With my 50k race tomorrow, I really should be focused on preparing my mind for that. Instead, I am focused on celebrating the end of my 2017 season with a trip to Chicago VeganMania next weekend on Saturday September 23rd. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the end of ultra marathon training than eating delicious vegan food, learning from other plant-based chefs, doctors, and change-makers, and discovering new vegan vendors. I’m linking up with the Friday Five 2.0 group to bring you a preview of this can’t miss event (plus a special opportunity)!
What is Chicago VeganMania you ask? Similar to the vegan festival I attended earlier this summer, Chicago VeganMania is a huge expo offering foods from local vegan restaurants, vegan cooking demonstrations, vendors from different plant-based companies, and panel discussions. The event is held at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater from 10am-5pm. The location is close to the Thorndale Red Line, the Broadway 36 bus, or various Divvy stations. It’s free to enter ($5 suggested donation), and plan to bring cash to purchase food tokens (similar to Taste of Chicago). This fest is meant to celebrate, unite, promote and strengthen the vegan community and culture in Chicago and beyond. There will be so much to see, eat, and learn about; I am excited for everything, but here are 5 things I can’t wait to see!
5 Things I Can’t Wait to See at Chicago VeganMania 2017
1. Pie Pie My Darling’s Cooking Demo
If you don’t follow Pie Pie My Darling on Instagram, go grab your phone right now. I’ll wait.
Ok good. Pie Pie is a 100% vegan bakery that specializes in gourmet cakes, cookies, pies, all the delicious things. You can get these dessert masterpieces at various locations around Chicago including Handlebar and Paulie G’s. I was so sad that they sold out of cakes at the Chicago Vegan Food Fest earlier this summer before I got a chance to have some. She is seriously a wizard with baked goods and I can’t wait to see her cooking demo at VeganMania!
2. Sacred Serve’s Exclusive Ice Cream Flavor
On my birthday, I biked 5 miles one-way through the city just to get some Sacred Serve ice cream at West Loop fest. It’s my favorite vegan ice cream – rich, creamy, and decadent.
So when I saw that Sacred Serve and Pie Pie made a birthday cake ice cream collaboration flavor, I nearly lost my mind. I cannot wait to taste it next Saturday! It’ll be pieces of birthday cake mixed with creamy coconut ice cream. All vegan, all GET IN MY BELLY.
Today a unicorn thing happened in our test kitchen and it’s an explosion of all our favorite things. We used our creamy coconut caramel base and folded in chunks of @piepiemydarling rainbow cake and the result is nothing short of magic 🦄 we’re gonna offer this flavor EXCLUSIVELY at @chicagoveganmania September 23rd so don’t miss out!! We hope to see you there 💕
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3. Social Media Panel Discussion
At 2pm, Laura vanZandt (The Herbivorous Butcher), Dominick Thompson (Crazies and Weirdos), and Andy Tabar (The Bearded Vegans Podcast) will host the panel discussion entitled, “The Power of Media: How to Effectively Utilize Social Media and Podcasting.” I’ve heard of Dominick Thompson through the Rich Roll podcast, and have listened to a few episodes of the Bearded Vegans.
I hope to garner garner tips to apply to my own social media platforms. I’ve posted earlier about my goal to grow the blog by 50 subscribers by the end of the year (really close to doing that!), and for August I had the goal of posting at least twice a week (did it, not as hard as I thought). I’m hoping that this panel will help my grow even more.
4. Vegan Chefs Q&A
At 4pm, I want to go to another panel discussion: a Q&A with vegan chefs. Head chefs and founders of Pie Pie My Darling, Ste Martaen (vegan cheeses), and The Vegan Mos (cookbook authors and bloggers). As an aspiring vegan food blogger and recipe creator, I am excited for a chance to pick their brains. Some of my questions: What was your schooling like? How do you know what to use to replace eggs, butter, milk, etc in recipes? Can I recipe test for you and eat delicious vegan food all day long while you teach me your magical vegan cooking ways?
Hopefully I will learn some new tips so I can go back to my new huge kitchen to experiment. And then you can all reap the benefits 🙂
5. Discovering new vegan vendors
The plant-based movement is riding a huge tidal wave and everyday there are new companies offering cruelty-free foods, products and merchandise. At Chicago VeganMania there will be dozens of vendors, some I’ve heard of and some I haven’t. I can’t wait to check them out and find new products to tell you all about! Here’s a preview map of the exhibitor booths:
Like I said, the Chicago VeganMania is a celebration of the plant-based movement. What better way to celebrate the end of a long year of training and racing than that? You can find more details at the Chicago VeganMania website or Facebook page. What are you most excited to do/see/eat at Chicago VeganMania?
Do you want a chance to win a t-shirt and some free food tokens to use at the event? Use Rafflecopter to enter below. Winner must be a US resident, 18 years of age or older and the offer is void where prohibited. The contest ends on September 21. A winner will be selected and notified on September 22. Good luck!
Please note: All opinions and recommendations are my own, I was not compensated by any of the vendors, just sharing the love.