Okay here’s what I ate in Seattle on Friday.
We had brunch at Wayward Vegan Cafe located in the University District of Seattle. They have an extensive gluten-free menu as well. I ordered the Gluten Free Basic Breakfast with a side order of steamed kale. The breakfast platter came with a lightly seasoned tofu scramble, crispy-fried shredded hashbrowns and brown rice toast. For just $8.00. It was a full plate. The steamed kale was a great choice too. Like it always is.
Across the street from Wayward Vegan Cafe is a small but very full vegan grocery store called Vegan Haven. They had all kinds of amazingness and I went a little crazy in there. I went in to just browse and came out with over $50 worth of treats I can’t find in Canada easily – after making several trips back through the cash register after finding more things to buy. The cool thing about Vegan Haven is that the employees are all volunteers and all profits over and above the cost of operating the store are sent to the organization who opened Vegan Haven, Pigs Peace Sanctuary.
One of the spots that came highly recommended to us from our buddy the night before at Veggie Grill was to try out Mighty O Donuts – an all vegan doughnut shop. We decided to sneak up to the bakery after our vegan shopping trip. Mighty O is located in the Wallingford neighborhood. Unfortunately they do not have any gluten-free varieties but for any only-vegans who are in Seattle, you should go visit this place.
We returned to our hotel to drop off our goodies and headed to the conference registration and the afternoon of sessions. The first part of the conference was the keynote from Dorie Greenspan. I confess I didn’t know much about who Dorie was when I saw her name on the agenda but after listening to her speak I fell in love. Not only is she an accomplished cookbook author (ahem, 10 to be exact), she is an engaging speaker – honest, real and vibrant. It was clear that the things she spoke of came directly from her heart and she honestly believed in what she was sharing with us. That truth was a refreshing start to this conference and I believe that Dorie did a brilliant job of setting the tone for a positive and empowering conference for us all.
Next up was the Live Food Blogging event hosted by Amazon Grocery. We all had bags of things to try and each product representative had a short amount of time up on stage to explain their product and share some highlights. I have to say that compared to last year’s Live Blogging event this was much better. Way better organized and the variety for specialty diets like gluten-free and vegan was pretty darn awesome. Of the entire sack o’ goodies – 16 different products, I believe – only two or three things weren’t suitable because it contained dairy or honey. I was so full by the end of that.
I also attended a Tech session about building traffic which was varied and interesting. The panelists were the two founders of Foodista and IFBC, Sherri and Barnaby, as well as two members from the AllRecipes.com team. Super intelligent folks presenting tech content in such a way that people of all levels could digest it.
One more random thing I have to mention, they have had this beautiful fruity water all throughout the rooms and I appreciate hydration.
I was able to meet up with some old friends from last year’s IFBC (more on that below) and we decided to sneak off for a quick cocktail between the sessions and the samples during the Taste of Seattle and Gourmet Food Fair. I confess that I wasn’t taking enough pictures because I had full hands – hands full of food. My favorite tastings was the soup and this eggplant and nectarine mixture on a tofu crisp. There are no photos and no links to who made them because I’m an awful food blogger who was mostly interested in eating all of the things. Of note, tons of gluten-free options, and tons of vegan options.
Again, so impressed by Foodista and Zephyr Adventures for really stepping it up for special dietary requirements here at IFBC this year. Considering I am only one of two vegans attending this year it feels so nice that they still took that into consideration. Huge big shout out! Thanks guys!
The gift suite was full of goodies and I though I went late in the evening to load up on swag I still scored an amazing amount of goodies. Also love that I now have a box of Attune Food’s new Erewhon Quinoa & Chia cereal that’s not yet available in Canada.
So now on to a bit about my lovely friends Marisa from MargaritasInTheRain.com and Heidi of TheBusyNothings.com. I met these lovely ladies last year in Portland at IFBC. We hit it off so well and it was so nice to see familiar faces. We had cocktails and decided to shoot a quick video blog about our first day at this year’s IFBC. Heidi posted it to YouTube right after we shot it, without any editing. It was rather refreshing to see that bravery in video. Chris, my web guy, has been trying to tell me to do more of these style of videos and I do believe Heidi has inspired me to be more real and share some quick tidbits by video. We’ll see if I lose my nerve soon or if I actually follow through with this.
I’m going to share the video here. It’ll give you an idea of how wonderful these two ladies are and why I was so happy to see them this year too. Aren’t they just beautiful souls?!
I love the name Vegan Haven! Isn’t Seattle amazing?!?
It is definitely one of my favorite cities to visit, hands down. I’ll be back in Seattle for sure next September for IFBC 2014. So excited to explore more, eat more, and learn more!