Incase you were wondering…
VegFest is like a vegan Heaven…
Free food all day.
Free samples of everything.
Cooking demonstrations Tal Ronnen.
And a nice sized goodie bag.
Tal obviously DID NOT fit in this goodie bag or I would have taken him home too. : /
Warning: This next part gets a little ugly. This is my blog and I say what’s on my mind. If I offend VegFest in anyway hopefully you take this as constructive criticism and plan better next year.
Mini Rant. (not to be negative but…) Growing by the thousands each year (in 2010 about 2, 100 attended; 2011 over 3,000 which is really impressive by the way), you would think that vendors would be more prepared for this event or the event center would be able to hold more people so it is easy to move around. Don’t get me wrong, God bless all of the VegMichigan volunteers, BUT seriously I was basically forced to leave three hours early because it was so dang crowded! Free samples? Give me a break, they were gone in an hour after waiting all year for this event. And again, not to be a downer but I got a can of collard greens and a chocolate cake recipe in my goodie bag compared to last years mini Larabars, pages of coupons that lasted me all year, Tings, shampoo, Vega samples, soaps, ect. Yes, I was really happy to attend but it was a joke compared to last year.
Anyway, back to my (only) FAVORITE part, Tal Ronnen.
Who is Tal Ronnen?
Tal Ronnen started the nonprofit education organization Veg Advantage in 2004 to help food-service operators integrate vegetarian options into their menus. Tal is a graduate of New York City’s Natural Gourmet Institute and has many years of experience working with food-service manufacturers, distributors and operators. Tal has performed cooking demonstrations on numerous television shows and often works with hotels, including Hyatt and Hilton; schools, including New York University; and corporate dining halls, including America Online’s headquarters and Yahoo!, to assist with vegetarian menu options.
Tal’s approach to vegetarian cuisine is based on classic French techniques, but he’s not afraid to give his dishes a contemporary twist. Tal’s signature dishes include a key lime and avocado cream dessert parfait, Old Bay tofu cakes with vegan horseradish crème and artichoke tortellini with saffron “cream” sauce.
Tal conducts master vegetarian workshops for students and staff at several Le Cordon Bleu-affiliated culinary schools nationwide. He has also worked at the top vegan restaurants in the United States, including Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Candle 79 in New York City and Madeleine Bistro in Los Angeles. In 2007, Tal assisted rocker Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders in opening her restaurant, VegiTerranean in Akron, Ohio.
Oh my Gosh, Scott and I watched him for two whole hours! Tal Ronnen is such a great guy and we were so happy to meet him. I knew my boyfriend would like his style because it’s more gourmet compared to healthy vegan cooking. For example, when Tal was answering the audiences questions, he was getting annoyed with all of the “health” questions like, “What can you use in place of salt?” he kept telling us that he likes food that taste good. It was entertaining.
At the book signing I could tell he wasn’t much of a “people-person” because he seemed rather cranky. That’s cool I guess, everyone is different.
At least I got pictures! Whoop.
I’ll probably go on about VegFest more throughout the week. I’m not really in the mood for a long post, can’t you tell? 😛
!!!PLUS EXCITING NEWS COMING TOMORROW!!! +++ Reviews as promised!