Chicago Vegan Mania & Vaute Couture

Yesterday was the fourth annual Chicago Vegan Mania festival. This hugely popular event outgrew its space at Polaski Park fieldhouse and moved up to the Broadway Armory in Edgewater, which was extremely difficult for me to get to via public transportation, but well worth it. CVM has lots of delicious food, speakers, demonstrations, samples, and vegan companies selling their goods.

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I only got to see one chef demonstration, which was Kat Barry from Kat’s Hot Cakes. She made a super easy chocolate nut bark and pancakes. I was also able to catch Farmer Harold Brown, a former beef farmer, talk about the humane myth. Check that website out, please. There is some great information on so-called humane farming.

I was starving by the time I got to the food court. There were so many great restaurants represented, so it was really hard to decide. I finally settled on the dumplings from Urban Vegan, chana masala from Arya Bhavan, tofu rolls with peanut sauce from Native Foods (to use up my 2 final food coins) and mint chocolate ice cream from Robin’s Frozen Fantasy. Everything was good, but the hemp milk ice cream was phenomenal!

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The reason I was starving was because I worked the Vaute Couture booth until 2:00 p.m. It was a lot of fun to tell people about this amazing company, and show them some of the fabulous coats and tees it offers. Because it is pretty much impossible for me to go somewhere without baking, I made gingerbread coats in the shape of my three favorite coats from the new line: the Belden (also from last year, which I own and love!), the Lori and the Emily. Of course, I baked these before Leanne told me I would be working with Kelly Peloza, who literally wrote the book on vegan cookies. (I picked up her cookzine, Vegan Candyland; I was sold at “kit kat”).

The Belden

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The Lori (blue) and Emily (black, but was available in Eggplant, too):

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I pre-ordered the Wings coat this year, and I’m thinking about getting the James for H.

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I love coats; probably as much as I love shoes. Before going vegan, I didn’t think much about wool or down, but the more I learned about it, the more horrified I became. It is pretty gruesome. Switching to cotton sweaters was easy, but what about all my beautiful coats? While I continued to wear them until they needed to be replaced, I was worried about finding something that was both cute and warm. Enter Vaute Couture: a vegan, eco-friendly, American-made coat company with super cute dress coats. If you are in the market for a winter coat, I highly recommend Vaute Couture.

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