I can attest and say that this was one of the BEST vegan events I have ever attended in terms of universality. You know those events where you NAIL it in food but you don’t quite meet everyone you want, or events where you check off every single box for the individual you want to meet, but the food is sub-par? Well, I will say that this year, VegFest LA’s vendors for food, lineup of influencers, crowds, and overall ambience were A++.
Now, let’s get onto the recap, shall we?
While exploring the venues, I saw Cami Peytn of Supreme Banana on YouTube once again! She was bubbly and funny as ever, and I absolutely love her outfit! She was present for a macaroni and cheese cooking contest sponsored by Thrive Market at the Learning Kitchen. I wasn’t sure if I would get a chance to meet her again, so I took the opportunity to snag a photo of the two of us. Absolutely love all her veganized videos, but I subscribed for her videos where she showcases her friendly and authentic personality!
At the Learning Kitchen was Zoe Rooster who is a fifteen year-old animal farm sanctuary owner in SLO known for her TEDx talk regarding animal rights. My friends and I actually visited her sanctuary at a pop-up pizza and pigs event that I recapped in a previous post! She is so so so sweet and inspiring to me. In fact, she came onto my college campus several times to lead protests and interventions of animals that would be slaughtered for agriculture events. The energy in her passion for saving animal lives is incredible and contagious. It’s something remarkable that you don’t see in a lot of people!
Before watching the macaroni and cheese cooking contest, I got hungry for something fresh but flavorful. No oily pizza or philly cheese steak sandwiches for me today! After exploring, I settled on a sushi veggie burrito with a side of hot dorito flakes from Oono Sushi. It was LOADED with cucumber, seaweed, avocado, sweet tofu skin, and rice wrapped in Nori. I was contemplating on whether to buy something a bit more “out there” for the sake of photos, but I knew I would regret it afterwards. I did NOT regret this burrito whatsoever. It was hearty but also didn’t weigh me down after finishing it. The flakes added the perfect kick to the refreshing and somewhat sweet ingredients.
Commence the cooking contest! The contestants were That Vegan Mom, Caitlin Shoemaker of From My Bowl, and Cami Petyn of Supreme Banana. The macaroni and cheese varieties were poblano, taco, and Sriracha respectively. That Vegan Mom ended up winning the contest based on the judges’ (three individuals picked from the audience) consensus. Since there wasn’t enough to go round, most people only got one sample. I ended up trying Caitlin’s taco macaroni and cheese with gluten free chickpea pasta, potato and carrot-based cheese, and blue corn tortilla chips on top. It was DIVINE!
Of course, I had to say hello to Caitlin herself! Her blog, Instagram, and YouTube channel inspire me not for aesthetic reasons, but honestly for the effort and hard work that exudes in her photos and writing. The dedication she channels into her work really show how passionate she is about what she does, which is something everyone should strive for! Now I’m even more pumped to pursue all opportunities in food science that I can get my hands on! But of course, her vegan recipes look magnificent.
Inside the tent, I also got a chance to greet Chris of Conscious Chris, Amanda from ApplesandAmandas, Jasmine of Sweet Simple Vegan, and Russell of RollerCoasterVegan as well! I met these amazing individuals before, and for good reason. Jasmine and Chris continue to inspire me with their incredibly creative recipes through and through, whereas Amanda’s journey in dietetics as a vegan is so fascinating. They’re also ALL down to earth and sweet people.
Walked to the other side of VegFest and low and behold, saw Mike of Mic the Vegan. I just HAD to say hello. His review of What the Health and his video on oil and the quality you need to stay vegan got me hooked on his channel, and I really appreciate how he utilizes science to his ADVANTAGE rather than a dismissive manner. It’s not common to see YouTubers use evidence that lacks in credibility because “science cannot be trusted”. Now I know that there are some gray areas in this argument, but I think that in many cases, the scientific consensus positively enforced a vegan diet. And that’s what makes Mike amazing!
Okay more food FINALLYYYYYY right?! To be fair, I basically grazed all the free samples before deciding on my purchases! You’ll see the samples later in this post. But anyways, my next target was the Eat Love Yoga bakery’s vegan cinnamon roll! Believe it or not, this was the LAST cinnamon roll they had in stock. I was so lucky! Bonus: I got chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Man oh man, saying that this cinnamon roll was glorious is an understatement. It is literally made from the gods. Dough was soft and fluffy, glaze was slightly crispy, cinnamon is aromatic, and the chocolate sauce was comforting! I kind of wish they had more because I wanted to eat ten more of their cinnamon rolls. Not gonna lie!
Charlie’s Brownies was a vendor I didn’t purchase from in Vegan Street Fair, so I did the opposite to make up for lost times. I thought the brownie sundae would have been too heavy, so I selected the stand-alone white chocolate blondie! Perfect decision. Basically should be the base of my birthday cake. I still got the comforting creamy and sticky texture with the delicious sweetness that I craved. It was almost like baked peanut butter or cookie butter! I’ll be sure to try their brownie sundae or any of their menu items that include ice cream next time!
Quite a lot of my vegan friends introduced me to That Vegan Couple on YouTube. I didn’t think I’d find anything new from Natasha and Luca’s channel, but boy, was I wrong. Their recaps of promoting veganism on the streets and openly discussing the vegan lifestyle with common folk are incredibly interesting! With that aside, I love their mukbangs and recipe videos, but I adore Natasha and Luca even more because they go out of their way to share veganism by touring public facilities and instigating thought and discussion. They’re absolutely wonderful and I highly recommend you check them out!
Speaking of couples, I saw Ryan and Anji of Happy Healthy Vegan as well! The first time I met them was at my first ever Vegan Street Fair in 2017. They were so kind and genuine! My roommates and I make their classic guacamole recipe all the time and I love Anji’s oil free ratatouille. I recently started watching their videos discussing more sub-topics in veganism and the misinformation against veganism. Ryan and Anji know that it’s really important not to blindly believe what you read, especially anything that justifies why veganism is not ideal. Also, they have this kind of sass that I think is really funny!
Wow, here’s an unlikely vegan influencer! But in all seriousness, I am just like ANY other vegan who will approach any animal, let alone any dog stalker. Best Friend Animal Society was showcasing their organization and had some adopted rescue dogs as well. This three year-old mixed Staffordshire is named Ryan! He was so gentle and friendly. But seeing him also broke my heart since I started thinking about all the dogs that aren’t so lucky. In addition, I held so much regret for not insisting that my current dog be adopted. But hope struck when I recognized that I could still adopt and rescue a dog myself once I find my own place to live one or two years from now. This, THIS image right here, encompasses why I’m staying vegan for as long as I live.
Last item is actually a takeaway! I am a HUGE HUGE HUUUUUUUUGE fan of Cupcake Wars, and I was so delighted to finally kick myself in the booty and try Dreamy Creations. They are a cupcake line with vegan cupcakes and have won Cupcake Wars…TWICE. They know their business. Even though I forgot the specific flavors, it was exciting to dig into them and be surprised by each flavor! My favorite was the top middle cupcake with the toasted coconut flakes, but all the cupcakes were heavenly indeed! The cupcake to frosting ratio was absolutely perfect. I hate it when cupcakes have too much frosting and I end up dumping the frosting all together!
Now, here are most of the samples I got to try! Check out the Instagram post above!