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Back from Summerfest

I’m back from Vegetarian Summerfest in Johnstown PA, where I did a cooking demonstration on spicy cooking. It was my second time there, and each time I come away marveling at how the team at NAVS pull off such a monumental five-day event.

With scores of speakers on a variety of veg-oriented topics, and throngs of like-minded people in attendance, I find myself wishing the world could be more like this warm though temporary veg gathering. The pristine woodsy campus of the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown almost makes me want to go back to school. If the verdant setting and fabulous roster of events isn’t enough to make you want to set up residence, the food will cinch the deal.

It’s so wonderful to be in a place and know that all the meals being served are 100% vegan. With the talented Chef Ken Bergeron at the helm, the food served at Summerfest is really top-notch. I’m still dreaming about those crusted tofu cutlets with shiitake gravy. So good.

I wish I could report on some of the amazing talks and demos that were given, but I spent my entire time there preparing for my own demo, so I didn’t get to attend any of the other events. Maybe next time I can go as an attendee instead of a presenter, so I can enjoy everything that makes Summerfest so special. If you’ve never attended, I encourage you to place it on your schedule for next June.

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On to Summerfest

The 34th annual Vegetarian Summerfest, the annual conference of the North American Vegetarian Society begins on Wednesday. It takes place at the beautiful campus of the University of Pittsburgh in Johnstown, PA, on a picturesque mountaintop 650-acre wildlife preserve. The five-day even is jam-packed with talks, food demos, and entertainment, and the roster is a veritable who’s-who of vegan personalities including T. Colin Campbell, Howard Lyman, Jo Stepaniak, and many others.

On Saturday, June 21, I will be in their company, too, doing a cooking demonstration called Little Bites to Big Bites: Bold Global Flavors for Versatile Appetizers or Main Dishes. During my demo, I’ll prepare several dishes from my latest book, Vegan Fire & Spice that can be used as both appetizers and main dishes and show how to use spices and seasonings from different global regions to enhance everyday meals.

One of the recipes I will be demonstrating is the Seitan Satays with Ginger Peanut Sauce, which you can see in my April 28 post, as well as the Jamaican Spiced Tempeh Nuggets. Amy over at the Vegcooking.com blog wrote about this recipe in her April 17th post, and included a great photo.

Speaking of photos, I hope to take a few while at Summerfest, and I’ll be sure to share them with you when I return next week. Are any of you planning to be at Summerfest? If you do, please find me, as I’d love to meet you.