Thumbs up for:
· New location – Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi
· Keynote speaker – chef Tal Ronnen
· Featured speaker – former Detroit Piston John “The Vegan” Salley
Thumbs down for:
· Organization – Or lack thereof. I shouldn’t be the one telling VegMichigan volunteers that members get in free.
· Spacing and set up – Even though it was at a large expo center, VegFest only utilized about ½ of the space and had all the tables very close together. You could barely walk down the aisle, let alone get to the tables. Having all the food and non-food tables mixed together didn't help.
· Food samples – Vendors were out of food by 2:00 and the event went until 5:00.
· PETA – A man dressed as a cow was trying to force people into the animal cruelty area, telling people that if they don’t want to see it they shouldn’t be there.
· “Ultimate Green Smoothie” demo – The speaker said that all you need to eat is fruit to get all your fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals for the day. Even just half an avocado is more fat than your body needs and you can forget about nuts! It’s irresponsible to have someone spewing that sort of garbage to people who are potential new vegetarians and vegans.
· Canola oil – Tal, who cooked for Oprah’s 21-day cleanse and teaches classes at Le Cordon Bleu, was given a plastic bottle of canola oil for his soup. Really, VegMichigan? Really?? No olive oil? How embarrassing!
· No Cupcake Station – Or any cupcakes, for that matter. How could there not be cupcakes?
· Goodie bags – Pretty lame this year. GladCorn, an Alternative Baking Company cookie, a packet of sugar and a packet of tea. These are all tasty things but in the past there have been more samples.
· Idiots – People, this is an expo. You can’t expect to stand in one line and just parade past each table. I swear, if anyone thought you were trying to cut you were elbowed faster than you can say “tempeh.” Also, if you see that there are only 5 chocolate samples left on the table, do not take 4 of them for yourself. And finally, if Tal Ronnen says he’s not a doctor and he won’t answer health-related questions, please don’t continue to barrage him with queries about your low-sodium and low-fat diet. Let the man cook, for crepes sake!
I really did enjoy hearing Tal speak and I sampled a few delicious foods so I’ll detail those highlights in my next post.
Did you attend this year’s VegFest? What did you think?