Guest Post: The perfect vegan honeymoon! »
I recently got married (yay!) and luckily, planning a vegan wedding wasn’t that difficult for us in San Diego. Finding the perfect, vegan-friendly honeymoon spot, however, proved to be much more of a challenge. After first deciding against the idea of a “normal” honeymoon on a “boring” island for a more adventurous, multi-destination tour, I had an epiphany. Drowning in wedding-planning stress, I realized, “Oh! THIS is why people want to be thrown onto an island, with an endless supply of booze!” Sign my ass up.
I wanted to find a place that wasn’t too cheesy or packed with tourists, and offered a decent menu. After reviewing so many menus of meat, fish, cheese, meat, fish, cheese, I FINALLY found a place that seemed to meet all the criteria: Jade Mountain, on the Carribean island of St. Lucia. JM is actually a mini-resort within the larger Anse Chastanet Resort. Booking at JM gets you access to both. While the pictures were beyond gorgeous—rainforest and beach—and they offered tons of activities, what REALLY sold us was the vegetarian restaurant and organic garden. Really? Vegetarian restaurant? That settled it. We informed them we were vegan when we booked our trip, and they acted like it was no big thang, and they could easily accommodate us. Off to a good start!
When we arrived, they sent a chef to our “sanctuary” to discuss our favorite foods. What?! This must be what rich people live like. He invited us on a tour of the organic garden, and let us know that they were delighted to cook vegan for us and we can pretty much ask for anything we want if the menu they provide doesn’t please us. UM, OK!
During our first dinner at the Jade Mountain Club, the chef brought us a sampling of local fruits from the garden, hearts of palm salad, and pumpkin tofu curry. It was all amazing! Was this real? The next day the menu had fettuccine “alfredo” made with soy milk. I couldn’t believe it. We were in Vegan Heaven. Every meal was better than the next, and the friendly servers all knew our sitch and would warn us if something wasn’t vegan. We had delicious soups, lentils, eggplant, leeks, polenta, quinoa—you name it. And it was all SO tasty! Definitely the most gourmet vegan food we’ve ever had. This is in addition to the RIDICULOUS view the restaurant boasts, with an infinity pool and a “Celestial Terrace” for wine-soaked sunset-watching and star-gazing. Even in our room, we always returned to bento boxes in the fridge, full of vegan deliciousness—tofu bean dips, fresh veggies, and the best fruit I’ve ever had. It felt like we were on a vegan foodie honeymoon (if there’s no such thing, there is now!).
The vegetarian restaurant at Anse Chastanet was a nice option, and definitely the least crowded restaurant in the whole resort—fine with us! While not all vegan, they still had decent veg options, most of which could be made vegan. We had fried sun-dried tomato gnocchi—not the healthiest thing in the world, but it was sure tasty! This place isn’t as fancy as the JM Club, but it was still a treat to be in a vegetarian restaurant.
We had assumed we’d be eating at Anse Chastanet all the time, but since the JM Club was so accommodating and nice (and included in our package), we ended up eating the majority of our meals there. But even the regular beachside restaurant had a veggie burger that blew my mind! I expected something like a Boca, but it was a fresh patty made from mashed potatoes, carrots, and other ACTUAL vegetables! We were totally surprised and stoked.
When we wanted a break from the frou-frou stuff, we had to check out a local Ital place we heard about in town—Jah Lamb’s. It’s run by a cool Rastaman out of the tiny kitchen in his house. We befriended a local who took us through the town of Soufriere, as we probably wouldn’t have been able to find this place on our own. We were served empanada-style pockets filled with dhal or potatoes, and the juice he served us was the most delicious tropical concoction I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. Not only was the owner SUPER-friendly, the food was fab, and this place had an awesome vibe. And really, hanging out with the locals was probably one of the coolest moments of my life.
On top of the gorgeous grounds and suites, the warm Caribbean sea and lush tropical rainforest, as well as some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, Jade Mountain was a vegan dream come true. We all know how much food can SUCK for vegans, especially when traveling. Nothing pisses my husband off more than not being able to find something to eat on a menu (seriously, watch out!). Spending the week eating iceberg lettuce and french fries just wasn’t going to cut it this time.
Now, this place was definitely pricy, but well worth it. It was easily the best week of our lives. The food was a highlight of the trip. I was totally happy to go small on the wedding in order to make room for this. No regrets. Especially because in this economy, there’s no chance in hell we’re getting back there anytime soon! If you can find a way, I guarantee you an awesome trip that will satisfy even the pickiest of vegans! Do it!
Alicia Guzman Sadler lives in Santa Cruz with her new husband and two crazy cats. She spends her days writing, gardening, and cooking, and her evenings plotting to take over the world. Keep up with her culinary adventure at vegantopchef.posterous.com.
Steve Wynn is all, “IN YOUR FACE, KATE MIDDLETON!” »
Steve Wynn, American vegan gazillionbilliontribillion$$$$$aire and some woman 1/8th of his age are getting married the same weekend as Prince William and Kate Middleton. Here’s
the joker Wynn and his terrified lucky bride-to-be!
I like to imagine Kate Middleton and Steve Wynn as Anne Hathaway and what’s-her-name—Goldie Hawn’s more unfortunate looking daughter? WHAT IS HER NAME? She’s in that awful movie that I’ve watched like nine times (I hate myself), Bride Wars. Middleton and Wynn grew up best friends, both dreaming of their wedding days (just like a woman!) and now, they’re 23 and 72 (respectively) and wedding dress shopping together and looking at china patterns and whatever rich people do before they get married AND THEN, they head to the Plaza to book it for their big days, and it’s only available one day and so they have to sabotage each other and duke it out to see which wedding REIGNS SUPREME. I think that’s basically what’s going on here, I mean Middleton obviously did something to Wynn’s face for him to look like that, right? OMG LAURA YOU ARE SO MEAN AND NO GREAT BEAUTY YOURSELF! Actually, you’re wrong, I am very attractive. HA!
Anyway, if I have to choose which wedding I’m going to, it’s totally Wynn’s because you know that menu is gonna be all vegan. Ecorazzi thinks Tal Ronnen is the chef so it’ll likely just be massive platters of Gardein stuffed with Gardein. I’ll take it!
Righteous vegan babe and famous person Emily Deschanel got married! And according to her wedding planners, Bash Please (BEST NAME EVER), the entire event was vegan, catered by Madeleine Bistro! YUM!!!
Plus, Emily looks FREAKING AMAZING! And her husband, David Hornsby is adorable and I want to put them both in my pocket and bring them out when I’m sad to dance for me. Yes??
OOh, Oh No They Didn’t has more paparazzi-style pics, which are kinda lame but you know, we’ll takes what we can gets. Finally, in the clip below, David Boreanaz describes the concept of seitan—and how good it was at the wedding!—to Craig Ferguson on The Late Late Show.
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]
UPDATE: They totally had vegan s’mores that were individually cooked with a blow torch THEY ARE MY WEDDING IDOLS!!
Does this article make me look like an asshole? »
Even though Chelsea Clinton’s wedding wasn’t as vegan as it was made out to be, it was vegan enough to prompt the New York Times to tackle the pressing social issue of vegetarian weddings; specifically, whether or not a vegan or vegetarian bride should serve meat at her wedding. Not to miss an opportunity to add their reasoned opinions to this important discourse, both Gawker (The Vegan Wedding Article the NYT Doesn’t Want You to Read) and Jezebel (Is It Selfish to Throw a Vegan Wedding) followed suit. Oh goody—I can smell the bullshit from here.
First up, The Times. In what is the most reasonable article, The Times actually doesn’t say much beyond giving a few examples of vegan/vegetarian (or half-vegan/-vegetarian) couples who have either had or not had meat at their weddings, and then thoughtfully relating the story of one poor soul forced to endure a vegetarian wedding back in 1999 (which he is still talking about—can we say first-world problems?). Thankfully, this mensch was able to sneak out and find a chicken parmesan sandwich mid-reception, so he didn’t wither away and die. What a trooper! Unfortunately, the experience scarred him so much that he’s still sore about it 11 years later. Isn’t that just like vegans—forcing you to eat their stupid vegetables and then refusing to foot the bill when you have to spend the next decade dealing with your PTSD in therapy!
Next up, Gawker. Oh, Gawker. First they say vegans are a good lay because we’re, um, “sinewy”? And then they say that the food “dilemmas” that inevitably occur when vegans get married are boring (and then write an article about them). A couple things come to mind: 1) Those dilemmas pretty much ONLY come from butt-hurt meat-eaters who can’t handle eating a single veggie meal; 2) “Sinewy”? Yeah, I guess I don’t expect much better from Gawker on the topic of veganism, but still. Couldn’t they at least be snarky in a way that makes some sense? I’m the one who’s supposed to have the B-12-deficient brain fog, amirite?
Finally, Jezebel. Jezebel thoughtfully posits whether or not having a vegan wedding is selfish. Hmmm. What a good question! Let me riddle you this, Jez: is it selfish to have a feminist wedding? I mean, why would you impose your kooky beliefs on your wedding guests who spent ALL this time showing up for the free food and booze? HOW INCONSIDERATE THAT YOU EXPECT THAT THE GUESTS AT THE WEDDING YOU’RE PAYING FOR TO RESPECT ONE OF YOUR DEEPEST-HELD BELIEFS! Jesus fucking Christ! So it’s okay to ask/demand that folks refrain from imposing their gender-role fuckery on your wedding, but it’s totally selfish and unrealistic to serve vegan food. Ooooo-kay.
Maybe I’m not the best person to be writing about this, as while I am married, I have little tolerance for weddings (mine was 10 minutes long at city hall; the bride wore Levi’s). I don’t really see why it’s so hard for the vegans getting married to lay down the fucking law and tell people what’s what in the same way all couples tell people what the dress code is or where to sit, and I don’t see why it is apparently such an offense to ask a meat-eater to eat a single vegan meal. Are all meat-eaters such huge whiny babies, or just the ones who write/comment on the The Times, Gawker, and Jezebel? Do their moms still cut the crusts off their bread for them? What do they do when the vending machine is out of their favorite beef jerky? How the fuck do they survive when they are only able to function when every single thing in the universe is perfectly tailored to their preferences?
In the end, I know these kinds of articles are cheap comment/page-view grabs by blogs/publications that should be able to do better but usually don’t bother to. I know that responding to these kind of cheap blood-pressure-raisers doesn’t really do much except probably garner me a few more uptight comments (hi, commenters!), but whatever. Vegans, go forth and have vegan weddings. Fuck the haters, and make ‘em eat broccoli. The New York Times will see them in 11 years for their story.