Back with an Americana twist, this month’s Vegan Nights event celebrated all things stateside – bar Trump. The hedonistic hub, hailed “Las Vegan”, surpassed any expectations of a generic foodie festival with its balmy summer vibe.
Held at The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, stalls, bars (and buses) serving sweet and savoury lined the courtyard – leaving plenty of space for revellers to laze on the Astroturf and devour their food. The open-air venue was strewn with lights and studded with American tributes, including a miniature Statue of Liberty clutching a carrot to add the finishing touch.
The game-changing gastronomy would make even the most dedicated carnivores question why they eat meat. Leading the pack was CookDaily – an established name in London’s vegan scene – serving sticky teriyaki “chickn” bites. Wow. Succulent and blissfully gristle-free, the Asian flavours stood out among the hot dawgs and cheese fries.
After chowing down on some “steak” that was peculiar but moreishly spongy, it was time for dessert. Froconut’s plant-based ice cream caught our attention served in a coconut half with a glorious hunk of honeycomb. Refreshing and moussey, it satisfied our taste buds and Instagram feeds simultaneously.
From hipster to high street, veganism has gone mainstream – and beyond. A-listers including One Direction’s Liam Payne, Daniel Kaluuya OBE and Ben Whishaw were amongst the first Vegan Nights event, showing their support for cruelty-free food.
BBC 1Xtra’s Melody Kane, Benj + Teaboyz and Becky Tong headlined the DJs and were dotted around keeping the vibe alive. Besides the music and meat-free madness, event organisers were also considerate enough to provide a Hollywood-worthy pink carpet and coordinating backdrop for photo ops. And with that, Vegan Nights evoked every aspect of a millennial’s midsummer night’s dream.
Words by Sophie Wolf