Update, 3/24/11: Seats at the Summit Restaurant were packed with vegans and omnivores epicurious about this menu:
~Arugula-Spinach Salad w/ hummus, Castelvetrano olives, pickled peppers, radish and roasted lemon vinaigrette
~Turnip-butternut squash soup with pumpkin spice, chestnut, and cardamom
~Broccolini with button and shiitake mushrooms in maple-thyme jus
~Black bean-lentil cakes with cumin-spiced collard greens, tortillas, and mango-ginger sauce
~Avocado relish with jalapeño peppers and cilantro
~Chocolate-Hazelnut Butter Torte w/ Coconut Mousse, Chocolate Vegan Gelato and Whipped Passion Fruit
Here are some photos from the event, of the chef, his staff, their guests, and musicians from the local Cajun-style band, Lagniappe.
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Update, 3/9/11: VeganEarth reports that Vegan Ooh La La! tickets have sold out.
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Who: Chef Robert Coltrane and his students, VeganEarth, and Mercy for Animals
What: ~ Vegan Ooh La La! ~ a gourmet banquet
When: March 19, 2011, from noon until 3 p.m.
Where: The Summit Restaurant of the Midwest Culinary Institute
How: vegan style, buffet syle, business casual
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Cincinnati’s animal protection community is vast and fragmented. Amid complex legislative and rescue efforts and monumental goals, local groups are isolated from one another both by the sheer scope of their tasks, and by differences in philosophy and lifestyle.
Adopting a vegan diet–free of meat, fish, dairy, and eggs–is one lifestyle choice that generates much controversy in the U.S., where farmers and animal protection workers engage in bitter and constant battles for public sympathy, and the USDA’S simultaneous responsibilities to reduce public obesity and increase sales for animal food industries, often bring conflicting messages to the public. But among those concerned with the welfare of farmed animals, veganism often receives consideration. Cincinnati’s two most active farm animal advocacy groups, Mercy for Animals and VeganEarth, both call plant-based eating the most effective way to prevent the harm done to animals on industrial farms.
To draw local foodies into veganism’s epicurean possibilities, the two groups are collaborating with Chef Robert Coltrane and his students at the Midwest Culinary Institute, to produce “Vegan Ooh La La!” at the Summit Restaurant, a gourmet vegan banquet held in conjunction with the Great American Meat-Out on March 19.
The menu will include five courses; among others, Chef Coltrane has proposed “Black Bean & Lentil Cakes w/ avocado, cumin spiced collard greens, tortillas and mango-ginger sauce” and “Broccolini w/ assorted mushrooms, puffed rice and maple-thyme jus.”
According to VeganEarth Co-founder Mary Jane Newborn, “Vegan Ooh La La! will enable even more people to discover the amazing variety of delicious foods that are healthy for the planet, healthy for people, and involve no suffering by our fellow beings.”
The banquet will cost $30 per person, to defray the school’s production expenses; seating is limited and reservations are due by March 10, to ensure the event will be paid for. The Summit Restaurant is located in the ATLC Building on the campus of Cincinnati State Technical & Community College, 3520 Central Parkway.
For reservations or more information contact: Mary Jane Newborn or Mary Ann Lederer, 513-929-2500, VeganEarth@fuse.net.
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Those interested in knowing more about VeganEarth or Mercy for Animals are invited to attend a conversation and vegan potluck this Sunday afternoon in Clifton, called “Loving Animals Locally, Making a Difference Globally.” Khristina Martin and Kevin O’Connor will talk about their work as local volunteers for Mercy for Animals, and answer questions about volunteer opportunities in Cincinnati (a state-wide list of upcoming volunteer events is listed here).
The event, which takes place at the Clifton United Methodist Church at the corner of Ludlow and Clifton Avenues, is open to everyone. The potluck will begin at 2:30pm, and the conversation at 3:30. VeganEarth potlucks bring together dozens of new and long-time vegan eaters, including professional cooking teachers and an often dazzling array of plant-based dishes.