Look at all those vegan mugs!
When we planned the pre-VVC2011 meet & greet, we had NO IDEA who would show up. Sure, we gave the folks at Vendetta a little heads-up, that we might have upwards of 50 people swing by, and that they might want to add some extra vegan specials to the menu. But then y’all kept coming. This is a shot of just one little area and I can count around 30 of you!
For many, this was the first opportunity we had to put faces to names (or avatars or logos) from blogs, forums, and cookbooks. Newbs and pros mingling, some of us crawling out from behind our keyboards for a very rare social situation—even the most socially awkward can be comfortable in a gathering of bloggers! It was just so exciting and invigorating to witness this gathering…and precisely what we needed to kick off our very first conference weekend.
And I can’t help but wonder how many friendships were born in that patio.
Hey there! Welcome to the next edition of our latest Q & A series at Vida Vegan Headquarters! These special interviews give a glimpse into our past alumni’s upcoming projects, seasonal shenanigans and reveal what they really learned at VVC2013. They’re sharing which class sticks out in their minds so many months later, and just what they’d like to see more and less of in vegan blogging, a question that’s always on our minds.
We’re now joined by a devoted (and super appreciated!) member of the VVHQ support team and recent host of Portland’s Pop Up! Taco Shop!, Julia Legume.
So Julia, what have you been up to this summer?
Park Ranger-ing, watching Wheel of Fortune, petting every dog and cat I see in the streets of pdx.
Why did you decide to attend Vida Vegan Con II?
Looking back, what was the most memorable class?
Vegan Professionals in a Non-vegan World with Janessa, Fran, Julie, and Grant– good stuff dudes
How has your blog changed since the three-day conference?
I think one more person reads it.
How did VVC2013 affect your culinary style and home cooking?
I tasted Upton’s bacon— and now I eat a lot of it at home!
Who were you really excited to meet?
Any special memories of VVC2013 you’d like to share?
The Chicago Vegan Foods Teese nacho machine!!!!
So, have you started reading any new blogs?
Travel blogs, basically. The Gay Backpacker — I like his style.
What would you like to see more or less of in (vegan) blogging?
Less recipes/ how to’s with packaged ingredients, more thoughtful and creative dishes that are inspiring
What would you like to see the organizers incorporate into the next VVC?
Team building exercises. Mandatory. (Noted!)
What other vegan events put together by VVHQ would you like to attend?
Pool parties, pizza parties, slumber parties, hikes, campouts, dodgeball, Vegan Olympics.
Lastly, what was your favorite meal in Portland, outside of the conference? (as if you could resist!)
DUH EMAME’S ETHIOPIAN FOODCART DOWNTOWN.
Thanks for sharing!
Our Month of Memories Q & A series will continue far into VeganMoFo.
Here’s Julia’s VVC2013 recap: Vida Vegan Con, I love you. For her latest & greatest, check her out on Instagram, @donna__noble.
VVC2 was a wirlwind of a feel good vegan social media weekend, and even in the middle of the storm, I found a few things that I absolutely cannot live without ever again, if I had a choice in the matter.
From top left:
Wayfare Maple Ice Cream: Made from oats, this creamy and smooth non-dairy ice cream is now the benchmark for all other vegan ice cream brands and flavors. While I love me some So Delicious and Coconut Bliss, this oat-based dreamy creamy pint is my new jam.
Tofurky BBQ Chicken Hot Pockets: Growing up vegetarian, I never indulged in hot pockets as a kid, but as an adult, this hot, sweet and tangy with tofu in a convenient pocket of bread is sure to be a delightful occasional indulgence when I’m back in the States. I ate several of these throughout the VVC weekend.
Tatly Vegan Temporary Tattoos: This company donated veggie-themed temporary tattoos the the VIP ticket-holders of the Galarama. I seem to have ended up with one in the aftermath of VVC, so I stuck the booklet in my backpack with me to take on my travels. I love the idea of temporary tattoos that are vegan, and though of course the vegetables are my fave, all their other themed books are adorable and fun.
Myoko Schinner’s Vegan Cheese Platter: Seriously. Artisan vegan cheese is taking over the country, and Miyoko’s ground-breaking book Artisan Vegan Cheese seems to be leading the pack. She put together a GORGEOUS plate of her cheese for the Galarama, and I found myself eating as many crackers loaded with cheese as I could.
VVC on Stage: I just love working with Jess and Michele so much, and love getting to be in a whole building/city filled with like-minded vegan bloggers, authors and social media users. The people involved are always my absolute all-time fave thing from the conferences!
One of the projects we really enjoy working on is partnering with local restaurants to showcase their take on creative vegan food and drink.
We call this The Exquisite Dinner Series, and our first one was in 2012.
We partnered with BridgePort Brewpub, and the Chef and his sous chefs whipped up a modern take on classic pub food. The dessert, a chocolate layered cake with strawberry preserves and BridgePort Porter ganache, was both a visual and gastronomical hit.
So…our first location-scouting trip to Chicago was in the dead of winter. Why? This was when we could all take time off work and hotels and airfare were crazy cheap. Because who wants to go to Chicago in the dead of winter?! Falling-ice warnings around skyscrapers, slush puddles, doing the cold dance while waiting for the L—all right, I’ll admit the cold dance is pretty entertaining. (NOTE: Don’t worry; when we do hold an event in Chicago, it will not be in January or February.)
Ah, but in this frigid, frigid land there was an oasis: the biggest Whole Foods we’d ever seen. Ladies, grab your cameras!
We spent close to two hours photographing Upton’s Naturals grab-n-go sandwiches and Chicago Diner cookies, sipping bubbly at one of two wine bars, choosing snacks for our flight home, and downing vegan Chicago-style hot dogs and soy milkshakes. Because that’s precisely what three bloggers do when they check out a new grocery store. While we know how ridiculous it must look to normal people, we simply can’t help ourselves. How else are we going to tell the Internet all about it?
Honestly, the rest of trip was pretty cool too. We got to check out a bunch of neato spaces, eat pizza, and meet up with Snarky Vegan, Marla from Chicago VeganMania, the Upton’s duo of Dan and Nicole, and Ms. Kelly Peloza—and they’re worth a few frozen toes.