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October 26, 2010

Chicago VeganMania 2010

I had the pleasure of attending Chicago VeganMania on October 9. It was an unseasonably hot fall day in the city, and the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse was not quite up to the task. That did not stop the droves of vegans that came out for the speakers, cooking demos, vegan vendors, and food.. including yours truly.

Steve and I arrived just in time for the cooking demo by Chicago Diner chef, Kim Gracen. On the menu: cheddar ale soup, yum!

Watching the cooking demo really worked up our appetite. We headed straight for the food vendors and decided to have some Soul Vegetarian. We each had the gyro meat and sauce with mac 'n' cheese and collard greens. The gyros were a little too greasy for me, but I loved my greens and mac 'n' cheese.

After we ate it was time to hear Isa Chandra Moskowitz speak about vegan baketivism. It was a full house to hear this lovely lady! I loved her talk, it was a great reminder that the best way to spread vegan love is by sharing delicious vegan food. Perfect your craft so everyone is talking about how amazing your mashed potatoes and gravy are at the Thanksgiving table!

Next up was Fran Costigan's cooking demo. Love her! I have been mega obsessed with her cookbook lately, which you will be hearing all about soon. Fran made cake balls and truffles, which we all got to sample, yum!

We stayed put in the cooking demo area because Isa was up right after Fran. There were problems with the sound system, and while they were working on it Isa was waiting off to the side. I jumped on the opportunity to get my copy of Vegan With a Vengeance signed (I know, nerd!!). Steve grabbed the camera off my chair when I was up front with her and snapped a quick shot of it going down.

Once the sound system was up and running again Isa started her pumpkin bisque demo. They served up some delicious samples while she was cooking. She kept the crowd laughing all the way through the demo. She is just so darn charming and funny. I learned a few new tricks, too. Here she is improvising her peeling-ginger-with-a-teaspoon trick with the only spoon that was available. She seemed surprised herself that it worked!

After Isa's demo we were ready for some dessert, and seeing that it was about 90 degrees inside the fieldhouse (no joke) ice cream was the appropriate choice. Thank goodness for Gyood!

Steve's pumpkin ice cream
My cookie dough ice cream
After dessert we met up with my favorite vegetarian Aunt and Uncle. They came to join in on the vegan fun!

We walked around together for a bit and did some shopping in the vendor area. I bought a vegan tshirt and a super cute catnip taco for the kitties. Soon we all decided that we had enough of the heat and crowds, so we skipped out early and missed the rest of the speakers and cooking demos. The one other speaker I would have really liked to see was Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, maybe next time. This was my first time attending Chicago VeganMania, but it was its second year running. I am looking forward to the third annual Chicago VeganMania in 2011 -- keep on rockin' Chicago vegans!

Evie and her catnip taco souvenir from Chicago VeganMania


  1. Sounds like a great day. I love the toy you bought for the fur babies.

    Fran has a baking bootcamp class in NYC have you heard of it? Lea went and said it was great.

    have a great Wednesday,

  2. So you know I'm going to say I'm jealous! I'm going to be in Chicago for work next summer - um, must meet up and you must show me where to indulge in vegan heaven!

  3. Looks like a lot of fun, even for Evie! haha

  4. Sarah, what a great experience. Thanks for posting so may pix, it allows us all to really get the feel for what your day was like.
    I am proud of you !!!
    Great Aunt Elaine

  5. everything here looks so delicious! I`d like to try this!

    have a nice time,

  6. Ah, this sounds like the coolest event- Wish I could have been there! I've been wanting to go to Chicago someday soon, too... Hm, maybe next year.

  7. This event sounds so incredible! And that pumpkin ice cream. Um. Amazing.

  8. Looks like a fun day and wonderful event. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  9. VeganMania sounds like a lot of fun!! I always peel my ginger with a spoon. Now I'm wondering what most people use! A paring knife? A peeler? Hm. I love that catnip taco toy. We get catnip toys for Abby sometimes but she gets tired of them pretty quickly if they don't have some sort of noisemaker in them like a bell.

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