Monday, October 21, 2013

paris vegan day :: photo bomb, part 1 of 3

I'm back from 9 days in Paris. I traveled to France for Paris Vegan Day, then tacked on a vacation "caboose." Today in my first installment, I'll share some "getting settled" photos and event shots.

This was my wee apartment. It was adorable but teeny-tiny – much smaller than it appeared in online photos. Still it was fine for one person. [The ad said it slept 3! Three Chihuahuas?]

First thing I did was grab some quick supplies. I bought more fruit and veggies later in the week at a nearby market. The apartment owner also thoughtfully preloaded my mini-fridge with soy milk and water! French soy milk tastes so much better than ours, especially the vanilla. Must be all the sugar.

The event was held at Les Docks, Cité de la Mode et Du Design, sort of like Paris' Parsons. It was an open, architecturally interesting building on the Seine. I was invited to the pre-party the night before the event, where we guests were greeted with Eiffel Towers, overflowing with vegan appies, like verrines, pigs in blankets, mini pizzas and finger sandwiches.

Ran into the ever-fab Demetrius Bagley, producer of award-winning Vegucated. He and I share initials, a diet and a coast. [He's from NYC and I'm in Philadelphia.] Unfortunately Paris water and its high calcium content were not kind to my baby-fine curls. Parisian grocers must sell a lot of Rinse Aid.

We enjoyed a Vaute Couture fashion show via another NY doll,  brilliant designer Leanne Hilgart. One of everything, please. Guests also enjoyed music and a very moving interpretive dance performance.

Flash forward to the next day – the big event. Here's part of the produce "market" for cooks and chefs to gather items for their demos. French are drawn to gorgeous produce like moths to a flame. Since it was not marked, event attendees kept strolling by, eyeing the produce and asking if it was for sale. They looked so sad when I told them it was not.

A huge table was studded with intricately carved gourds and apples...

So elegant. The apples did not brown – must have been swimming in lemon juice. 

There was a large exhibit space jam-packed with vegan products. It was so heartening to see so many French so interested in a kinder, healthier way of eating and living. I've said from the start that veganism would firmly start to take hold once people realized there was an economic benefit. And the success of the expo in a meat-centric country is proof.

This is my pre-mise-en-place before my demo– fresh fruit and raw nut crusts. Vegan queen of chocolate and all around fab amiga Fran Costigan and I shared the stage. But unfortunately, no photos of us on stage exist so you'll have to take my word for it...

I'm not one to point fingers [yuk-yu], but here I am pre-demo, talking to folks, alongside my pal Elisabeth. Thank you, Vegucated, for the photo.

Here's Fran, talking chocolate.

Clare of the UK [who is interning at Chez Panisse] and Frederica of Switzerland helped us out. It was a veritable United Nations.

I showed crowds how to make easy raw vegan pies. My new cookbook Pies and Tarts with Heart includes a Raw Pies chapter, and I must say they are pathetically easy – pretty presentation and superb nutrition with very little effort.

I also showed how to make easy verrines using the same raw pie recipes [2 for the price of 1!]

Fran demonstrated vegan ganache and 3 ways to use it. My favorite was the tartine, smeared with ganache and sprinkled with coarse sea salt. Miam-miam! If you are a chocoholic, you'll want, no need! to check out Fran's new book, Vegan Chocolate It is gorgeous and includes skads of luscious, decadent chocolate-based recipes.

Next up... photos of food I ate and things I observed.

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foodfeud said...

Whoa those carved melons and apples are gorgeous!
Looks like a ton of fun. So happy to see France embracing veganism.
And YES I WILL be checking out Fran's chocolate cookbook. Didn't know she had one.

Laura said...

I'm going to be in Paris in less than a month - and now I can't wait!

Andrea said...

What fun — to be celebrating vegan food in Paris. It's really hard to tell that the apt. is small, but as long as the chihuahuas didn't show up, it was probably just enough space for one careful person.

Tanya said...

Looks like so much fun!


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