Vegan supper clubs are becoming a bit of a thing across the country. Sometimes community members host them out of their houses, sometimes a chef opens his restaurant one night a month. Some are underground and secretive, other are just among friends.
Then there’s Las Vegan Eatz, Las Vegas’ very own vegan supper club. It meets at a different veg-friendly restaurant every month and, in the spirit of our great city, welcomes all – provided they show up with an open mind and compassionate heart.
I first heard that a vegan supper club was in the works from Paul Graham of Eating Vegan in Vegas back in February. He’s a bit of an expert after successfully completing his year-long project to chronicle dining out vegan every day. He’s consequently been a huge force for getting Vegas on the v-map.
As you can imagine, I was stoked. I visualized a table of 6 veg-heads casually meeting up at a restaurant for food and conversation. Fast forward, and it’s happening. And way bigger than I imagined. The last supper club event was full at 36 guests.
During the last decade of my vegetarian then vegan life, I wasn’t aware of and certainly not a part of any veg community in Vegas. This concept is new to me, and I still get almost teary-eyed thinking about it. But the truth is that the Vegas vegan community is growing and getting stronger by the month. It is an honor to be part of this underground revolution!
Are you a part of a supper club in your home town? Secret or Public? Restaurant or Home-based? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Las Vegan Eatz
Coordinators Paul Graham and Mindy Tatti say that their intention is to build that community I so craved. They want to get vegans together in the same room and start conversations that turn into lasting friendships and partnerships. And, of course, showcase amazing food and our supporters in the culinary industry.
In addition to networking and socializing, everybody gets a raffle ticket. Usually it’s for a vegan cookbook, and you know how us foodies love our cookbooks… I have won a cookbook twice now, and both times I donated it to a better home. The first time was to my vegan sis who loves being in the kitchen, baking, and making meals for friends and family. The next time, I gave it to a freshly minted vegan, a new friend I made at the event. My favorite form of activism!
The last Las Vegan Eatz I went to was in July right before leaving on our North American road trip. It was at Veggie House with Chef Kenny, a superstar in the local vegan food community, and there was soooo much food.
Chef Kenny is meticulous in perfecting the texture and mouth feel of his faux meats to perfectly replicate the real deal. Not normally my thing, but I have to appreciate him as an artist in the kitchen. The shrimp was just like shrimp right down to the tail and texture. I wouldn’t say it was health food – lots of processed veggie meats and high sodium. But excellent for transition and outreach to the general Omni public. When my family comes into town and they feel like Chinese, you know where I’m taking them.
October at Pura Vida Bystro
My standards are high when it comes to enjoying a meal out – whole foods, minimally processed, limited oil. I like my food simple but enjoy full flavor. So I was pleasantly surprised when Chef Mayra delivered at October’s Las Vegan Eatz.
Pura Vida is Vegas’ signature 100% vegan cafe. It was fitting that we hold a vegan supper club there.
Chef Mayra prepared a 3-course meal for us.
1 – Salad
It began with a lovely salad. Organic greens with cucumbers, red onions, carrots, strawberries, broccoli, and cauliflower. Topped with her Sexy Strawberry & Poppy Seed Vinaigrette dressing.
I had two servings then started eating the leftovers directly out of the family-style salad bowl when the waiter removed my salad plate. Luckily my table-mate Rigel of Vegans in Vegas Radio followed suit and started eating out of the salad bowl, too.
The only thing better than sharing a meal with people who take as much pleasure in eating as you is catching up with a good friend you haven’t seem since you took off on the road for 11 weeks! And meeting his amazing also-vegan sis Arica who has a local pet photography business Pet’ographique.
Good conversation that jumped topics: the inconsistency of caring about one species while having no problem with the ill treatment of another, future plans for Rigel’s podcast, and revelations upon my return after two months on the road.
2 – Entree
Then we were on to the second course which Chef Mayra dubbed “A Cuban & Spanish Gastronomic Fusion Hug and Kisses Course.”
Pumpkin rice with green & red peppers, annatto infused spice, cumin, green and shallot onions. Picadillo with potatoes – a traditional Latin American dish with protein, onions, tomatoes, raisins, olives and spices. Pisto – a Spanish Dish made of tomatoes, onions, zucchini, green and red peppers and olive oil.
Fancy words, yet a hearty and grounding meal. Plenty of her famous flavor. Loved the addition of a generous portion of pea shoots – you better believe I ate all of mine!
3 – Dessert
Then dessert, an apple and date compote.
Perfect simple sweetness to end off the meal. And in a small size like dessert is supposed to be.
If you want to attend, the group is open to all who are interested. Contact them either through their FB page Facebook.com/lasveganeatzevents or email Lasveganeatzevents at gmail dot com.
Does your community have a vegan supper club? If you live in a city, google it to see if there is already one. If not, check to see if your area has a vegan meetup on meetup.com.
No dice? Start your own! You can either form a brand new meetup group or just start inviting other vegans and veg-curious people you know. Host it at your own home or decide to meet at local veg-friendly restaurants. You set the rules!
Now your turn. Tell us about your vegan supper club experiences.