Jay Kitchen Pop-Up Dinner: Fine dining by vegan wunderkind Jay Astafa »
Late last month, your Vegansaurus was invited to attend a fancypants vegan pop-up dinner by up-and-coming vegan chef Jay Astafa. As part of our constant effort to bring you the most important news on the best vegan dining, we accepted.
The pop-up was an eight-course tasting menu of Jay’s savory vegan delights, with dessert by vegan pastry chef and fellow wunderkind Dani McGrath, and wines by the Vegan Vine.
Here are some photos that I took. They’re … adequate.
First course: King oyster mushroom scallop with aged balsamic caviar and green pea purée
Second course (one of my favorites!): Spring crostini duo (ramps & cashew chèvre; sorrel-mint pesto, micro pea tendrils, green peas, cashew parmesan)
Third course: Chilled potato and leek soup with chive olive oil foam
Fourth course (SO GOOD YOU GUYS): Ravioli with asparagus and ricotta (house-made cashew cream butter, cashew parmesan)
Fifth course: Smoked cauliflower steak with sunchoke purée, morels, fava beans, snap peas, green garlic, truffle vinaigrette, shaved black summer truffle
Sixth course: House-made cheese plate with aged cashew cheese and brie, strawberry-rhubarb compote, orange-infused vegan honey, rosemary-almond crackers
Seventh course: “Dragon Breath” caramel popcorn
Eighth course: Grand Marnier-infused chocolate rart with pistachio gelato, raspberry coulis, pistachio tuile, raspberry pop candy, fleur de sel salted caramel powder
Lucky for you, Ms. Hannah “Bittersweet Blog” Kaminsky took much better pictures of the menu that really do Jay and Dani’s dishes justice. She also has Jay’s recipe for the sorrel-mint pesto crostini, which was one of my favorite dishes and which I fully intend to (attempt to) reproduce, because holy moly, it was so good. Go see for yourself!
To find out more about Jay Astafa and Jay Kitchen, follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He also catered Farm Sanctuary’s Fashion Loves Animals event (which we attended, too!) last weekend. Keep an eye out for more from this super-talented kid; he is amazing, and we are lucky to have him on team vegan.
(And seriously check out Hannah’s photos, they are gorgeous.)
Got a tip about an awesome vegan-friendly event? Let us know! We love fun!
It’s spring in New York, and time for the April Vegan Shop-Up at Pine Box Rock Shop! ETHIOPIAN BRUNCH, you guys! Are you going? It’s so close to my new place, I have no excuse not to go. So, see you there? Check out the vendors list if you need more encouragement.
The April Vegan Shop-Up goes from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, at Pine Box Rock Shop, 12 Grattan St. (like a block from the Morgan L). Vegan shopping + eating + booze, what could be finer?
New York! It’s time for the first Vegan Drinks of the season, tonight from 7 to 10 at Fontana’s Bar!
March’s event benefits Darwin Animal Doctors, which “provides comprehensive veterinary care for the animals of the Galapagos Islands.” Your donations buy raffle tickets to win prizes including a Lush gift set, handmade jewelry from the Galapagos, and Darwin Animal Doctors shirts.
There’ll also be food for purchase from Monk’s Meats. The menu will include pineapple pesto and purple potato onion vegan pizza bread, and curry and pot pie-flavored hot pockets (plus one more!).
Plus plus plus a set from your favorite vegan DJ, Megan Rascal! What could be finer? Click through for more information, and we’ll see you there!
What’s up NYC? November Vegan Drinks is happening on Thursday! »
Get your butts over to Fontana’s Bar at 105 Eldridge from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, to party with the coolest vegans in the metro area, including (but not limited to) your own Megan Rascal on the ones and twos! Plus “Southern-style breakfast foods” (be still my heart) from Heirloom Vegan Eatery, and raffle prizes with proceeds benefitting Friends of Animals. You can’t lose, New York!
Need to know more? Get details at SuperVegan.
Hey NYC! Amanda Cohen, the chef at Dirt Candy (a Megan Rascal love!) is giving a talk about her awesome restaurant, cooking with vegetables, and her new cookbook (Dirt Candy: The Cookbook), which looks awesome.
If you want to attend, just RSVP, and then get your vegetable-loving self over to the NYU Fales Library at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12. It’s a free event, and there’ll be snacks! It’s sponsored by the Wagner Food Policy Alliance and NYU Meatless Mondays.
Guest post: Vaute Couture storefront’s grand opening! »
My bridge-and-tunnel ass hightailed it from Jersey to Brooklyn on Sunday for three things: Blue Bottle coffee; a vegan breakfast at B.A.D Burgers; and to witness the grand opening of the long-awaited Vaute Couture storefront.
Caffeinated to bejesus, my hubby and I waited outside in the 30-degree weather, excited to see the inside of the shop and get our grubby hands on some of those sample sale coats. Leanne appeared and told the crowd that she “really wanted everything to be perfect for us,” so it would be another few minutes. Frozen and grumpy, I decided to give it five more minutes before stomping off empty-handed. Luckily, the doors opened and we were invited to immerse ourselves in the vegan goodness that is Vaute Couture.
Not only were there several coat styles to choose from that I had been eyeing on the website for over a year, there were mini-cupcakes to nibble—and Leanne, people, LEANNE! She is beautiful, as kind as they come, and well deserving of a successful Brooklyn business.
The décor is warm and rustic, and the photos of Leanne with her dog and the models with the rescued kitties just made me smile. The employees were helpful and smiley too, and despite all the pressure they must have been feeling, they handled everything with ease and excitement.
The shop is made from a variety of salvaged materials. The fitting room is a starry light box, and the mannequins (and their tan abs) came from Abercrombie. The photo booth is vegan, of course. Don’t miss the animal heads by local artists Becka & Marta.
Now, to make you all jealous, I made the first-ever purchase at the shop: a bunny sweatshirt and the FW10 Vaute in Red jacket (left) at a heavily discounted price. I was not aware that these coats are made of Polartec fabric, which is snow-proof and super-warm. They hold their shape, even through a cycle in the washing machine, which RULES! I only shop thrift stores, so buying this new coat was extra-special for me.
Thank you, Leanne, for bringing vegan fashion to Brooklyn and to the mainstream! Everyone who didn’t go, get yourselves there immediately.
Keri Siry lives in New Jersey with her 2 dogs Sammy and Honey Bee, new cat Hank and her 4 year old daughter Gemma and husband Darryl. Vegan for 8 years, Keri loves to share recipes and meatless know how via her blog at the Politics of Food.
Guest Post: Go to the 2nd Annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival! »
Start getting hungry now cause this is just around the corner! The NYC Veggie Food Fest is almost upon us. The first weekend of March, Saturday the 3rd and Sunday the 4th, The Metropolitan Pavilion will be taken over by vendors, speakers, and various so-and-sos who are there to spread the good vegan word (Yes, the festival is 100% vegan. No, I do not know why it isn’t called the Vegan Food Festival).
I attended last year and had a total blast despite a three hour wait in line and being packed in like a 6 train during rush hour. The good news is that opposed to last year, the festival is now a two day event! Also apparently the space is larger, although it’s still at the same address, we’ll see how that pans out, I guess. (Maybe it expands or something? Fingers crossed!)
The schedule looks amazeballs. Featured speakers such as Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw, Brendan Brazier, creator of Vega and founder of Thrive Foods Direct, Terry Hope Romero (I’m assuming you know who she is, yes?? I LOVE YOU TERRY!), Ayinde Howell, and Steve Meyerowitz the ‘Sproutman,’ will all have segments over the weekend. You can see the schedule of events for a complete list and more details.
There is also a screening of Vegucated Saturday night with a talk back from the filmmaker Marisa and some of the cast members. The Saturday evening event is VIP which I think means you can only get in with VIP tickets. They are limited so get yours ASAP! After the movie there is a party with an all vegetarian band called Dynasty Electric.
What’s I’m trying to say here is that it’s a blast! And I’ll be there both days tasting everything and making friends with everyone. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for which snacks are the most outstanding and any celebrity sightings. Or come find me if you want to be friends! I’m tall, vegan, I like cats and tattoos. I might be hard to locate at this event actually.
Get your tickets! There are VIP tickets still available, $20 for a one day pass or $30 for the whole weekend. The main thing the VIP allows you to do is cut the line. No waiting, you just walk right in whenever you want. However, it’s only $5 if you’re willing to wait and I’m going to bet that the wait won’t be anything like it was last year since it’s a larger space and a longer event. Besides, I don’t actually mind waiting in line as long as I’m not hungry and I have someone to talk to. Last year I made lots of friends in line and the Cinnamon Snail and the V Spot were there to feed me whenever I got the tummy rumbles. (This happened multiple times. I ate a great deal of food that day)
The best part of all is that a portion of the proceeds from this delightful eating extravaganza go to For the Animals Sanctuary. You’re doing good simply by showing up. Now that’s what’s I’m talking about. See you there!
Laura Yasinitsky is a writer, comic, waitress, and animal-lover based in New York City. She has appeared on Comedy Central’s Open-Mic Fight, and writes for US Weekly's Fashion Police. You can follow her silliness on Twitter @LaraYaz, and read about her animal-friendly adventures here.
NYC: The Whalentine’s Day Bake Sale is Feb. 12! »
You can still sign up to bring baked goods, all the info regarding that is on their Facebook page. If you are just coming to shop, they ask that you bring your own containers to take your yums home, so we keep the environmental impact to a minimum! Good thinking.
From what I hear, there will be chocolate lollipops, Rice Krispies treats, carrot cake, croissants—not to mention mini cupcakes, mini donuts, and mini pies! I love a mini treat. You know what else I love? SHOES*. So be there or be, etc.
*UPDATE: I hear Mooshoes will be donating 10% of all in-store sales that day to Sea Shepherd! Go Mooshoes!
New York Area: Sweet Roscoe is having a rough time at the shelter, needs a home! »
This handsome fellow is Roscoe! He’s at the Shandaken shelter, which seems to be about 2.5 hours from NYC. I got an email about this guy because, though he’s at a no-kill shelter and not endanger of euthanasia, he’s having a hard time:
Roscoe has been at the Shandaken shelter for a long time. His life is not in danger, since it’s a no-kill shelter, but his sanity is. He’s lonely, and he’s been kenneled so long he’s starting to get a little “cage crazy.” The Shandaken shelter doesn’t get the kind of foot-traffic that they get in NYC or other busy places. And Roscoe is a bit aloof when people first meet him (can you blame him?), so he doesn’t immediately win them over, and they move on. But I’m told that he’s a real sweetheart once you spend time with him. He just needs a chance to show it!
Aw, poor guy! Do you know anyone who could help Roscoe? Homeboy needs to spread his wings and fly! His profile says he loves to play and that the volunteers play hide and seek, fetch, and catch with him! It also says he’s very smart. And look at that pretty coat!
If you or anyone you know can help Roscoe, please call the shelter at (845) 688-5004. Roscoe deserves a home!
NYC: Vegan Drinks is tonight! Come party! »
Hey pals! Tonight is NYC’s Vegan Drinks! Deets:
And there’s going to be a DJ playing punk and hip hop! Who isn’t me! So s/he will probably be competent with the sound system! That’s always nice in a DJ. I will be there too, ready to party. Make sure you say hi to me! I don’t know that many NYC vegans and I’m bashful.