By Elizabeth Corzo
It’s nothing new to hear about current food trends focusing much of their attention on healthier, and more sustainable eating. It seems that today’s consumer is more aware of what they bite into, as well as how large their carbon footprint is. For those foodies who fit this description, you may be interested in the cleverly named FEAST (Funding Emerging Arts with Sustainable Tactics) Miami. Popping up every few months, FEAST Miami events are vegan dinners that are held at art venues in South Florida, suggesting a minimum donation in order to participate. Not only do guests have the opportunity to enjoy a meal that uses organic or locally sourced produce, but diners also have the chance to vote for an art project they wish to fund. Having a pleasant dining experience, while assisting in funding an art project that will impact the community? That sounds like everyone wins, plus it creates awareness in the community about consuming more local foods!
Vegan Chef Loren Pulizter, who created FEAST Miami, answers questions for Great Food List and provides more information pertaining to the event in the following interview. Continue reading as she shares her favorite vegan meal, her favorite and least favorite food trends, among other topics.
Loren can you give our readers a brief summary of your culinary background?
In 1996, I went to The New York Restaurant School in NYC where I studied traditional baking. Over the years, I realized that eating dairy, eggs, and gluten was not good for me. It was then that I switched to eating a plant based diet. Because of what I have learned about food I feel it necessary to educate people about the food they choose to eat and how what they eat can affect how they feel and their overall health.
Please tell us about your latest project FEAST MIAMI?
FEAST Miami is a micro-funding project to raise money for local artists. I prepare local vegan pop-up dinners. The dinners take place in local art spaces around Miami every 2-3 months. Tickets are a suggested donation of $60. The proceeds of the dinner goes to a local artist. We are funded by The Knights Art Foundation.
Loren we know your a Vegan Chef, do you always eat 100% vegan?
I eat a 95% vegan diet.
Why do you feel eating vegan is important?
I feel eating plant based is important because whole foods like fruits and veggies are essential to being as healthy as we can be. Eating highly process foods is not what we as humans were meant to consume.
Who is your biggest culinary influence?
I have a hand full of great vegan cookbooks that I refer to all the time. Blissfull Bites by Christy Morgan, The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen, The Self-Healing Cookbook by Kristina Turner, and Meals That Heal by Julie Daniluk.
What are your favorite and least favorite food trends right now?
My favorite food trend is local. Eating local is so important. Eating fruits and veggies that were grown close to home is beneficial on so many levels. The food is higher in nutrients. The impact on the environment is minimal because of less travel time in trucks and trains and supporting local farmers positively impacts the local economy.
My least favorite food trend is the large amounts of added sugar in everything. I think most people would be surprised to see how much unnecessary sugar is added to our everyday foods. I believe that the added sugar in our foods is at the top of the list for why Americans are the unhealthiest that they have ever been.
What is your favorite Vegan dish?
Lasagna! I make this lasagna where the zucchini and summer squash are the noodles! I add mushrooms, red bell peppers and fresh basil. I prepare a fresh tomato sauce and it is held all together with a cashew cheese!
Name some of your favorite restaurants in Miami?
Choice Cafe-Upper East Side is my spot! My usual choices (haha) are the California Wrap, and the gluten-free pancakes. I tend to top the pancakes with kale & flax seeds, banana & walnuts, and coco nibs & blueberries! Just delish! Blue Collar in little Haiti has an amazing veg plate with brussell sprouts, french fries, kale, and beets!
THE NEXT FEAST
Sunday, August 3, 2014 at 6pm
Emerson Dorsch Gallery
151 NW 24th Street, Wynwood
Suggested Minimum Donation: $60
If you would like to read more about Chef Pulitzer, or even buy some of her “Vegan, Gluten-Free & Delicious” cookies Click here.
Samples of some of Chef Loren’s Vegan Dishes in 2013…