Thursday, December 16, 2010

paris sonata style ::
movement 2, paris vegan day

A girl and her olive oil.

When  former VegNews editor, the lovely Aurelia D'Andrea first asked me to speak at  Paris Vegan Day, I must admit I felt some trepidation. A bunch of herbivores getting together to celebrate animal-free living in the home of foie gras, fromage and steak tartare? I knew at best it would be a tough sell, and at worst, well, at least it was Paris.

So imagine my surprise when, on the day of the event, more than 5,000 Frenchies showed up instead of the 2,000 we expected. Evidentally, word is out, even among chic Parisians, that vegan food can be exquisite and healthy; vegan couture is indeed "haute," and being vegan is a kind, peaceful and centering way of life.

The event itself was grand, as were the many festivities leading up to the big day. Once again, I'll let the photos do the talking.

Pre-Paris Vegan Day Events
Terry Hope Romero, me, and Isa Chandra Moskowitz at the tasty vegan Thanksgiving feast, held on a boat-restaurant on the Seine.
Another day, another party. Friday night was the Latin Fiesta held in honor of Terry's new cookbook, Viva Vegan. [As Terry said about this photo, "We look like we were out clubbing."]
Here I am with Robin, an American studying in Paris, and Franziska, of the well-established German blog, Veggie Love
What would a Latin party be without salsa dancing? Look at that helicopter hair.
Un, deux, trois...un, deux, trois

The Big Day

A bit nervous before my cooking demo. Mon Dieu, was my French up to snuff?

The multi-talented Deborah Brown Pivain of the Gentle Gourmet B&B introduced me...

And I was off, yapping up a storm and gesticulating wildly, as I tend to do. I decided to first demonstrate a dish from my home city: the vegan Philly Cheesesteak. The large screen behind me allowed the audience to easily see what I was doing so they could replicate it at home.  About 8 vegan chefs did cooking demonstrations.

Terry got this shot of me making my easy mousse au chocolat [with Cointreau, bien sûr].

My friend, the lovely Virginie Péan of Absolute Green, spoke about vegan food and the French culinary tradition. Virginie is French but now lives in Sweden with her sweet vegan boyfriend, Fredrik. She's also the author of several fantastic cookbooks. If you read French, download her FREE ebook.

Terry was an engaging and funny speaker. She showed the crowd how to make empanadas. [God, I would kill for those cheekbones!] That's Tina to the far left, who was also my sous-chef. 

But Paris Vegan Day wasn't just about the food. Joshua Katcher of the Discerning Brute MCed a fashion show. The models were all gorgeous – and all vegan. [I need that outfit, btw].

Melisser and I meet yet again!

Check out her amazing new tattoo. The model is her teacup chihuahua Strummer, and Melisser says the ink is life-sized.

Here, Melisser tells the audience how to be a hip, young, traveling vegan, while Helen translates.

While we were cooking away on the ground floor, the upstairs area was crazy-crowded. People were clamoring for tasty vegan chow. clothing, products, etc, They even had vegan speed dating!

We were all mystified by the vegan gyro...

The lower level was full of all things animal rights. There truly was something for everyone at Paris Vegan Day.

I finally got to meet so many people I had "known" only virtually, like French "blogueuses" Mamapasta, Virginie of Absolute Green and Pauline.

Finally, check out this adorable make-up bag that Jelly Bean Lupin made for me. What talent! She also graciously took shots of me while I was doing my demo.


KleoPatra said...

Great post, great pix!!

Fun to re-live your moments with you!!!


Theresa said...

What a great event! Vegan speed dating!

Virginie Péan said...

Thanks for your kind words. It was so great to meet you on that fabulous vegan weekend. I'm going to send you some pics by email (Fredrik has got good ones of you during your demo). Hope to meet you again soon. Bisous

celyn said...

What a wonderful description! Thank you for your photo essay; I almost feel like I got to tag along!

Vegetarian Girl said...

Wow! This looks amazing!

Jellybeanlupin said...

Yup a great post for a great day. Thanks for mentioning my little pouch - you know I'm glad you like it!

Pauline said...

Goodness, it seems so long ago already, but what a great day! Lovely to meet you and hope you'll be back next year. Bises.

Jackie said...

Good post. Gotta love the French.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great event. WIsh I was there! Love the pics.

tweal said...

It looks like you had a really fun time, and I'm sure your cooking demos were fun to watch. Paris is definitely at the top of my travel list.

Aurelia said...

So glad you graced Paris Vegan Day with your beautiful presence, AND performed your magnificent cooking demonstration IN FRENCH! You are talented on a multitude of fronts, and the Parisians love you for it. (And the Americans who aren't officially Parisian, but are working on it!) Please say you'll be back next year!

mamapasta said...

I read your post and I am back in the vegan day....perfectly depicted ,
such a crazy day out of my countryside!
I am very pleased to met you " in real"