Vida Vegan Con

Reminder…Advance signup for select classes is this Wednesday, May 15!

Posted on Updated on

Our new home: The Portland Art Museum
Our new home: The Portland Art Museum

Hi folks!


Just a reminder from our last newsletter – advance signup for select classes will happen this Wednesday at 12pm PST.

It’ll happen right here on the VVC blog, so…stay tuned!

We know you subscribe, right?

The select classes will be Food Styling: Keeping it Real with Hannah Kaminsky, Iphone Photography with Isa Chandra Moskowitz, The Making of a Zine: From Conception to Distribution with Kittee Berns, Amey Mathews & Joanna Vaught and Writer’s Block with Isa Chandra Moskowitz (2 independent workshops).

And we’ll be doing this all one signup at a time, per person.

Peruse the updated schedule, think about it, and signup for your first choice first in less than two days.

See you ridiculously soon!

Vegan Battle Royale: The Return of the Vida Vegan Con Game Show!

Posted on Updated on

Prepare yourselves for the inevitable, fellow vegans of the world. The second installment of Vegan Battle Royale is gearing up to be the best edition yet! Two years ago, VBR burst on the Vida Vegan Con scene and saw two glorious teams fight until the bitter end for a chance to be named the ultimate vegan survivors.

Vegan Battle Royale logo

This year’s Battle Royale is going to be even more epic. More drama! More trivia! More masterful manipulation! And, of course, more prizes! Team prizes! Audience prizes! All of which are made possible by the generosity of some really amazing companies.

Vegan Battle Royale LogosBefore the fun begins at another Vida Vegan Conference, we would like to thank all the people who donated prizes to make this Vegan Battle Royale one for the record books. Special thanks to: Amy’s Kitchen, Book Publishing Co., Butler Foods, The Chia CoChristy Robinson Designs, Da Capo Lifelong Books, Daiya, Earth Balance, Endangered Species Chocolate, Field Roast, Gardein, Go Picnic, Hay House Publishing, Hurraw!, Late July, Leahey Foods, Mary’s Gone Crackers, Newman’s Own Organics, Ohly, Rancho Gordo, Rescue Chocolate, Parmela, Perseus Books Group, Running Press, Sasquatch Books, Sjaak’s Organic Chocolates, Surf Sweets, Tofurky, Vega, Vegan Cuts, Vegan Essentials, Vegan Secret Supper, VegNews, Wholesome Sweeteners, Zevia

So, please check out the companies, and get your minds and bodies ready for the most extreme Battle Royale yet! The countdown begins…

Details: Vegan Battle Royale, aka The Vegan Game Show, will take place on Saturday, May 25, from 1:15-2:00pm in the Kridel Ballroom. This immediately follows lunch, and no classes will be held at that time, so everyone has the option to join in. You can check out the full conference agenda right here. See you soon!

Portland Picks with Julia Legume, Sister Legumes

Posted on Updated on

Perhaps the third time’s the charm in our continuing series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland.This time, we sit down with pug enthusiast Julia Legume, who’s been known to say that Veggie Grill changed her life. Let’s find out her Portland musts below…

Name: Julia Legume

Blog: Sister Legumes

What Julia says you simply must do:

J. Legume, at the very favorite brunch spot she’s not revealing?!

Walk or even better – bike, over the Willamette! How? On a bridge. Any of these bridges.. Hawthorne, Morrison, Burnside, Broadway.

You know those movies you would never see? Well, go see one, for $3, drink a beer, and put nooch in your pocket…..for the popcorn! [Vida note: some theaters have it, some don't - best be prepared!]

If Julia was in town for a week, she’d have to eat at:

Ethiopian food every day! All meals. Bete-Lukas, Emame’s cart (the best!),  Queen of Sheba.

What about brunch?

There is no brunch, sleep in! Wink, wink. 

Best coffee?

Happy Cup!

Where to Shop:

Crafty Wonderland and Tender Loving Empire.

Only Portland has..

Self-guided pug watching tours! Just do it. And karaoke.  With a pug

Miser Kay Wat, Emame’s Ethiopian cart
Clearly, someone doesn’t want to wait in line for brunch next weekend. Stay tuned for the next round! For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map.

Portland Picks with Elizabeth TresCosas, Vegan Iron Chef

Posted on Updated on

It’s time for round two in our series of personalized Portland Picks! These recommendations are from trusty Portland vegan locals and lovers, and we bet all our attendees, whether you’re arriving early or not, want to squeeze in a little time outside of the busy, busy conference  schedule to wander in the vegan wonderland. Next up, is Vegan Iron Chef’s Co-Founder, VVC Creative Director, and design guru Elizabeth, who’s going to share her thoughts on Portland’s vegan Banh Mis, cocktail scene, and more. Let’s find out her Portland-musts below…

Name:  Elizabeth TresCosas

The gal knows glasses.

Your Websites:, (redesign in progress!)

Lemongrass tofu Bánh mì, Sweet Hereafter

Food she really, really misses when out-of-town: Vegan Banh Mi: favorites include Star Bar’s & Sweet Hereafter. REALLY EXCITED to try the one at Old Gold and at Luc Lac. Other faves include the Tofu Burrito at Los Gorditos (now with three locations – give them the hot sauce you want to add to the burrito before they make it; makes all the difference), the Beet Burger @ Portobello Vegan Trattoria, and Fries topped with Perfect Sauce and Chili @ White Owl Social Club.

Her guide to three great bar & grub crawls, if you will:

1: Start at… White Owl Social Club ($3 beers!),> dinner at Star Bar, > drinks at Dig A Pony > East End

2: The Aalto Lounge’s Happy hour (so good for booze! $2 cocktail menu) > dinner at Sweet Hereafter >  walk to drinks at Gold Dust Meridian or The Conquistador Lounge.

Bevs & Pinball, SE Portland’s Basement Pub

3: Basement Pub > Roadside Attraction > Hungry Tiger Too > BASE CAMP Brewing (all walkable)

Where to Shop: Bins. Inner East Burnside vintage shops. N. Mississippi Ave.

If one is in need of spiffying up or a little sleevework, where would you send them? Akemi Salon & Common Ground Wellness.

Only Portland has…. Forest Park. The Bins. The Gorge. So many vegan-friendly neighborhoods to walk around and drink / eat, on foot!

For more Portland Vegan Dining, Shopping & Tourist ideas, check out our official While You’re in Town selection and the VVC 2013 Google Map.

The 2013 Vida Vegan Con BlogFeed is here…

Posted on Updated on

Let's read more!
…and welcome to vegan summer camp!

Update: Signup is complete! Thanks for all who signed up – see you at the con and in the future!

The 2013 Vida Vegan Con BlogFeed has arrived!

Bookmark it, subscribe, or download the OPML file to import into your reader of choice right here.

We’ve made it public via Google Reader for ease (which will fortunately, exist until July, as Feedly does not offer publicizing bundles…yet!).

Get to know your fellow attendees and the speakers of the upcoming con, and most of all, enjoy!

P.S. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here. Please leave a comment below so we can add it quickly. Remember…This is totally opt-in and not required. We do ask that only registered attendees sign up (this is also open to sponsors and speaker blogs, of course), that all blogs are vegan in content, and that you’re comfortable seeing your website on a public feed.This won’t be a blogroll or contact list, it’ll simply be a feed of your latest posts to share.

Note: If you haven’t yet posted to your blog, you won’t be seeing it on our feed until you do, as it won’t be recognized by Google Reader just yet – so get working!

P.P. S. If you see any issues with your blog or someone else’s, simply email Vida Vegan Headquarters and we’ll take a look. Feeds can be a tricky business.

Check the 2013 Vida Vegan Con agenda right here.

The Intrepid Herbivores: Exclusive Q & A and May 23 Screening (following the VVC Meet & Greet)

Posted on Updated on

Hi folks! VVC organizer Jess here. It’s no secret to my friends and family that my heart (and stomach) is obsessed with finding and creating fresh, vegan-friendly Thai food and all things kaffir lime and lemongrass, so much so that I’m planning on making my way to the surely fascinating Phuket Vegetarian Festival this fall (!!), so the story of the Intrepid Herbivores’ own Thai travels and cooking adventure is right up my alley, and as vegans who likely have their own love of cooking, it’s no doubt up yours, too.

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).

Sadie & Joe, your Intrepid Herbivores

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.

Sadie in Mexico
Also, travelling has really driven home for me the value of local sourcing. Tropical fruit doesn’t always taste good in Oregon. Tropical fruit tastes sublime in the tropics.

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!

Thanks, guys!

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 eventThe screening is all-ages and family friendly.

Wanna Volunteer at the Galarama & Silent Auction for Chimp Sanctuary NW? Details Inside.

Posted on Updated on

Meet Jody, one of the beautiful creatures at Chimp Sanctuary NW 

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.

Presenting the 2013 Vida Vegan Con T-shirt (Preorder Now!)

Posted on Updated on

UPDATE: Preorder is now closed. We will have some extras in various sizes available at registration, and any left over after the conference will be available for order online. Thanks!

Remember our t-shirt design contest?

We had a bunch of really fun and creative submissions, and we’re excited to present to you our winner, Sutton Long. Sutton is a San Francisco–based freelance graphic designer and is art director for VegNews magazine. When not working, she loves walking her dog around SF and taking photos (@suttonlong on Instagram). Favorite place for a dog walk in Portland: Mt. Tabor Park.

Check out Sutton’s design:


Here’s what it looks like mocked up on a t-shirt!


These are printed here in Portland by Ink Brigade, just like our 2011 shirts. Also like 2011, we’re using the same shirt styles: a more fitted, ladies’ cut and a more traditional unisex cut. Unlike last time, our color is a gunmetal shade of gray.

Click on the sizing links to figure out what you are, because we all know individual manufacturers’ ideas of sizes don’t really mean anything.

Ladies’-cut sizing is here.

Unisex-cut sizing is here.

We are doing these on a preorder basis so we have enough of everyone’s sizes. Get your order in by Monday, April 29, so we can get them printed up in time for you to pick them up at registration. And yes, we’ll order a few extras of assorted sizes, but best be safe and place your preorder.

Ready? Know your size? Make sure, because we can’t do refunds and might not have extras to do exchanges.) Click this link here to orderyours now! (Blogger dork note: PayPal buttons with drop-downs don’t work on, so we set up this shop page on Moonfruit.)

What Do I Pack?!

Posted on Updated on


Maybe you’re an eleventh-hour packer, praying to the taxi gods that you have time to grab that last load of laundry before the angry honking begins. Or do you have your bags out two weeks in advance, lists (only Excel files will do) perched on your desktop for easy access?

Either way, we figure you could probably use some help deciding what to bring. It’s Portland, late May, and you’re going to spend three days or so with people who photograph and write about everything they see—no pressure there!

  • Car? Don’t bother. It’s a city, which means you will pay too much for parking at your hotel or near the museum. It’s not as bad as some cities, but still. With our public transportation, unless you’re venturing out to the ocean or mountains you just won’t need it. (But if you must, we have some tips on local parking here).
  • Comfortable shoes. We’re looking at long days, and while your needs are seen to within the Art Museum buildings during the day, you will absolutely want to explore Portland in the evenings and beyond—we’ve arranged activities all over the city, and it would be a shame not to get out there and soak up all the Portland you possibly can.
  • Layers. You never really know what you’re going to get here; a zipped-up-hoodie morning could lead to a back-sweat afternoon. And sure, it could rain.
  • Maybe a little something fancy? Saturday night’s Galarama + Silent Auction is the perfect excuse to get a little glitzy, although dressing up is by no means mandatory.
  • Business cards. How many new friends will you be making? It’s a great idea to have an easy way to share your blog URL, email address, and social media handle(s). (Remember, no swag or solicitation! Let’s keep it classy and comfortable for all.)
  • Camera! As if we need to remind bloggers to bring their cameras, but still. We’re saying it out loud—and don’t forget your charger and extra SD card! (And if you’re the social media type, use #VidaVeganCon or #VVC2013 to spread the love…and make everybody jealous.)
  • Extra bag. Hey, you’re gonna be acquiring a lot of stuff—from SWAG bag goodies to cookbooks to  tourist trinkets. How many pounds of bulk Soy Curls can you stuff in those pockets?

Did we miss something? Were you at the 2011 conference? Was there anything you either were so relieved you’d brought or really wished you’d remembered?

Galarama seeks Vegan-Friendly Food Carts!

Posted on Updated on

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!

More details:

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.

It’s that easy! Email us to get involved and to discuss promotions! [at]

Anyone else pretending this cart is a) in Portland and b) vegan? Make it happen.
One more thing: Anyone else pretending this cart is a) in Portland and b) vegan? Let’s dream.