Posted on November 25, 2018
Being a Cool Vegan...it's a Thing
Words / Cybil Bonhomme
The Seed Food & Wine Festival struck again Miami and if you didn't go, you truly missed out! This plant-based week long adventure was filled with some of the most delicious non-meat and non-dairy foods. Yes, that's right! No meat. No diary.
Some people seem to think that someone who is vegan has to be super weird, but let me tell you how I met some of the coolest, most down-to-earth people from lifestyle enthusiasts to celebrities; content creators to influencers and foodies from across the country.
DAY 1: KICK OFF VIP PARTY
The excitement started off with a kick-off party at Planta Miami in South Beach. This is where I had the pleasure of meeting some pretty cool vegans like John Lewis (@badassvegan), Torre Washington (@torre.washington) and the Sustainable Duo (@sustainable_duo).
John Lewis, also known as the 'Badass Vegan,' is a renowned fitness expert, vegan athlete, influencer, and entrepreneur who co-directed a documentary called “Hungry for Justice.” This film explores the correlation between food injustice, hip-hop culture, and veganism. Who would have thought some kind of interconnection among the three could possibly exist? When asked during the summit (day 2 morning event) how he deals with bad moments he replied, "I don't have bad moments. I always try to look at the positives in life." What a perfect philosophy. He does admit, though, that he didn't always have that mentality and it took some self-revelations to get him there.
It gets better...
VEGAN BODY BUILDER. ALSO A THING.
Torre Washington is super chill, vegan and yes...a body builder. Not sure if that is common, but to me he is pretty much a unicorn. Super fun fact: his physique was built entirely on a vegan regimen without the aid of supplements.
DAY 2: SEED SUMMIT (DAY EVENT)
The summit took place at the American Airlines Area on the second day and was filled with an array of goodies like "workshops, speaker panels and networking designed for media-types, content creators, influencers and entrepreneurs in conscious, sustainable and plant-based living." Street artist fighting for animal justice, Constantin le Fou, stressed that instead of being angry at the world for not making a change see what kind of change you can do at the microscopic level and build from there.
To top it off, guests had a chance to throw down on a mouth watering plant based lunch by Senior Sous Chef Hugo Fuentes. I personally had the privilege of eating this lunch with foodie Chealsea Williams (@thatschelsea) and the Donta Harris (@the.southern.vegan). Let me tell you, just because they were vegans it did not make the food photo-shoot/Instagram session less intense. I think it may have been even a little more fierce!
DAY 2:BURGER BATTLE (EVENING EVENT)
Full disclosure: I am not a burger person. Meat based or not, it's just not my cup of tea.
HOWEVER, I was at the burger battle (consisting of a celebrity judge lineup including Marco Borges of 22 Days Nutrition, Marco Regil of Telemundo, Karla Dascal of The Sacred Space and Plant, and Bad Ass Vegan John Lewis) where they were mostly serving, of course, burgers (plant based). So, I figured it was only fitting that I partake in this festivity.
Guess what? So glad I did because hands down Field Roast/Green Bar won my heart with their B.A.D Burger ("Breakfast All Day" burger) consisting of a Field Roast patty topped with Just Egg, a hash brown, and maple "bacon" all grilled up on a locally-made L'Artisane croissant. I voted for them and apparently so did a bunch of other people because they ended up winning the battle!
After having my fill of burgers and etcetera, I completely "fannedgirled" on the way out when I bumped into Chef Todd Erickson (top photo). Chef Todd is one of Miami's hottest chefs, owns some great restaurants in Miami, (including Haven South Beach) and most importantly, to me, beat Bobby Flay!
Who knew recycled goods could look so good! Celebrities and models strutted the runway poolside at Sacred Space wearing the hottest cruelty-free fashions, while guests were able to shop at the pop-up bazaar with items straight from the runway.
DAY 4:SEED FESTIVAL DAY TASTING VILLAGE
The extravaganza continued with a family fun day of tasting galore, cooking demos and guest speakers. It was quite "lit" as some people would say. Some highlights I would say were the adult margarita popsicle (which was quite refreshing on that scorching hot day) and the cauliflower tots. They burned my tongue, but since it was so good it was worth it.
DAY 5: 11 /11 CRITICAL MASS
The last day was a time to reflect and whine down with some yoga. It was great meeting Chef Chloe and the tasting galore continued.
After reading about all this good stuff, I believe we can agree that you can be a cool, party like a rock star and be vegan! Do not take my word for it...go experience the Seed Food & Wine Festival next year!