Vegan lipsticks to omelettes, this plant-based festival in Chennai this weekend has them all!
Vegan omelettes to lipsticks. Gear up for The Conscious Market — Chennai’s biggest vegan festival yet. Expecting a footfall of 60,000 people a day at the Central Atrium of Express Avenue Mall over the Republic Day weekend, organiser Dhaval Chandarana, who has made a name for himself in the community with the city’s first vegan store, Earth Story, has a massive line-up of vendors from across
Five-course vegan buffet
The event is co-organised by Shweta Agarwal, with 42 stalls on the list, including brand names we recognise like Jus Amazing (Bengaluru) which are quite popular for their array of nut butters and Veg Shoes (Kolkata) which makes use of microfibre instead of leather, as well as names that are less familiar like Disguise Cosmetics (Mumbai) who create vegan beauty and skincare products, vegan Mysore pak from Vijay Sweets (Coimbatore), Unived which provides Vegan sports nutrition and new-and-upcoming homebakers like Chennai-based Ekta Surana, who will be rolling out her delightful vegan jelly cakes.
You might have come across some of these products if you visited previous vegan festivals held by Dhaval over the last couple of years. “We had 400 people come for the first one back in August 2017, and then the number jumped to 2,000 people last year, so we knew there was a growing demand,” he adds. What sets this two-day festival apart, however, is that vendors apart, newbies interested in exploring a plant-based lifestyle can enjoy a five-course vegan buffet at the mall’s restaurant, Entrée. And the chefs leading the charge are city-based vegan chef and food stylist Neelima Sriram (on Jan 26) and vegan influencer from Bengaluru, Samyukta Kartik (on Jan 27).
Have you had your chloro-fill?
Vegan fitness expert Roshni Sanghvi from Bengaluru, who specialises on coaching clients to live a disease-free lifestyle by giving up animal protein, will be conducting a workshop taking people through a step-by-step guide to a plant-based diet. January 27, 5 pm. Entry is free.
Raw shrikhand, anyone?
Samyukta, who is 26, and is an alumnus of PlantLab Culinary (now closed) in Barcelona, where she tells us she learned all about raw foods, fermentation and nut-based cheese, shares that some of the highlights to look out for on her menu include “a chickpea omelette, vegan lasagna and raw shrikhand!” She says, “The idea is that everyone would have heard of these dishes, but probably never imagined vegan versions of the same. I hope this will give people a glimpse of the world of vegan food, so that they can get inspired to make healthier and more compassionate food choices.” We’ll raise a glass of almond milk to that!
The Conscious Market is open at the Central Atrium, Express Avenue. January 26 to 27. The vegan buffet is open for lunch and dinner and priced at Rs 650 (all inclusive).
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