MANHATTAN-- The multi-faceted Gabriel Cousens--an ivy-trained M.D., an ordained rabbi, a Native American sundancer, and author of 13 internationally acclaimed books--will be just one of the keynote speakers appearing at the 9th annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, this weekend May 18-19, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea.
Cousens is known worldwide as a spiritual teacher and an expert on plant-source nutrition. He's also a cutting-edge researcher on how to heal diabetes using all-natural methods. At the festival, he will discuss and demo Shaktipat Meditation on both afternoons, and will speak on "Holistic Veganism" on Sunday afternoon.
Yet another top-drawer presenter will be Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. A long-time vegan, Adams has served the residents of New York as a police officer, state senator and coalition builder. In 1995, he co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care. He organized support against the NYPD’s controversial “stop and frisk” policy, and led efforts on behalf of gun control. He has also served on the board of the Eastern District Counseling Service, an organization assisting former substance abusers to live productive lives without dependency on drugs or alcohol. He'll appear on the festival's Apple Stage from 3:15 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Celebrity chefs will also be featured at the festival, as they take over the Pear Stage on both Saturday and Sunday. With 10 vegan cookbooks to her name, Terry Hope Romero was head of the food vertical at Kickstarter, and is the program manager for the Food-X food startup accelerator. Her appearance is slated for Saturday from 1:30 to 2 p.m.
Dustin Harder is the host and creator of a popular web series called The Vegan Roadie. When not filming, he works as a personal chef and recipe developer. He'll give a presentation on the "Vegan Fondue Party" on Saturday, 2:15-2:45.
Chef Alexandra Shytsman will hold fort early on Sunday afternoon. She is a cookbook author, food photographer, and creator of The New Baguette (a blog about plant-based cooking for beginners). She is the former marketing manager of NYC's Natural Gourmet Institute, the country's first plant-based culinary school.
Meanwhile, in the Kumquat Kid's Area of the festival, children and their families will be able to dabble in arts and crafts, listen to stories, and create some music... all on a plant-based and eco-friendly theme. The area is sponsored by the Coalition for Healthy School Food, which is this year’s official festival non-profit beneficiary.
Families can also take advantage of a "Vegan Parenting" panel to be presented on Saturday from 5:20 to 5:50 p.m. The panel moderator will be Emily Wood, co-founder of Raise Vegan Magazine and panelists are:
Robyn Moore, the brains between RaisingVegKids.com. She has a master's degree in elementary education, a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, and a certificate in Humane Education from the Institute for Humane Education.
Jared Madden, an actuary and ultra marathon runner. He fuels his sub-3-hour marathon runs on a completely vegan diet.
Matisse Madden, a professional ballerina and ballet instructor at Yale University. She consults with others on the value of a vegan diet for dancers.
Other features of the festival include a Mind/Body Area where attendees can practice yoga and other wellness disciplines, as well as rows of booths showcasing plant-based food and lifestyle vendors and information tables highlighting some of the nations premiere non-profit organizations. A complete schedule of speakers, chefs, classes and activities as well as a list of exhibitors can be found at nycvegfoodfest.com.
The NYC Vegetarian Food Festival is presented by U.S. Veg Corp, which stages plant-based events across the country. For further information or to purchase tickets, visit nycvegfoodfest.com. VIP and general admission tickets are available online. Student, senior citizen and military discounted tickets are available with valid ID. Kids 10 and under are free but must be accompanied by an adult. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Coalition for Healthy School Food.
Here’s a list of some of our favorite vendors to look out for!
See Ya There!