Pictured above: Sporting the new Oy Vegan Tee at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival!
Arriving at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival thrown by the wonderful people at the Toronto Vegetarian Association is always a treat. Row after row of booths selling vegan products, food, and raising awareness about issues of animal welfare adorn Toronto’s Harbourfront. That famous Christmas carol comes to mind ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year!’ and despite some rain on Saturday, Oy Vegan attended everyday.
There were many highlights for us here at Oy Vegan and it was hard… but somehow we managed to narrow it down to a top 5.
5. The food from Karma ChaMEALeon Food truck. This vegan food truck came all the way from Hamilton for the festival. Would LOVE for them to come to Toronto permanently!! Just sayin’
Pictured above: Jamaican Jerk Jackfruit Tacos from Karma ChaMEALeon
4. The panel of heroes that spoke about animal activism and their fabulous animal sanctuaries in New York State. Check out Kathy Stevens’ Catskill Animal Sanctuary, Jenny Brown’s Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, and Gene Bauer’s Farm Sanctuary. I look forward to reading all of their books!!!
Pictured above from L to R: Kathy Stevens, Gene Bauer, Sonia Faruqi, Jenny Brown, and Sayara Thurston.
3. Meeting Chef Roberto Martin. Known for being Ellen Degeneres’ chef, Roberto Martin made a super tasty ceviche out of hearts of palm. A very cool down-to-earth guy I must say.
Pictured above: Roberto Martin and I
2. I was also honoured to receive Chef Taymer Mason’s St. Maarten gift bag giveaway featuring a green seasoning that she made in St. Maarten! She served up a super tasty lentil patty and an eggplant and seaweed accra that was mouthwatering.
Pictured above: Top– Taymer Mason and I, Bottom– Lentil Patty and Eggplant and Seaweed Accra
1. Strongman Patrik Baboumian breaking the Guinness World Record by lifting 1213 lbs (550 kilos)! This vegan hero was so pumped from his amazing feat that he screamed vegan power with all his might after walking over 10 metres with 1213 lbs on his back. An unbelievable moment and an unbelievable guy. The video I took is a little shakey but captures his speech at the end which touched everyone in the crowd just as much as the actual feat of strength that he performed. An amazing moment that will go down in food fest history!
Pictured above from L to R: vegan athlete panel featuring Patrik Baboumian,
UFC fighter James Wilks, Ironman athlete Roch Roll, and former Hockey player Georges Laraque.
I would also like to send a special shout-out to Sweets from the Earth for their Cinnamon Babka. It was unbelievably tasty!!!
As well, we want to shout-out Green Zebra Kitchen for their de-constructed Tempeh Rueben Bowl. Yum!
Pictured above: Green Zebra Kitchen’s de-constructed Tempeh Rueben Bowl
I also want to commend the TVA for making this year’s event completely vegan. It really made it accessible for everyone and I felt more comfortable and excited knowing that I could eat anything I wanted! I hope this becomes the norm for the food festival as it is a celebration of a plant-based lifestyle after all!