Plant-based cuisine brought alive by a series of inventive chefs at VegfestUK Brighton

27th February 2018

Switching to a plant-based diet involves not only switching many of your food ingredients, but also searching for new recipes and new habits, which occasionally might put a few off going the full distance in eating 100% plant-based. However, with a wide range of cookbooks showcasing the beauties of plant-based cooking these days, cooking 100% plant-based has become a lot easier than before. And a number of chefs who pride themselves on their unique takes of plant-based cuisines will be demonstrating at the upcoming VegfetUK Brighton plant-based food festival, a collection of dishes which can be tailored to both those living on the fast lane and those eager to impress their pre-vegan friends, making plant-based cooking ever more accessible to everybody.

(click here for full timetable of the cookery demos)

Sri Lankan cuisine prides itself a lot on using the freshest spices and vegetables possible and whilst one can get really elaborate with Sri Lankan cooking, it can actually be quick and easy as well, as Sri-Lankan born chef Gayani Ariyaratne from Gayani’s Kitchen will show at the event. Whilst her Jackfruit Curry cooked in coconut milk and spices speaks of a hearty dish drenched in flavour and intensity, her Okra Stir Fry and Coconut Salad is an appetising and uplifting dish that could be either a starter to a rich main course or the main dish itself.

This is far from the end of the story for lovers of robust flavours, though. Join Nishma Shah of vegan caterers Shambhu’s as she shares her tips and knowledge about spices. Nishma will show you how various spices achieve that exotic vibrancy of flavours, aromas and colours, and indicate their many healing qualities.  Nishma will be demonstrating a protein-rich, spice-enhanced, main dish in this session. Nishma will have a limited number of stainless steel spice palettes available, including a supply of key spices to get you going on your curries at home.

In the meantime, beans and plantain are a taste match made in heaven, and plant-based food blogger Tomi Makanjuola, a.k.a. Vegan Nigerian, will demonstrate how to make a mouth-watering plantain and black-eyed bean curry that is sure to delight your taste buds and impress everyone you know.

Lovers of raw food need not miss out either in the Cookery Demos, as a number of food producers or chefs will explain how eating raw does not mean deprivation at all.

First of all, Anita McKenzie from sistahintheraw will be showcasing her own No-Bake Fruit Pie, that will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied.

Elspeth Humm, the brainchild of rising stars Elspeth’s Kitchen and the brand-new Get Norty range of puds in the raw cakes sector, will light up the crowd with her stunning display of raw plant-based tarts and cheesecake, and she’ll be putting her raw creations to the test by re-creating one of her favourite recipes –  Raw Cacao & Hazelnut Tarte with a gooey date caramel centre. This is followed by her own Raspberry Ripple No-Cheese Cheesecake, one of Elspeth’s favourite fruity desserts using secret ingredients like Beetroot powder. Come and see how Elspeth likes to get creative in the kitchen and try one of her delicious desserts.

Tom Vilasek, chief blogger from vegan food blog Green Rabbit Kitchen, will bring you a 3-course raw vegan menu consisting of a root remoulade for starter, a raw spaghetti as a main followed by a dessert of berry tartare with chocolate caviar. All are expected to be very yummy and simple dishes for you and your families.

Going plant-based used to spell the end of consuming one of the nation’s food darlings in cheese, and the days following a goodbye kiss to the dairy-infused substance used to be hell for lovers of the stuff that the Romans brought to our shores many a year ago. Not anymore – not only can we buy dairy-free vegan cheeses in supermarkets as well as independent stores these days, recipes for making them are becoming more widely known, and Andrea Wolstenholme from the Vegan Cheese Lovers Club will come up with a simple vegan cheese recipe that anyone can make at home.

Traditional desserts dishes typically involve the use of dairy and eggs and replacing these in cakes, tarts, puddings and others is actually not as hard as you think, as free-from pastry chef Daniele Maupertuis will demonstrate in her couple of demos on the Sunday part of the show. Visitors will have the opportunity to try Daniele’s own take on a large variety of desserts, including an Easter chocolate cake, fantasy around a rice pudding, a coconut, lime and basil trifle, followed by a lemon Easter nest cake, a raspberry and pistachio tartlets, and a mango and passion fruit cheesecake.

The plant-based desserts trail doesn’t just end there at VegfestUK Brighton. Think of how one should veganise the much-loved and treasured Crème Brûlée to a satisfactory level – no worries as one of V for Life’s roving chefs Ollie Bragg will come up with an eggless, creamless version that looks every bit as enticing, and tastes every bit as good, if not better, than its non-vegan counterpart.

All cookery demos can be attended at no extra charge after the admission fees to the whole event are paid for. 

The cookery demos add to a vibrant mix of features at VegfestUK Brighton, which takes place on the weekend March 24-25 at the Brighton Centre – other features include around 230 stalls including 19 globally inspired food caterers, plus The FxEctive Factor vegan talent contest on Saturday, a Veganuary “class of 2018” reunion party on Sunday, on top of The Vegan Academy, talks on Plant-Based Diets: Optimum Health, talks on Plant-Based Diets: Optimum Performance, a Vegan Comedy Festival, a Vegan Activists Corner, a Kids Area, an Art Exhibition,a Mature Zone and Live Music.

Advance tickets are now on sale at www.brighton.vegfest.co.uk/tickets (BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE until end of Feb).

Join the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/475236116200375/