SLO Vegan hosted a vegan Thanksgiving demonstration and tasting for its second installment of “Meatless Mondays with Mayor Heidi Harmon” Nov. 13.
The event took place at Bliss Café from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the restaurant’s outdoor patio and offered a free tasting to the public. It served as a guide for anyone who wanted to learn more about vegan alternatives during this holiday season.
SLO Vegan, the city’s online guide to vegan options, has partnered up with the mayor in an effort to spread awareness of environmental issues to the community.
According to Harmon, her position as mayor allows her to amplify the message to the public.
“Since this is November, we thought it would be fun to have a vegan Thanksgiving because that’s a holiday that is all about food,” Harmon said. “It’s pretty much all about meat.”
The food prepared by Bliss Café’s co-owner Palaka Sauer proved that hosting a vegan Thanksgiving dinner can be easy.
The food was served buffet style, allowing those attending the event to sample an array of small portions. Dishes included butternut squash soup, eggplant parmesan, kombucha curry with broccoli and kale and pumpkin cheesecake. All options were 100 percent vegan.
Local vegan Peggy Koteen, a loyal customer of Bliss Café, loves to see the impact of vegan eating on the community.
“Palaka and Bliss have done a great deal for the community by just having the vegan option available,” Koteen said. “I just wanted to support them and see what the mayor is up to these days.”
The food was served to people of all diets, exposing them to options that some might have been unaware of prior to the event.
“Maybe there are some folks that are moving in that direction but aren’t quite sure and want to still kind of broaden their horizons on it,” Harmon said. “One of the things I’m hoping to do is broaden my skillset around what I can cook for myself.”
Partnering up with the vegan community
Bliss Café is the first restaurant participating in SLO Vegan’s lunch delivery program, which delivers vegan meals to America’s hungry workforce.
According to SLO Vegan editor-in-chief and co-founder Skye Pratt, the program strives to connect vegan businesses.
“We also offer business consulting and create vegan communities in different areas and connect the dots in communities that already have great vegan things like San Luis Obispo,” Pratt said.
The holiday demonstration was just one of many efforts put on by SLO Vegan to spread awareness of the importance of veganism.
“I hope to inspire people to maybe cook some vegan dishes or maybe have a full vegan Thanksgiving,” Pratt said. “And then just to connect the community so that we can mix and mingle and meet fellow vegans and anyone that’s interested in learning more about the vegan diet.”
For Harmon, SLO Vegan serves as a resource for people like herself who don’t know too much about maintaining a well-rounded vegan diet.
“I think they’re kind of using their voice to amplify where those places are and what those food items are so that people like me who are running around, busy, that don’t have a lot of time or capacity to think about it can have a guide,” Harmon said.