As a festival musician my life was already pretty chaotic and random and then vegan cheese entered the story! ...
I began my quest for vegan cheese as I transitioned from vegetarian to vegan, for me, as for many, cheese was my final hurdle, the food product that would tempt me back to the dark side! As I found commercially available vegan cheese to be horrid I determined to make my own and I began trawling the internet, trying out any recipe I found to varying success. My kitchen became an alchemists den of powders and potions, strange lumps of stuff "maturing"!
I threw away a lot and ate some unpleasant early experiments so as not to waste the good ingredients. Then I found "The Non-dairy Evolution" cookbook by Skye Michael Conroy and my apprentice status as a cheesemaker turned into expert! His carefully worked out recipes and methods gave me the skills to develop my own ideas and I soon found that others wanted this knowledge, so I developed some of the most popular and simple recipes and began running classes. In the last couple of years I have taken my classes around the country to pub back rooms, community centres, vegan shops, cafes and peoples homes, each class is a joy, full of interested cheese hungry vegans and vegetarians wanting to go vegan and even a few open-minded omnivores. I’m happy to report that most classes result in one or two people leaving dairy cheese behind forever, and indeed my very first class in the lovely Garden Shed Cafe in Leamington Spa gave them new skills to turn their cafe 100% vegan, something I’m very proud of.
So now I face my first big vegan festival... the biggest in fact... VegfestUK Bristol! I have changed my class to suit a bigger audience, and have made so much cheese that I have filled 3 of my neighbours fridges. I am more nervous than when I face a big performance as a musician, but I am so excited to be part of the new wave of vegan activism and to be able to share recipes that mean we don’t have to miss out on anything to live up to our principles.
Come to my cookery demos on Saturday May 21st at 1:00pm and on Sunday May 22nd at 1:00pm, in the Cookery Demos tent
Don’t miss Mel’s performance with her acoustic band Tarantism Acoustic too – on Saturday May 21st from 3:00 – 3;45pm, on the Buskers Stage.
Visit the free online vegan magazine www.vegfestexpress.co.uk for the latest vegan news worldwide, updated 24-7!
For full what’s on on VegfestUK Bristol, read the event programme here: www.bristol.vegfest.co.uk/programme
Buy your advance tickets to the event at: www.bristol.vegfest.co.uk/admission
from Vegfest UK