Posts from the ‘NYC Vegetarian Food Festival’ Category

Whispers of NYCVFF Parte Duex

The first NYC Vegetarian Food Festival was amazing…once (if) you got in. Both Lauren of Gnosis and Eddie of Mercy for Animals have mentioned that there will be a second NYCVFF.

However, it turns out there will be two events! The Green Holiday Festival will be held December 11, 2011 and the 2012 NYC Vegetarian Food Festival will be held March 3rd and 4th (yes, two days!). Both are slated to again be held at the infamous Altman Building; the festivals will reportly be in a larger area, though. (We’ll see how that works out.)

A potentially good and rewarding strategy for getting in? Volunteer! These events don’t just come about with the flick of a wand. Either volunteer for the U.S. Veg Corp who puts these events together or find out early on if an organization you heart is going to be at the festival, like Mercy For Animals or Sea Shepherd, and ask if they need volunteers. Get engaged!

NYCVFF Had Food for the Body and Mind

Sandwiched between the good eats and sweet treats at the 1st NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, were a number of organizations. Potentially overlooked between the decadent cupcakes and vegan fast food, groups like these are the backbone of veg*ism; some putting in the long hours to fight through the red tape around sanctioned animal cruelty. Here are just a few paving new roads to the future and fueling our minds.

NY CLASS Horse drawn carriages in NYC were necessary…a hundred years ago. If you feel the mean streets of the city are no place for these creatures, this organization is for you.

Mercy For Animals Battling cruelty to farmed animals by encouraging a vegetarian diet and policy reform.

PETA The machine pumping out information about everything from recipes to undercover investigations.

Sea Shepherd Standing their ground between the whales and the whalers. Watch Whale Wars on Discovery and get on board.

Natural Gourmet Insitute Offering mostly-vegetarian chef training and public classes. Alumni include Alexandra Jamieson and Amanda Cohen, owner of NYC’s Dirt Candy.

Meetup The more we know, the more we grow. So hop on and find veg*n meetups in your area.

In the end, “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” – Dolly Parton.

I want her button!

Random Encounters: Chef Brooke Guthrie

On my way back to Union Square, content, after attending the first ever New York City Vegetarian Food Festival, I spotted a woman carrying a Picari chocolate bag. Out of curiousity, I walked up and asked her if she’d just been to the festival. She said she’d met the nice people at the Picari booth and was sold, then continued on to tell me what she planned to do with the chocolates.

As I talked with Chef Brooke Guthrie, creator of EcoLoveChef, she told me of her plans for opening a cafe and of her her cooking classes. [Note: Chef Brooke will be teaching a class on Gluten-free  vegan foods at the Jewish Community Center this Sunday for $79. Contact her for more details or find her on]

We walked and talked about the best places to go in NYC, the recent winner of CUPCAKE WARS, and the high points of the festival. Chef Brooke pointed out Murray’s on 6th Ave for having the best bagels and offering tofu cream cheese to boot. She actually walked with me to Lifethyme Market to show me the best vegan/vegetarian picks. Her tips: Go for the hot bar…and the desserts. In the mood for a smoothie, they have a smoothie bar. Chef Brook also mention that I could get my main grocery staples at Fairway and that the prices would be close to what I was used to at home outside Philly.

Follow Chef Brook at

Take a Virtual Bite Out of the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

Most of what people talked about in line was the potential for free food. I left stuffed from sampling and some purchases…

Honest Tea: I sampled the low calorie drinks, but I’m really curious about the new CocoaNova drinks.

Loving Hut: Voted as a favorite chain in VegNews Magazine, many were loving their quesadilles and mac and cheese…all vegan of course!

Sweet and Sara: Sara Sohn had out some of the largest samples. The Long Island-based marshmallow maker also brought her Vegan Peeps!

Liz Lovely: Her cookies really are lovely too! She had samples of her Snickerdoodles and German Chocolate Cake, both Vegan AND Gluten-Free. My favorite was the Snickerdoodle; it just fell apart in my mouth but not in a grainy way. You just have to try it to know. Also, I’m loving the Macaroonies Sock-It-To-Me!

Earth Balance: What better way to enjoy your cookies than with a glass of milk. The makers of these delicious soy milks were pouring out the good stuff! But don’t forget they make vegan butter, shortening, and spreads…essential for baking your vegan cupcakes and great for melting on some warm pancakes. One guy wished them success at unthroning SILK! Personally, there’s room in my fridge for both. I tried all three flavors they had available and I’ll say that I love how their unsweetened variety doesn’t taste watered down.

Chicago Soy Dairy: Not only did they have (pretty much) a trough of Dandies Vegan Marshmallows, but they also served up Nachos and Pizza with Teese. So delicious!

Foodswings: This popular restaurant in Brooklyn, New York was a stand out. I must go to the place! I was told it’s a guilty pleasure. When I asked about the sugar used in the cakes and whether there was any issue with bone char being used, humor aside, she just emphasized the words, “Entirely Vegan.” Enough said.

…more to come…

The First Ever NYC Vegetarian Food Festival Had Its Highs…and Lows.

Got myself a scoop of the popular Cinnamon Vanilla!

Should we stay or should we go now?

The first ever NYC Vegetarian Food Festival had a room full of vendors and many were dishing out the samples! From Sweet & Sara to Gnosis Chocolates, the tasty treats were everywhere…but that was only if you got in. The line for the event ran around three-fourths of the block.

After waiting in line for hours, many people had to make the decision of whether the potential wait and what waited for them was worth their time. As the building owner came around, stern-faced, calling out that everything was being shut down and that no one else was getting in, some wills faltered and the line thinned. I have to admit, even my feet did a bit of a stutter step. As the owner came back by shouting, ‘Why are you all still waiting? What are you waiting for?’ I planted my feet; I’m pretty stubborn. I’d already waited 2 hours, I had to know what was inside; I wasn’t leaving until I got in or cops dispersed us.

Taking pictures of you's a blogger thing.

Some tagged teamed it; one would save their place in line, while the other went to get food or use the bathroom. The Cinnamon Snail food cart was outside the entrance of The Altman Building. (Note: if you went to the festival but didn’t get the chance to try it or you missed the festival altogether, you get a second chance to try The Cinnamon Snail next weekend at the Food Cart Festival in Hell’s Kitchen.)

This father/daughter duo waited nearly two hours before they called it quits.

Many (legitimately) complained about how disorganized the event was. One man contemplated why they didn’t have the event outside. As I considered a possible location, my same thoughts were voiced by another young woman, ‘Why not Union Square?’ The square is spacious and already has other vendors, why not increase the foot traffic by hosting the festival there. However, we’re to prevued to the reasonings behind this inaugural festival’s location. The location will change next year cause there is probably no way The Altman Building will want the return business. While Union Square may seem a great idea in theory, the logistics of permits and weather are things not really considered after waiting hungry and chilled in line for hours.

Savory fuel for the long wait.

After waiting 3 hours in line, I was running on empty until Danny from The V Spot came around with his egg crate full of yummy empanadas. I happily handed over $3 for a delicious Philly Cheesesteak empanada, which fueled me for the the last of my wait. Not everyone I talked to while I’d waited made it to the proverbial “finish line.”

…Stay tuned for more…

NYC Vegetarian Food Festival on April 3, 2011…TODAY!

Obey the bunny!

Looking for something to do on this lazy Sunday? Head over to the Altman Building at 135 West 18th Street for the inaugural NYC Vegetarian Food Festival. VIP tickets are sold out, but general admission is free! From 10am-6pm, partake in free samples and learn about vegetarian/vegan, animal-rights and environmentally friendly restaurants, organizations, and businesses.


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