The 2010 DC VegFest  was met with perfect skies and cool weather on the campus of George Washington University. Several hundred vegans, vegetarian and even omnivores were treated to vendors and food stalls. From sweet treats to spicy eats, attendees did not walk away hungry.
Tal Ronnen, also known as “Oprah’s Vegan Chef”, did a cooking demo featuring a celery root soup with a gardein scallopini with a sauteed udon noodle cake. He took questions during his demonstration and received applause after recommending that more vegans go to cooking school so that there can be more influence on the industry. (He also mentioned that while in school vegans should try tasting some of the meat dishes so that they can help duplicate the flavors and adapt the cooking techniques for vegan dishes. Perhaps a bit controversial but a very compelling thought.)
Tal also took questions while preparing his plates regarding protein, soy, cashew butter and cooking oils. He called coconut oil the “lard of vegan cooking”. Use it for dishes with high cooking temperatures and you’ll be rewarded with flavor. Meanwhile, sesame oil should be used in low temperature settings and expose it to only a bit of heat to maintain its flavor.
The only downside of this festival are the long lines to get a bite to eat. But, I don’t think folks minded because everyone seemed to be in good spirits and happy to spend a day amongst like minded individuals. I hope next year that either additional food vendors can be wooed to spend a day serving vegetarian fare so that even more can eat well and eat meatless.