Sometimes I feel so blessed for getting to experience incredibly cool events. The Holiday Cocktail and Cooking Class featuring Gardein and VeeV was definitely one of those times. I am kicking myself for not suggesting that my staff photographer (a.k.a. the husband) bring his camera, so sadly I had to capture the night with my iPhone. Loser. I know.
The event was hosted by Gardein and took place in their tasting kitchen in Marina del Rey. They partnered up with VeeV to pair up delectable vegan holiday recipes with some tasty cocktails (y’all know how I love my VeeV)! I thought the Sage Cider was my favorite cocktail ever until I tried the Pineapple Punch. I don’t know how they continue to come up with out-of-this-world combinations, but they do!
The evening began with some socializing/networking while sipping cocktails and eating hors d’oeuvres (Gardein chicken tenders and AMAZING crabless cakes). I got to chat with the executive chef and the other incredible folks at Gardein and VeeV, all of them so, so nice. I had a blast meeting the other attendees as well. I was particularly blown away when I discovered the woman sitting across from me grew up about a block away from my childhood home and we had some of the same teachers in high school. Small world!
The next phase of the night was the class, though more accurately described as a demonstration. Even though we received the recipes, it wasn’t a hands on experience, we watched the chef cook as he talked us through the steps. Very inspiring though. I have always just taken the Gardein products out of the bag and cooked/eaten as is, but they did some amazing things to transform them!
The menu for the night was crabless cakes with sriracha aioli, cashew cream mashed potatoes (OMG, I thought I had died and gone to heaven with those babies, I will only make my mashed taters with cashew cream from here on out), cranberry green beans and pumpkin seed crusted “chicken”. We sat down at a large table and continued socializing over a luscious meal and more cocktails.
When the event was over we were sent on our way armed with full bellies and a generous goodie bag filled with all kinds of great Gardein and VeeV products. I’m especially loving my “Get Swept Off Your Meat” tee (not shown) and the VeeV mixing pitcher.
The taste of crabless cakes stayed with me and I daydreamed about them all day on Friday, so I decided to try making them myself. If you follow this blog at all, you know I like easy and the list of ingredients and instructions for these was long…not usually my bag. But I needed these babies in my life and I powered through. They came out FANTASTIC, almost as good as the chef’s version
A HUGE thank you to Gardein and VeeV for hosting cruelty-free events like this one and showing that compassionate choices can be inventive, festive and most importantly – delicious!