Sunday, October 21, 2012

Miyoko Schinner and... Bassnectar? (VEGAN MOFO: DAY 21)

Be jealous, because last night I had the pleasure of attending Miyoko Schinner's Book Launch and Vegan Wine and Cheese event in San Francisco.  It only cost $10 to go and I was fed way too much food.  Just getting WINE at $10 would be amazing, but here there was also seemingly endless cheeses to try with really great crackers and breads and fruit and tempanade and and olives.
As if that weren't enough, there were also trays of food prepared with the cheese that were just so incredibly delicious.  Let's see.  There was a tomato and mozzarella skewer first, then these little mushroom and gruyere tart thingies, some kind of outrageously delicious (and I suspect deep-fried) croquette, brie en croute, and these figs with delicious cheesy insides.  You know?  My Pennsylvanian self had never had a fresh fig!  I've had dried figs, of course, but never a fresh fig.  Such incredible fruits!  The food trays were brought around by Miyoko herself, and also by a couple of servers.  One of the servers was so pushy about it, encouraging and encouraging to take more food (as if we could resist)!  It was hilarious, so I asked if I could take a picture of this pushy serving in action.
I loved talking with all the vegans and vegetarians there!  So many people had been vegan for longer than I've been alive.  I got to speak with the president of the Vegetarian Society in California, as well as many members of it.  I also greatly enjoyed talking with the owner of the famous San Francisco vegan restaurant Millennium, Ann Wheat. 
My little sister Ali and Ann are laughing at what the young woman on the right had said, which I believe was "I don't like to get my picture taken."  I don't remember her name (Meg?), but she was so cool!  She had a tattoo across her chest that said, "Thank you for being a friend" and her wallet had an image of the Golden Girls on it.  We talked with Ann quite a bit about our responsibility to call people who are running events about cancer prevention or curing and encouraging them to have vegan options at least available there, since incidence of cancer is so strongly linked to consumption of animal products and, in particular, dairy.  I thought this was a bit of advocacy I could do even in Pittsburgh!  Great idea, Ann, thank you.

Miyoko gave a little talk.  Here is a small portion of it that I took video of.  I didn't start recording at the start of her speech and my memory card ran out of space before it was over, but this is a very nice segment right here, starting off talking about how difficult it is to give up cheese and ending with the importance of teaching others how to create great food instead of simply selling it to them, pre-made.
The dessert she referenced?  It was these little cups where the shell was made from rich chocolate and the inside, I'd guess, was based in yogurt, but it was pink from raspberries.  Soooo good, and everyone jumped to get them even though we were very stuffed at this point.  Eating the food that Miyoko prepared made me realize that I definitely need to use the recipes for things using the cheese at the end of the book Artisan Vegan Cheese.  Especially anytime I want to impress people at a party!

Oh, look, I got my picture taken with Miyoko!  She's holding the card I had made some time ago for this blog.  I didn't make the card to give to cookbook authors, but really just to give to people when I'd tell them about my blog and they seemed interested, but I knew it was unlikely they'd remember the web address.

And do you want to know where I went AFTER this event?  Ummmm, to a Bassnectar concert, of course.  Isn't that where EVERYONE went after the wine and cheese?

Nah, I kid, I'm sure no one else was going to this.  My little sister loves this kind of stuff, but I've never listened to Bassnectar before in my life, and it was crazy, and I took a series of videos of me talking to my camera and showing you the effed-up kids being on ecstasy and dressing in few clothes and dancing a lot and balloons dropping from the ceiling.  I had moved to the very top of the upper balcony to watch the scene, because it seemed like this was probably the best place to go for a woman who will be 30 in under two months and prefers to listen to Sharon Van Etten (seriously, click that link to hear one of my favorite songs ever).  But, like I say in the video, "Good for them, they're young."

What fun in San Francisco!  One thing's for sure: I need to get my butt over to eat at Millenium!


  1. I'm totally jealous! Sounds like an amazing event and I wish she'd do something similar near me. You're so lucky to got to attend.

  2. Well now you're not going to want to come back to the 'burgh after all that!! I'm crazy jealous! And now I'm going to order that artisan vegan cheese book. Damn you!!

  3. I can't believe all of that was only $10! Words cannot possibly describe how envious I am of your experience. And figs are the best, but you can't buy them in my neck of the woods which is tragic! Can't wait until next year when I'm living in a big city. Hanging out with other awesome vegans is such a positive experience, I'm super happy for you! And as mentioned before, envious. :)

    1. Can you buy them in your neck of the woods? My little sister claims I could find them, but then I started to feel sad about food miles.


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