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.
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.