Terry Hope Romero

More & More: Vida Vegan Con 2015 Speaker Reveal #5

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It only happens at Vida Vegan Con: We put out the call. We read the submissions. We talked. We made spreadsheets. We talked some more. You simply cannot imagine how hard it was for us to narrow down our speaker lineup. Such amazing talent. Such fantastic voices. So much feedback to consider. Seriously, why can’t Vida Vegan Con be a week long?!

But we’ve done it, and now we are so excited to share it with you! Each week, we’ve been featuring a handful of speakers, with a teaser of what sort of expertise they’ll be sharing with you (and that’s on top of the class topics sneak peek we shared earlier this summer).

As in past years, we’ve curated this lineup of activists, authors, experts, and other leaders in their fields to share with you their skills, their unique voices, and their ability to inspire. We’ll debut the official conference agenda in early 2015.

So here they are, in randomly random order, your fifth set of Vida Vegan Con III speakers (and there’s still a bit more to come!):

Terry Hope Romero VVC speakers

Terry Hope Romero, Vegan Latina Terry Hope Romero is the bestselling author of Vegan Eats World, Viva Vegan!, co-author of Veganomicon, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and most recently, revitalized an entire freaking course with her latest book, Salad Samurai. The Queens-based superstar joins us for her third VVC experience to discuss everything you need to know about the world of crowdfunding and Kickstarter-dom. Terry’s also one of three featured chefs on the series Vegan Mashup, which super successfully used the platform to launch their first and second season (airing now on public television!). We’ll have way more to come from Terry at VVC2015, so stay tuned for big news!


Jojo Huxster VVC speakersJojo Huxster, vegan.in.brighton More likely recognized as the delightful presence behind the blog “Vegan in Brighton”, Jojo Huxster joins us from the UK, via recent travels in Austria, Japan, and one of her favorite cities in the US, Austin, TX. In addition to her positively infectious and inspiration travel blogging, Jojo runs Operation Icing, her not-for-profit bakery, and recently helped organize the 2014 Vegan Month of Food (aka VeganMoFo). She describes herself as animal loving, food obsessed, body positive and a feminist. Appropriately, Jojo, an alumnae of VVC2013, is traveling across the globe to join us all in Austin and talk all about her travel bug + style, including what she’s learned, where’s she’s headed next, and how to thrive as a vegan while exploring the world.


Grant Butler VVC speakers

Grant Butler, The Oregonian’s FoodDay Highly respected food writer and longtime journalist, Grant Butler is renowned in-and-outside of the vegan community for his well-received column as a culinary professional who went vegan…and stayed vegan. He joined us in Portland at VVC2011 as a moderator and returned as a popular speaker in 2013 with a talk on writing “Restaurant Reviews with Authority”, which sent tons of attendees on the right path. He’s heading to Austin to discuss bringing fresh ideas to your food writing, a class you seriously won’t want to miss. You can read his continuing columns, including “Going Vegan” and “Table Talk”, on OregonLive.com.



Sayward Rebhal VVC speakers

Sayward Rebhal, Bonzai Aphrodite The “socially conscious, totally fabulous” author behind the Vegan Pregnancy Survival Guide, Sayward Rebhal is an authority on vegan parenting, freelance writer, urban farming enthusiast and vegan lifestyle coach with a devoted blog following. She’s currently in graduate school in Southern California, exploring evolutionary biology. Sayward joins our lineup again to share her personal story and inspirational thoughts on “How to Deal With Facing Failing Health as a Vegan”.


Lisa Coulson VVC speakers


Lisa “Panda” Coulson, Panda with Cookie An artist by day and biscuit maker by night, Lisa is admired throughout the vegan community (and most importantly, the internet) by the moniker “Panda with Cookie”, the namesake of her online and touring store, where she sells her handcrafted plush and baby attire. Her familiarity with the vegan world and craft world have made her an expert community organizer. No stranger to VVC, as one of our favorite past exhibitors and all-around super helpful friend, Lisa joins us on the lineup for VVC2015 to combine her DIY and community expertise to discuss just that, DIY Event Organizing. Also pictured: George.


Get ready: Vida Vegan Con returns this May!

From Bryant Terry to Ginny Messina, Jill Pyle of Vegan Cuts, The Sexy Vegan and 14 others all-stars, check out the rest of the lineup reveals:

Ready to register? Yeah, you know it. So put in for your vacation time, get ready to explore Austin’s fantastic vegan scene, and grab your spot today!

 Vida Vegan Con III ∗ May 29-31, 2015 ∗ Austin, TX

Risky Cinnamon Earthquakes (Guest Post)

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We are thrilled to present a lovely and inspiring guest post from one of your and one of our favorite vegan cookbook authors, Terry Hope Romero.


My first morning in cool green summertime Portland and I’m sinking a dainty fork into the glistening swirls of a cinnamon bun from Dovetail bakery, sipping iced coffee spiked with coconut creamer, and browsing Facebook on my clunky phone. A sweet morning ritual to kick off the exciting week ahead of the first ever Vida Vegan blogger gathering.

But…there’s been a earthquake. An earthquake rippling through my home city of NYC and some neighboring Eastern states. With me on the earthquake-notorious yet calm West coast and my beloved, rock-steady East Coast quivering it’s difficult to understand what’s actually happening, but there’s a soaring flock of comments swarming through my online social networks making each tremble all the more personal. It’s equally alarming and comforting. Yet somehow it makes me excited to live in the world today that despite something as scary as earthquake (for many East Coasters this is the first ever they’ll recall experiencing one), I can feel instantly connected to both to real-life friends and folks I’ve never met in the flesh.
Originally this guest post for the Vida Vegan Conference was going to concern taming blog monsters, those boogies that bother even the most dedicated among us. After this morning’s literal long-distance shake-up I’m thinking about how something truly monstrous, like an earthquake, can spring us into action and help us get past those inner demons of self-doubt and hyper-criticism that can freeze us from making blog posts with heart.

Coming to the first ever Vida Vegan Conference, I fought my own self-doubts (too far away, too much work left at home, what will I talk about?), but I’m so glad that the urge to bridge the distance with the Internet vegan tribe won in the end. We’ve gathered as a community in real life, an extension of what we do all year round as people connected by technology. We’re a small slice of a tiny but growing group with a tight focus–vegan blogs. How many of you attending told your friends, family, co-workers, and total strangers “I’m attending a vegan blogger conference!” What looks did you get in return? Perhaps ones of surprise, intrigue, a little confusion; but as vegans we’re used to that by now, right? Very likely they’ll be asking you even more questions when you get home, because it’s uncommon, adventure-loving folks like you who grab that rare chance to meet their peers beyond the blog post.
My presentation Sunday morning has a crazy title “There’s a DRAGON in my tempeh taco,” and it’s about putting more story into your blog posts. But secretly it’s about putting more YOU into your blog posts. And that’s risky. But risks can reward us in ways far more meaningful that just sitting around and wishing good things would happen. With life being as unpredictable as it is, it’s more crucial than ever to take these kind of valuable risks, be it with your writing or traveling or meeting new people.

I’m relieved that everyone back home is safe (some lucky ones didn’t even notice), and it’s thrilling to see the excitement bubbling even before the convention kicks off. No doubt we’ll have stories to take back to our hopefully steady and sound homes. Just make certain to take time after to relax, relish your own local species of luscious vegan pastry and fuel your next post with the power of risks taken, rewards earned. and life lived well.

Terry Hope Romero’s latest co-authored (with Isa Chandra Moskowitz) baking adventure Vegan Pie in the Sky comes out October 2011. Visit Terry at veganlatina.com.