all the super fun and vital arrival and conference details – so check your inbox! Here are five more new, great aspects for the return of the Con we’d like to share:
Let’s get together! Thursday’s Unofficial Official Meet & Greet at the White Owl Social Club (21+, folks) from 330-530 and the Intrepid Herbivores’ Episode 1 Screening starting at 6 pm at People’s Co-op. See you there – Details on the links! Meet your new friends! Old friends! Mac & Cheese burgers! Pickle chips! Microbrews! Jones soda on tap! Vegan TV show! Vegans!!!
Saturday night: The Galarama & Silent Auction is on! Remember – it’s offsite at Staver Locomotive in NW Portland. It’s open to the public and for a great cause, Chimp Sanctuary NW, so tell your local friends to come along! Tickets are right here (& cheaper in advance).
So much great stuff is going on: Emcee The Sexy Vegan, DJs Harry Skelter & MelisserAGoGo, fancy Artisan Vegan Cheeses by Miyoko Schninner, specialty So Delicious coconut cocktails & mocktails, BridgePort Summer Squeeze (exclusive new bottle variety!), wine, Spindrift and Hot Lips sodas, complimentary snacks, and even special menus from two legitimate bike food carts: Tandem Treats & Taco Pedaler. There will be tons of gluten-free options all over the place. Dressing up is encouraged, but hoodies are totally fine, too.
And hey, bring some cash. There’s no ATM on the premises.
In case you haven’t heard, to add even more awesome into the VVC weekend, there’s the Vegan Pop-Up, Gorditas & S’mores Social (Post VVC Day-1) Hangout at the Vegan Mini Mall.
Details: Friday, May 24th, 6 pm till the wheels fall off. More info on the Facebook event.
The Gist: After Vida Vegan Con’s opening day, come on over to the Vegan Mini-Mall (SE 12th & Stark) and hang out, socialize, and eat seitan tacos lovingly made by Upton’s Naturals and Food For Lovers Vegan Queso (at Food Fight!) Then hit Herbivore for S’mores served up by our friends from Chicago Vegan Foods (Dandies!). Then, hit Sweetpea for ice cream sandwiches and say hi to Panda with Cookie!
Local videoteam Brytcast will be filming bits all weekend long for a lil’ Vida Vegan video- feel free to say hi and let them know if you’d like to interview!
You know where you’re going, right? Right! Here’s everything you need to know about actually getting to the Portland Art Museum. We start out in the Kridel Ballroom, which is the central happenings of the conference, and located on the 3rd floor of the Mark Building (take the elevator or walk up the stairs).
Remember, keep your name badge on at all times!
Hey, remember last time, when we announced a sale on vegan tattoos? Well, get ready for round two.
One of the gazillion points of Portland pride is Skeleton Key Tattoo on SE Hawthorne & 17th. Ximena and her crack squad of ink-slingin’ pros are here to make sure you get the right tattoo the right way, in a comfortable, clean shop with great music (and a short post-tattoo walk to Whiffies and Potato Champion).
What makes a tattoo vegan, you ask? They don’t use animal bone charcoal-based black ink or animal glycerin. They do use vegan products where they can, while adhering to the law and putting our safety first. This is not an exclusively vegan shop, so make sure to tell your artist you’re there for vegan ink.
We were lucky enough to have Ximena design these marionberry tattoos for us, to complement our 2011 beets. We found some neat photos and drawings, then Ximena sketched it up for us.
While you’re in town for Vida Vegan Con, from Wednesday through Monday, May 22-27, 2013, Skeleton Key is offering a 15% discount to VVC registrants (attendees, speakers, and special guests). Mention you’re with VVC when you make your appointment, then bring your badge or otherwise confirm that you’re an official attendee—there’s a $65 minimum, and don’t forget to tip your artist!
Skeleton Key Tattoo
1729 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Are you a Portland vegan-friendly business? Want to offer a special for our attendees? Let us know and we’ll spread the word!
Sadie and Joe, those Intrepid Herbivores, are talented, passionate Portland-based vegans capturing their love for travel and vegan food in a new series, which they’re sharing with Vida Vegan Con attendees (and family & friends!) who are in town early Thursday night.About the screening: This unofficial-but-welcome addition to the Vida Vegan Con agenda will be shown Thursday, May 23, at 6pm, immediately following our Meet & Greet, a bit further south at People’s Coop. There is no admission fee, and the event is all ages. Details and RSVP are on their facebook event. To get a better idea of what they’re all about, we did a Q & A with Sadie, the host of the growing series (more to come on that!) to discuss filming, finding vegan food around the globe, inspirations, and of course, where she likes to dine in Portland, OR. She’s also shared two clips, so read on…
Interviewing The Intrepid Herbivores
Sadie Bowman (host) and Joe Bourguignon (cinematographer par excellence).
How would you sum up this project, The Intrepid Herbivores, in one word?
How did this idea come about?
I love to travel and love to eat, and after some bad experiences I realized that I had a habit of going on a trip and simply ranging around, hoping I would just discover awesome regional cuisine that I could eat as I wandered about. I often fell flat on my face when this delicious food didn’t materialize of its own accord, feeling hungry, cranky, and disappointed for missing out on the cultural experience that comes with eating like a local. I realized I had been overlooking the step of actually researching ideas of what to look for and ways to ask for what I needed…On the day I met Joe we actually started talking about traveling, and he mentioned an independent idea he had about a documentary film on a similar topic. Eventually, we decided to join forces.
Even better, it has become a confluence of everything I love most—food and travel, obviously, but I come from a comedy and performing arts background so I get to employ some of that, and I’ve had a long-time hobby of studying foreign languages (which typically pans out to learning bits and pieces of many while mastering none). We incorporate vocabulary tools into the show to empower the viewer to ask questions and communicate their needs through a language barrier.
Everything about this is super awesome fun for me.
What do you hope people take away from it?
I want people to be excited about international tourism, and I want people to see how rich and varied the world of plant-based cuisine is. A lot of travel shows right now focus on cheese, meat and bugs (or other foods with a “gross-out” factor), and I just want people to know that you CAN eat incredibly well without all that, and that it is not a sacrifice.
I hope that omnivores will be intrigued by all of the choices that are out there, and I hope vegans and vegetarians will feel empowered to explore the world without fear of compromising their ideals.
As vegans who have traveled the world a bit, do you pack any “vegan emergency rations/treats,” and if so, what are they?
Oh, yes. Much as I try to make it easy for myself, I know better than to not bring snacks everywhere I go! My standard is as many Lara bars as I can fit in my luggage. They are great not only because they last forever, but are super easy to tuck into the pockets of every day pack, purse, camera bag, etc, that you might be out and about with. Finding a previously hidden energy bar in your fanny pack during a time of need can be absolute deliverance. Not that I wear fanny packs.
What have your travels taught you about flavors?
Many parts of the world have produce and ingredients in common, but every culture I’ve visited has their own way of presenting the same things in their own ways. For instance, two places I’ve been in the past two years are Thailand and Mexico. Both share some common staple flavors such as chili, lime, cilantro. But Thai food tastes nothing like Mexican food. The addition of salty soy sauce to those three standard ingredients takes your tastebuds to Asia, while adding something earthy like cumin or oregano gives you a taste of Mexico. I love encountering exciting new-to-me ways to experience familiar ingredients.
Where do you want to explore next?
We have plans for the first season of the show to do a loop around the Mediterranean–visiting Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey.
What have you learned about international veganism?
There is definitely a visible vegan movement in all of the places I’ve visited recently. A definite uptick in the presence of specifically vegan and vegetarian restaurants. I was in Italy about a year and a half ago and tracked down this awesome vegan cafe in Florence where I got to eat ravioli and tiramisu. There are a ton of vegan restaurants in Mexico City where everything is based on regional specialties, same in Chiang Mai and other parts of Thailand. These are businesses that recognize their potential as destination restaurants for a growing vegan community. While I’m sure they cater to a lot of tourists, I also dined in the company of locals while I was there. Clearly this is not a Portland-contained bubble of a phenomenon. :-)
I did have an interesting conversation with a young woman in Thailand. She told me she is vegetarian because she knows that a lot of restaurants in Bangkok harvest stray dogs and cats from the streets, and she couldn’t bear to take the chance of eating meat. Say what you might about this “speciesist” stance–that she isn’t willing to eat a cat or dog but would eat a different kind of animal–but I was shocked to learn that this is a real practice and not just an ugly stereotype I had heard about Asian food. This was only one person’s reason for eschewing meat in her own culture, but it was an interesting phenomenon to learn about.
Also I’ve come to realize that a lot of cultures have their own historical or spiritual traditions that aren’t called “being vegan,” but largely run alongside that guideline. For instance, in Thailand there is a sect of Buddhist monks who eat a “jay” diet; which is essentially vegan. In Mexico, there is a recent re-emergence of traditional pre-Hispanic indigenous cuisine, which is mostly plant-based. Finding these little categories can open up a lot of choices that you might not find by going around asking for “vegan food,” but they just happen to be meat and dairy-free (or easily so adapted).
What tips you have for others wanting to create their own vegan shows?
1) Know that you are part of a rising tide. I am so excited by the emergence of veganism into mainstream media. Even two years ago, when we were getting ready to film the pilot, this felt like a very fringy, very niche genre we were trying to nestle into. Since then there have been more and more personalities popping into mainstream consciousness and it is clear that the culture at large is on its way to shifting its focus, or at least enlarging its focus, to a point that includes veganism as a prevalent, normal way of life instead of an extreme “lifestyle.” So make a vegan show. America is ready for it, the world is ready for it.
2) The more shows the better.
3) Have fun. Don’t be preachy.
4) Invest in whatever you can to assure good production quality.
What are you making for your next dinner party?
I’ve been really into the recipes in Terry Hope Romero’s new book, Vegan Eats World. I had guests last night for whom I made refried beans and seasoned jackfruit from that book, along with my own hibiscus and onion tacos, and fried plantains with cinnamon and agave for dessert. Because my most recent excursion was to Mexico I am still riding on all the exciting things I learned to love on that trip.
What’s your go-to Thai dish to create for others?
While my heart lies in a red-hot bowl of chilis and I always prefer a spicy dish, my go-to for friends is almost always coconut sticky rice. It is easy to make and I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t love it. Here in Portland I usually top it with sliced bananas instead of mangos, as it is easier to get fairly sourced organic bananas here than some other tropical fruits.
We have to ask: Where’s your favorite Thai food in Portland?
Vege Thai on Hawthorne. Not only can you go in there and order anything you want and know it will be free of fish sauce and other undesirables, (with the exception of I think one or two noodle dishes which contain eggs), it is good food and the staff is great. Pete, the owner, is a Bangkok native and was actually our language and culture consultant when we were planning our expedition to Thailand. He was very keen to help us and gave us some invaluable assistance.
Your favorite vegan-friendly restaurant and cart?
Oh boy. I’m assuming this is limited to the scope of Portland city limits. :-) I love Los Gorditos (both their restaurants and their cart) for absolutely addictive Mexican fare. Nicholas on NE Broadway has a fantastic vegan mezza that will adequately stuff two people. I know you didn’t ask for a million responses, but it’s so hard to narrow down “favorites” in the Portland vegan food scene. I mean, seriously…are we talking about ethnic food? Raw food? Brunch? Indulgent desserts or baked goods? Bar food? I have favorites in all of these categories!
Come check out The Intrepid Herbivores screening following the #VVC2013 Meet & Greet at White Owl Social Club on Thursday, May 23 at 6pm, to ask Sadie and Joe about vegan travel, how to make a show, and the rest of their Portland dining favorites – and beyond. Details are on their facebook event. The screening is all-ages and family friendly.
As you’ve probably noticed, Vida Vegan Con II is shaping up to be quite a busy weekend, and we’d love your help throwing our Galarama & Silent Auction on Saturday, May 25.
Help us support the chimps!
This includes help setting up, minor decorations, scooping ice cream for the So Delicious spectacular (and we have no doubt you’ll get your fill of vegan ice cream), ticket taking, refreshments prep, Silent Auction donation listings, and breakdown/cleanup. We’d specifically love some help from OLCC-certified folks to help run the bar for the evening. Get in touch!
Please Note: This nonprofit soiree is held during Vida Vegan Con and is open to the public, benefiting Chimp Sanctuary Northwest. We ask that all volunteers are 18 or older. Please provide your details on the form below and we’ll contact you with an assignment and more details. All volunteers will be invited to our Assistant Appreciation night later this summer. If you’d like to get involved with weekend help at Vida Vegan Con somehow, please email us directly ASAP. Thank you so much!
So, if you can help us out for one task or more, please fill out this form. Thank you!The Galarama & Silent Auction is open to the public and will be held at Staver Locomotive in NW Portland on the evening of Saturday, May 25. Tickets are available here. Want to donate a Silent Auction item? See this page.
If you’re a vegan-friendly food cart operator in the Portland area—or mobile and looking for an excuse to visit—we’d love to have you stop by our Saturday night Galarama + Silent Auction on Saturday, May 25, 2013.We simply ask that you:
a) are a cart
b) make great vegan food
c) only serve vegan food at this event
d) show up with aforementioned great vegan food for a crowd!
The Vida Vegan Galarama is being held 7–930pm. All 300 Vida Vegan Con II attendees are invited (and their admission is included in the ticket price) and the event is open to the public. More information and General Admission tickets are available here (So exciting: VIP tickets have already sold out).
Please let us know your menu ideas, rates (or minimum), and if you’d rather charge individually or cater at a flat rate.
Gluten-free options are encouraged.
All participants will be featured on our website.