Vegetarian Food Festival and more film fest fun.

I’m not sure how it’s already Wednesday but something tells me this week is going to fly right by. It’s been a whirlwind of TIFF related activity, and getting immersed in several movies a day makes me feel like I’ve been travelling around the world.

I had enjoyed Friday evening at the Vegetarian Food Festival so much that I went again on Saturday. This time booking a Bixi and taking the Martin-Goodman trail near the harbourfront. This also happens to be the first time I’ve really been on a bike this year (I know I know, terrible) and it was both terrifying and exhilarating.

First stop was to get some lunch! We stopped at Ying Ying Soy Food to grab a quick appetizer and tofu kebab. They were all different flavours but my favourite was the smoked tofu and mushroom hors d’oeuvres. After tasting it, we realized we’d already tried (and bought) their stuff before at St. Lawrence Market.

Lines were crazy, as expected. We opted for King’s Cafe (after I ran into a fellow PPKer that recommended the combo plate) and Udupi Palace (because my partner wanted a dosa… okay so did I.) The plate from King’s Cafe has made me rethink my initial impressions of the restaurant. It was a big mess of noodles and eggplant and other veggies, with wontons and soy fritters, so it offered a decent sample of what they had to offer.

The Udupi Palace combo was similar to what we had tried during Veggielicious this past spring. Dosa filled with spiced rice, a side of sambhar (like a vegetable stew), and two different chutneys (the coconut and the coriander.) It got me thinking about how long it’s been since I was last there, and how I should change that!

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One awesome find of the Vegetarian Food Fest was Bloomers Bakery. I picked up a chocolate cupcake and a cookie sandwich. I liked the cupcake (and especially the peanut chocolate frosting) but those little jam cookie sandwiches were dreamy. Firm, but moist, and covered with a little layer of icing. Plus the fruit filling took me back to those jam filled cookies I had as a child. Definitely looking forward to seeing more from Bloomers.



Local favourites Bunners and Sweets from the Earth, where there, but I wanted to try a few more foods from places I hadn’t had the opportunity to try much yet. One restaurant that’s been on my To Eat list for months was Kindfood from Burlington, ON. It’s a few hours outside Toronto (on the Go Train), so I haven’t gotten around to heading out there. Luckily, they were there with their brightly coloured sign (couldn’t miss them!)

I tried one of their gluten free chocolate mint cupcakes, and I’m not sure what kind of hocus pocus they use to make the icing, but it was just delicious. Smooth and creamy, and just minty enough to be fresh, but not overwhelming. I’d love to pay them another visit sometime.

Before I left, I picked up another piece of S’mores pie from APieCalypse Now! and now that we’ve finally finished it (as of last night) I’m going to try and make it out to see her at the UofT Farmer’s Market (and get more.)

Saturday night was also the world premiere of Vegucated at the Toronto Indie Film Festival. Vegucated is a documentary that follows three former omnivore New Yorkers as they adopt a vegan diet for six weeks (after responding to a posted ad on craigstlist.) It seems that most of them were attracted to veganism to lose weight, but end up considering the full extent of their former food choices beyond health and weight and explore the ethical implications as well, when they take a look at some of the hidden sides of animal agriculture.

I spent 5-10 minutes with my hands over my eyes, because there is quite a bit of graphic animal abuse (sorry… “agriculture”) footage. So that’s something to be conscious of, but I did really enjoy that the film also explored some of the harder sides of being vegan. Tesla Lobo (a college student that lives with her parents) has a really tough time missing out on meals with her family, even after knowing the darker side of agriculture. Another favourite is finding out that 6 years after the film was made, another star of the film, Dr. Ellen Mausner, is still vegan (as is her daughter.)

Vegucated World Premiere at Toronto Indi Film Fest
The Q&A included Tesla, Ellen and the director, Marisa Miller Wolfson, as well as Doug McNish (local vegan chef extraordinaire), Mike Zigomanis, an NHL Hockey player from the Toronto Maple Leafs, author Sarah Taylor, and dietitian, Julieanna Hever.

It was great to see a huge crowd at the opening, and afterwards, Steve Veale, the Indie Film Festival director, said Vegucated doubled the attendance record of any film that’s played at the film fest. After following their Kickstarter campaign, it was so wonderful to finally see the finished product.


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