Conscious Food Festival

I went to check out the Conscious Food Festival this weekend. I didn’t go last year, but the reviews generally complained of a lack of non alcoholic options and minimal vegan options. This year, it seemed to have something for everyone (alcohovore, herbivore, omnivore, or whatever.) There were options from restaurants and local breweries, presentations by local chefs at the Conscious Food School, as well as a Conscious Food Battleground where chefs went head to head with different challenges. Chefs Darren Stoute & Shawn Lane of Stoute Catering offered a local stuffed field tomato dish. I was waiting for some kind of obscure non vegan item in the tomato, but was happy to hear there wasn’t anything weird in it. The tomato dish was complex and flavourful option, stuffed with roasted root vegetables, corn, black beans and drizzled with a four herb and lime infused olive oil. Pizzeria Libretto / Enoteca Sociale showcased a crisp cucumber radish salad. I have never been to Pizzeria Libretto or Enoteca Sociale, but after that salad, I’m sincerely tempted to do so. Marben (488 Wellington St W, Toronto, ON) was showing off their versatility and partnership with The New Farm with a rich mustard based potato salad and a spicy red gazpacho. This was an exciting revelation for my non-vegan partner, because he’s loved that place but since it’s generally known as a meat heavy restaurant, we’ve never gone there. I spoke to one of the chefs a little further, and he mentioned it…

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I’ve missed you Montreal. – Day one

We arrived in Montreal on Friday afternoon by train, at the Central Station aka Gare Centrale surrounded by the hustle and bustle of tourists and commuters. After years of pining away and planning a return visit to Montreal, this was a welcome suggestion when our trip to Edmonton fell through. On the way there I was happy to see at least one vegan friendly snack available for purchase on the train, a Gourmet Melange – Berry Symphony/Symphonie de petits fruits from La Fourmi Bionique (a Montreal granola company.) I picked up a 70g pouch for $3, which by convenience standards isn’t *that* bad for what I got. Which was a very generous portion of dark chocolate, roasted almonds, and dried berries (cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries and Goji berries.) I had planned to go over to Ô Bol (800 La Gauchetière West, Montréal, QC) a vegan/vegan friendly spot in the Food Court of Place Bonaventure (because it’s super close to the Central Via Station.) But we didn’t get there in time, and it was closed. I imagine we’ll check it out right before we leave. Instead we checked into our hotel, ate expensive minibar cashews, and walked over to Crudessence (2157 Rue Mackay, Montreal, QC) for dinner. I’ve been looking forward to trying their creations, and it was hard to decide on what to order. Really hard. I opted for something off of their seasonal menu, and picked up the tourte aux epinards (kind of like a spinach tart/pie). It was a cashew…

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