We chatted about logistics over raw cauliflower rice, topped with guacamole, tomatoes, carrots and cucumber. I felt right at home cheering on Nadia (the little one above) and Alex (the little one below) as they bounced on the trampoline – although, it did make me miss my niece and nephews. It was wonderful to feel wrapped in a welcoming, loving family.
The local cherries made a spectacular, sweet dessert, but this special meeting of the minds was celebrated with luscious banana soft serve and a raw cheesecake (Chocolate Goji) that Peter procured from the city’s newest vegan restaurant, Celestial Garden. Alex, was reluctant to try the cheesecake but after one bite he broke out in this very satisfied smile.
Working with vegan hosts means having the inside info on the best eats in the city. I love listening to passionate discussions about the best markets, seasonal produce and favourite finds. It is through these casual connections that I’ve discovered the exciting food scene of India, Thailand, Bali, Australia and New Zealand.
The next day, Peter and I gathered groceries for the demo and visited Celestial Gardens and Wise Cicada, two of his favourite local spots. It turned into an amazing tour of Auckland, highlighted by moving meetings with vegan chefs who are nourishing the bodies and souls of thier city.
I took home the bounty and spent a few hours prepping and measuring all the goodies for my demo.
On Saturday it was show time! We had a great group of interested eaters arrive to learn more about creating beautiful, delicious desserts that celebrate the seasonal fruit available in New Zealand.
The hour disappeared quickly, as did the samples, but my memories of the day still linger.
I was really touched by the generosity of the volunteers and the enthusiastic response of the attendees. The demo was followed by The Vegan Society’s monthly potluck where I had the opportunity to sit and chat with an amazing group of people, who shared travel advice, recipe recommendations and incredible kindness.
The vegan community never ceases to amaze me. I feel so lucky to find myself among people, committed to creating a more compassionate culture around the world.
In gratitude for all you do and all you are, here is a little something sweet:
Press the crust evenly into a medium tart pan.In your blender combine the cream ingredients and blend until smooth.
Pour the cream into the prepared tart crust.
Top with slices of stone fruit.