Step aside jungle juice “punch” with your questionable alcohol concoctions and possible psychedelic additives, Pino Grigio has made it to Prom and now it’s time to celebrate Prom like a Rock Star! A Vegan, puppy hugging, silent auction bidding, beer drinking, finger sandwich eating Vegan Rock Star!
Tainted Love blasted across the busy dance floor, twinkling white lights draped high balcony railings, the lighting was dimly lit enough for all of us to have a bump on our attractiveness number, a perfect oasis hideaway in the pounding San Francisco rain and unrelentingly pushy wind that whipped against building faces and car doors.
2016’s Alice in Wonderland’s Vegan Prom was in full effect, bunny ears poked above head level through the crowd, pocket watches dangled, the queen of hearts held a watchful eye and long tabled tea parties bordered the dance floor. There were too many treats to even try each. Tiny sugar cookies with soft pink lettering, “Eat Me”, smoky triangle finger sandwiches, an assortment of Miyoko’s Kitchen vegan cheese that widened my eyes with excitement, I delicately cut shaved slices of Mt. Vesuvius Black Ash to ruffle over sweet, nutty crackers and enjoyed the fatty tang of cheese No. 05 with my plastic cup of wine. #perfection
Clearly Prom took a step up from the prom of our awkward, overly stressed, thank god, under photographed high school proms, and this time our money went to support The Humane League, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving animal’s lives and reducing animal cruelty. They did provide some of the most adorable props for partyers to don in front of the photographer, “I love vegan donuts” and, “Friends not Food” with an adorable pastel baby octopus, piggy, calf and chick. If those signs had been in the raffle or silent action, I would have had all tickets in and the highest bid, they easily overshadowed the weekend hotel stays in Carlsbad and Medocino, and the baskets of chocolates and treats, because everyone loves baby cartoon animals.
The DJ’s talent for mixing the best songs was highlighted by the high school style dance circle filled with brake dancing and a handstand form that one guy that you never saw it coming from, confirmation picture below.
If you ever wondered what prom was like because you didn’t make it in high school, or you had the full high school prom experience, Bay Area Soiree’s 2016 Prom Done Vegan was a great addition to the memory bank, a great charitable event and a day that I will look forward to again in 2017.
Learn more below.
Full admission, I was totally drinking wine during the saga that was San Francisco’s epic 2016 Vegan Iron Chef All-Stars Competition, however, trust me when I say that that only added to the impromptu dance party, mini cupcakes, palpable tension in the air, and the opportunity to taste some of the most mind blowing, award winning food possible from one of the most exciting, up and coming vegan Chefs. It was a pretty good night, plus I came out with 2 pats of Miyoko’s butter, yes, it is amazing, yes, you must try it asap!
The All-Stars competition pitted 2013 winner, Chef Lisa Books-Williams, against 2014 winner, Chef Jay Astafa and 2015 winner, Chef Kevin Schuder, along with their teams, for the coveted All-Stars title, and it was almost a close race.
The Chefs pushed through power outages, questioning sessions, a tight $100 ingredient budget and final countdowns enthusiastically yelled by the crowd. Wracked with anticipation, the audience sat through hunger inducing wafts from the cooking stations, eagerly staring at judge Colleen Holland of VegNews magazine, Dustin Harder aka The Vegan Roadie, and microblogger George Lin for any description and critique of the delicately prepared dishes.
Comments were consistent, wonderful job with the Jack Fruit secret ingredient, interesting twists with the mustard greens, and then BAM! The flood for compliments, and the delivery of one of the most coveted, This is the best dish of the competition! Total domination by one of the best Risotto dishes state side, produced by the New York’s wave making, influential chef Jay Astafa. We are talking creamy risotto heaven with a gentle dusting of blissful vegan parmesan, per the photos you can tell that I was not even able to physically smile any harder upon enjoying the creation #yum. Considerable time was taken by the judges whispering back and forth, negotiating who would be crowned as winner, and you guessed it, the title went to Jay Astafa and his ever diligent team!
If you find yourself in New York, I strongly recommend visiting Long Island’s popular 3 brothers Vegan Café of which Astafa is the creative force behind or order from Astafa’s premier plant based catering company called, PLANT. And if you were not at the 2016 San Francisco Vegan Iron Chef competition, make it out next year, you will love it!
Visit Jay Astafa's page http://www.jayastafa.com/