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So this weekend, I spent most of my weekend inside part of the Olympia exhibition centre in West London at the first London Veg Fest – http://london.vegfest.co.uk/
It was a huge event, with loads of stalls covering lots of topics from Raw Food and Vegan Meet Ups to Urban Foxes and Vegan Ice Cream plus everything In between. Two food theatres for demos, two cinemas, discussion areas, talks, and a kids zone. Even a bicycle powered smoothie maker – damn, I should have taken a pic of that!
The event was attended by almost 10,000 people over the weekend and showcased the best in vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and products with some music and comedy thrown in.
Why did I go?
Since starting on my plant-based journey to improve my health, I wanted to see what else is “out there” in terms of plant-based nutrition in the UK, as much of my contact and experience has been with the plant-based community in the US. I also wanted to do some research for my blog.
What did I find?
I found a wide diversity of offerings as i said earlier. I found very little specifically “no-added fat, whole-food, plant-based nutrition”, which really surprised and disappointed me. I think that maybe because we already have strong veggie and vegan communities here in the UK, and that the research into how plant-based eating can improve your health, has mainly been conducted from the USA.
What was good?
There were many good things about the event. One of the best for me was talking to other attendees about their reasons for attending. They all seemed to be enjoying the event and getting a lot out of it.
I found many people passionate about their products or what they are doing and here are my highlights….
- Inspiral -who are a North London eco cafe/bar and create the yummiest kale chips – http://www.inspiralled.net/
- Nama – Another North London business, this time a raw food company with delicious sweet treats http://www.namafoods.com/#
- Chad Sarno – A terrific highly skilled chef who is taking plant-based culinary education to the next level through Rouxbe.com. I learned a lot from watching his demos, which hopefully will show in my upcoming recipes. Find out more about this man at http://chadsarno.com/
- Another passionate chef – This time the adorable Rebecca Kane who presented some delicious raw food recipes in her cheeky and engaging style- http://www.shineonraw.com/
- The Heavenly Cake Company – A South London team, from Sunny Sydenham, making the most amazing and delicious cakes from wholewheat spelt flour which are egg free, dairy free, gluten free and sugar free! I loved their work so much, that i bought Mr G a Red Velvet Cake which he is devouring with relish! http://www.TheHeavenlyCakeCompany.co.uk
- Sutra Kitchen – London’s first veggie and vegan cooking school.
- Muscolo di grano – Roast Wheat – I am not one for fake meats but this is good and low in fat too. They make the most delicious “wheat meat”. Basically it is Wheat+Lentils=Italian Culinary Genius. I make my own wheat meat, but this is just superb. http://www.muscolodigrano.com
- Livesey Bros – Fungi Fusions – a great company providing amazing mushrooms. They sell mushroom packs such as the Quattro Fungi – for dishes like risottos & pasta, Fungi Wok – for stir fries and oriental cuisine and Fungi Ensalada – for Mediterranean dishes. see http://www.mushroommeals.co.uk
- Alara – A company selling organic, gluten free and fair trade Porridge, Muesli & Granola and a range of superfoods. http://www.alara.co.uk
- The lovely ladies behind Ladle & Larder produce amazing chutneys. http://ladleandlarder.co.uk/
So…of all of the people i met, who did I rate the highest?
In 3rd place: Ladle and Larder, for products that are tasty and healthy.
In 2nd Place: The Heavenly Cake Company – who are making products that are not only delicious treats but good for you too!
In 1st Place: Chef Chad Sarno who is bringing plant-based nutrition to a wider audience!
Thanks VegFest London – See you next year!