Raw Spirit Fest East! :0)
Wow! This past weekend was amazing! I was kickin’ it in Maryland for the Raw Spirit Festival East Coast event! It was my first one and I did a food demo so you already know I was freakin’ geeked up! Amanda, Isabel, and myself shot over to the event Saturday morning in the earrrrly a.m. from my mommy-in-laws place in South Central PA, and arrived just in time for things to start gettin’ set up. Rarely do you see so many people happy to be up at that time of the morning, so I already knew it was gonna be good!
We kicked off the day by stopping at Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe’s awesome set up in the restaurant area and pickin’ up a couple of Glen and Lisa’s AMAZING brownies! They we’re chewy, chocolaty, and freakin’ good! Witha lil’ cacao pumpin’ in the veins I headed to the chef demo area and had a lot of fun checkin’ out Timothy and Leslie Arnold’s Green smoothie demo and talk. They did an awesome job and Timothy had me crackin’ up with his high spirited and humorous approach! Hoping to run into him again sometime!
I spent the majority of Saturday morning and early afternoon hanging in the chef demo area, helping the presenters get organized along with Glen Colello. A couple of the presenters couldn’t make it so Glen, Chef Dan Hoyt (of Quintessence) and myself filled in with some talking, question answering, and Chef Dan rocked out an awesome simple raw cake base using sweet potato, coconut flakes, dried apricots and a lil’ sea salt….simple yet amazing!
I ran into my homeboy Phil McCluskey and we got to chat a bit before his speech at the main stage. I managed to catch the majority of Phil’s talk (which freakin’ rocked!) before I had to head back to get set up for my own recipe demo. I prepared my Sunflower Seed Creme Parfait for the crowd at my presentation. Which included, much to my delight, many peeps I’ve met through Raw Fu, such as Wendy Agee, Meredith, Aimee, Sunshine Boatright, Cece and many others! I couldn’t get through the demo without blender boogyin’ at least once! *lol* Amanda filmed the whole thing and Isabel had a ball passing out recipe cards.
After clearing up the chaotic Seed Creme smeared scene we headed off to check out some of the going’s on at the Festival. There was a myriad of fun and interesting vendors scattered about the event including Scott Gryzbeck of Zukay Live Foods. For those who haven’t heard of Zukay and their products, you’ve gotta check them out. Scott’s put together a line of raw and LIVING (as in full of active probiotic cultures!) salsas, relishes and now salad dressings! So in many of the stores now carrying his products you’ll not only be able to pick up a pre-bottled raw salad dressing, but it will also pack a probiotic punch! Really cool, especially for a food nerd like myself! Also at the scene was Brad Gruno of Brad’s Raw Chips. Brad’s chips are the bomb! Isabel devoured a bag of his Red Bell Pepper chips in no-time and we had to pick up another for the road. Again very cool to see more raw foods becoming available to provide an awesome alternative to the mulititudes of junk food out there! Another fun stop for Amanda and myself was Natural Zing’s set up where we got to sample LOTS of goodies (in particular their line of raw chocolate which featured Merlins Magical Roots Elixir; interesting and tasty stuff) we stocked up on some raw staples to take home (made some killer err.. I mean life-giving smoothies with them so far!). Speaking of awesome concoctions, my man AJ Wentworthwas rockin’ the event with his awesome Chocolate Conspiracy bars. AJ’s lovingly crafted chocolate bars are off the chain! I picked up one of his Wild Spice bars and enjoyed it thoroughly!
After cruising the vendors we headed off to pick up some goodies for lunch. I was in my glory….I mean when else can you enjoy something from several amazing raw resteraunts at the same time? Catch a Healthy Habit was rockin’ out their awesome burgers and Quintessence was offering up the most amazing raw enchiladas I’ve ever seen! We also stopped at Sprout Raw Food’s tent and had their awesome BBQ loaf and coconut water. I could go on and on about the eats, but I gotta the say the awesomest thing about the Festival was the people!
The whole atmosphere was laid back yet energetic, cozy and fun! I really felt in my element (being someone who’s been questioned about drug use and mental issues due to my upbeat personality! :0) ) It was nice to see so many others with simmilar Cheschire Cat grins meandering about the event! Even the hard working volunteers and co-ordinators of the event took any lil’ s.n.a.f.u. that came up in stride and you could tell they we’re having as much of a ball as anyone despite their constant juggling acts. I got to talk with many other awesome peeps that have made it their mission to spread the info about the life improving benefits of raw foods, such as Arnold Kaufman of Arnolds’ Way in PA, Jackie and Gideon Graffe, Phil McCluskey of Loving Raw, Michelle Pierson of LivingSunFoods.com, Jim Dee of Pure Jeevan and others. Very cool was the times I got to spend with many of the attendees who came to the event to celebrate and learn about healthier ! Many of my homies from the CT and PA areas were there as well, including Jody and Joey Allen of Loving Life Cafe and some of my buddies from Sunday potlucks at Catch! Also my sister, bro-in-law and my nephews Jacob and Ben hung out all Sunday with Isabel. Isabel, Jacob and Ben did a recipe demo for the kids at the youth area! They whipped up some delicious raw buchwheat “popcorn” and had a ball doing it. It was so fun and sureal that I cannot wait for next years Festival and am REALLY geeked up to be heading to the Raw Spirit Festival in Prescott AZ this Sept. 26th and 27th!
Great to connect with everyone I ran into at Raw Spirit Fest East and lookin’ forward to catching up with many others in AZ! Peace, love and rawness. :0)