I recently enjoyed a vegan cooking demonstration at Bike Lane Cafe in Wilmington, DE hosted by a local Chef, Chef Nicole and Baker Evangelina (whose cupcakes can be found in our area at local eateries such as Drop Squad and Brewed Awakenings and those cupcakes sustained me while my mother was in the hospital for several months, YUM!). The even was a lovely evening out and the demos are a fairly new endeavor by Nicole and Evangelina that I hope prove to be successful for them. Both demonstrated their recipes for a vegan Thanksgiving dinner while we sat around tables with other people with varying interests in living the vegan lifestyle. Opportunities for questions abounded. Nicole and Evangelina are both vegans and knowledgeable about the lifestyle and cooking and happy to share their experiences. As dinner was served the atmosphere had grown to a comfort level that our acquaintances were now friends and by the time our meal had been shared it was difficult to actually say good evening to our new friends.
Chef Nicole talked about how this is the best time to be vegan! There is so much available now to vegans as far as products and the availability of products. We have access to more than ever even though it is still often limited and frustrating. Amazon and online ordering has made it easier but we can’t forget our local merchants. There are small business owners out there like Chef Nicole and Evangelina who are bringing together the vegan community. Evangelina mentioned various communities across the area that she has been able to interact with through her baking. At times even though those communities are fairly close in locale, they may not be interacting with each other if it were not for events such as these and people such as Nicole and Evangelina bringing them together.
Being able to connect gives you a sense of belonging. It helps you know that others are experiencing the same challenges you experience. It gives you a chance to share your stories with others and hear the stories of others. It gives you the opportunity to learn where to get the best deal on hemp seeds, how to store nutritional yeast, where a fabulous vegan restaurant you should check out is located, how to join the local co-op, or just network with new people on the same journey as yourself. Thank you to Chef Nicole and Evangelina and others who are helping share their knowledge and make connections!