Image result for california vegetarian food festivalThis past weekend I attended the California Vegetarian Food Festival. Hosted In Hollywood at Rayleigh Studios, the two-day event featured chef demos and speakers, vendors, wellness activities and family activities. 2bites spoke with several vendors about some of their favorite dishes and the impact meal sharing can have on the world.

Harmless Harvest Coconut Water
Harmless Harvest is based in San Francisco but founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2009. In 2014 they became the first coconut water to achieve the fair for life certification status. They source their water from young Thai coconuts. As of last year, they launched Harmless Coconut Probiotics and continue to expand. 

Harmless Harvest Cocunt Water

Chynna Pope, Ambassador
“Food is a really great way to express yourself creatively,” Pope said. “To share a meal with (someone) you delve down deeper into their personality and their values…you’re getting into a deeper level with food I think.”

Imperfect Produce
Imperfect Produce is a sustainable food delivery company that focuses on minimizing food waste and finding a home for “ugly” produce. By workly directly with farmers and producers, Imperfect Produce delivers their users a box of fresh fruits, veggies or a combination of produce that may otherwise go to waste. Imperfect Produce was founded in August 2015 and now operates in more than 10 cities nationwide.

Imperfect Produce

Jessica Isaacs
Imperfect Produce, Ambassador
“I have very salient memories of my dad. When we’d be on vacation or walking around town, if he saw someone homeless when we were going to a restaurant, he’d order something for them and bring it to them. That really translated to me as I grew up of just inviting people into sharing a meal with me whether I’m going into a restaurant or going to a grocery store and just getting stuff and sitting down with them and having a conversation.”

Saucy Lips

Saucy Lips
Family-owned and Phoenix-based, Saucy Lips creates natural, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, GMO-free, vegan/paleo-friendly gourmet sauces. Their sauces include unique combinations such as pineapple Thai
, habanero & carrot and ghost pepper & tamarind. Gabriela and Jess Dalton run their business with their son Jess Jr. All sauces are available on their website.

Jess Dalton
Saucy Lips, Creator
I did my masters in Switzerland at a very small college or university. There were 20 some odd different nations … we’d sit down together and cook and you had a Mexican and Saudi Arabian or Libyan and we’d all get together and cook and eat. We’d have Palestinians. We’d have Israelis, it was amazing. I still keep in touch with them. Food brings people together. It’s wonderful.

Saucy Lips gourmet sauces

Gabriela Dalton
Saucy Lips, Creator
You put your feeling into your cooking. It’s an impressive thing. When I was growing up and I saw that movie (Como agua para chocolate) it was like oh my gosh. This is impressive. So from then on, I thought about food differently, how it’s important you cook what you eat. It’s very important when you have children what you give them is not only food it’s your like you energy that is going through that food that they are eating so it brings everything together. That’s my experience.

Redd Bar
Redd Bar is a superfood energy bar that comes in five different flavors. The gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, vegan bars each come with 10 grams of protein and contain 11 superfoods. Redd Bar was created by Alden Blease, a guy who began cooking up batches of the bars while he was a hungry college kid.

Redd Bar superfood

Susanna Lovsky
Redd Bar Ambassador
You can have all sorts of flavors that bring people from different cultures together and meal sharing is one of those things where it opens your eyes up to different tastes that maybe you wouldn’t get exposed to if you have that one culture. Meal sharing will open your mind to that other person’s culture and it makes you want to explore and go further into that meal.

Redd Bar Susanna Lovsky