Supporting Portland's Vegan, Vegetarian, and Veg-curious Community

VegFest 2009
Speakers, Chefs, Classes, Musicians and Experts
Past VegFests
2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009

Speakers, Chefs, Classes, Musicians and Experts

Speakers (A105/106)

Dr. John McDougall, 12:30pm & 5:00pm

Physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine. John A. McDougall, MD. has been studying, writing and "speaking out" about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years.

Dr. McDougall is the founder and medical director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program, a ten-day, residential program located at a luxury resort in Santa Rosa, CA -- a place where medical miracles occur through proper diet and lifestyle changes. Dr. McDougall has cared for thousands of patients over almost 3 decades of medical practice and has run a highly successful live-in program for more than 20 years. Dr. McDougall has developed a nourishing, low-fat, starch-based diet that not only promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits such as weight (fat) loss, but most importantly can also reverse serious illness, such as heart disease, without drugs.

Dr. McDougall is the author of several national bestsellers including: The McDougall Plan: 12 Days to Dynamic Health, McDougall's Medicine: A Challenging Second Opinion, The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss, and his latest ground breaking book, The McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart.
Click here to see Dr. McDougall speak in the recently released documentary "Processed People."

Kathy Freston, 3:30pm
Kathy Freston is a health and wellness expert and a New York Times best-selling author. Her books include Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness, The One: Discovering the Secrets of Soul Mate Love and Expect a Miracle: 7 Spiritual Steps to Finding the Right Relationship. Her newest book is The Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21 Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Freston has appeared on Oprah, Ellen, The View, Good Morning America, and CBS's the Early Show. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, Self, W, and Fitness. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, AlterNet, and writes a monthly food column for the LA Times Magazine.

Freston promotes a body/mind/spirit approach to health & happiness that includes a concentration on healthy diet, emotional introspection, spiritual practice, and loving relationships. Her work is focused on providing guidance for conscious & healthy living in our increasingly busy world. Freston continually cites the proven value of "leaning into" change and the benefits of "progress, not perfection." Click here to see Kathy on Ellen.

Rip Esselstyn, 2:00pm

Professional athlete-turned-firefighter Rip Esselstyn is used to responding to emergencies. So, when he learned that some of his fellow Engine 2 firefighters in Austin, TX, were in dire physical condition-several had dangerously high cholesterol levels (the highest was 344!)-- he sprang into action and created a life-saving plan for the firehouse. By following Rip's program, everyone lost weight (some more than 20 lbs.), lowered their cholesterol (Mr. 344's dropped to 196), and improved their overall health. Now, Rip outlines his proven plan in his new book- The Engine 2 Diet.

With Rip as your expert coach and motivator, you'll transform your body and lifestyle in a month. His plant-powered eating plan is based on a diet of whole foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, seeds and nuts. Click here to see Rip on the Today Show.

Vesanto Melina, RD, 11:00am
Vesanto Melina is a Registered Dietitian and co-author of the "Raw Food Revolution Diet" and of nutrition classics "The New Becoming Vegetarian," "Becoming Vegan," and the "The Food Allergy Survival Guide." She is an internationally known speaker and has taught nutrition at the University of British Columbia and at Seattle's Bastyr University. Vesanto is co-author of Dietitians of Canada's and the American Dietetic Association's joint position paper on Vegetarian Diets.

Vesanto will talk about the trend sweeping North America-- the raw foods movement. Some people are motivated to go raw by concern about bulging waistlines. Others are drawn by the abundance of protective antioxidants and phytochemicals in raw plant foods. Many are inspired to increase their intakes of uncooked veggies and fruits without adhering to an entirely raw diet. Are raw diets nutritionally adequate? If so, what does a day's intake look like? How do we create a raw menu that meets recommended intakes for protein, calcium, iron, zinc, and other essential nutrients? How do we get essential vitamins B12 and D on raw diets? What are potential pitfalls? Is it okay to be 80% raw? How might we fare as raw travelers? Is a raw diet appropriate for children? Can a raw, or mainly raw, diet be the basis for a successful weight loss plan?

Cooking Demonstrations (A107)

Isa Chandra Moskowitz, 3:30pm

"Eclectic Rice Paper Rolls"

Learn how to create the perfect hors d'oeuvre using fresh and fun seasonal ingredients. Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a Brooklyn native who began her vegan cooking journey almost 20 years ago at the age of 16. She's inspired by NYC's cuisine from all over the world, as well as her own Jewish heritage, and she loves to fuse the two. She runs the website The Post Punk Kitchen, and she's the co-author of Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, Vegan With A Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, Vegan Brunch as well as the upcoming Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. She moved to Portland, Oregon last year.

David Gabbe, 2:00pm

"The Joy of Vegan Cooking"

Featured will be a lively discussion of vegan cooking and nutrition along with a demo of quick and easy vegan dishes. Those in attendance should be surprised and pleased to experience tasty desserts composed of highly unusual combinations of beans and grains. David is the proud father of two adult children raised as vegetarians (yes, they're still vegetarians). Since he began to teach vegetarian cooking and nutrition in Oregon in 1990, David has written five books, including From David's Pure Vegetarian Kitchen, The Going Vegetarian Cookbook, and Why Do Vegetarians Eat Like That? David has taught cooking classes in California, Oregon, and Washington and been a speaker at numerous health symposiums, seminars, and conferences for over a decade (and a vegetarian for over a quarter of a century).

Gabrielle Chavez, 11:00am

"Wild Green Smoothie and Banana Bread"

Learn how to make a tasty, fast, local, sustainable superfood green smoothie with weeds from a backyard near you. Gabrielle will show how to recognize the wild green edibles around town and country and also discuss growing your own year round green smoothie garden. Gabrielle will also demonstrate and sample a simple dehydrated banana bread with only 3 whole food ingredients. Gabrielle Chavez is the author of The Raw Food Gourmet and Going Raw For Total Well Being. She and her spiritual community sponsor many meetups and special events, including the ongoing Sunday Supper, a weekly catered raw vegan meal and spiritual gathering. In 2004 she founded the Raw and Living Spirit Retreat held in the Portland area each summer.

Wesley Gordon Hannah, 12:30pm

"Vegan Lasagna"

Wes Hannah is the chef de cuisine and proprietor of the Blossoming Lotus Pearl and Irvington. Wes has been cooking vegan food for 18 years and has been working as a vegan cook for fifteen. Wes was introduced to veganism and animal rights in Memphis, where he began his culinary education. Wes continued to work with vegan food in Georgia and California before moving to Portland. Check out many of Wes' specialties at Blossoming Lotus:

Julie Hasson, 5:00pm

"Quick & Easy Dishes from the Cancer Project"

Come learn some quick and easy recipes from The Cancer Project's Food For Life program. The recipes are delicious, full of fresh and vibrant flavors, and can be prepared easily after a busy day at work. The Cancer Project is an independent affiliate of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). While making cancer prevention a top priority, the project also works to improve survival after cancer has been diagnosed by providing information about the role of dietary factors in keeping people healthy. The Cancer Project's hands-on nutrition classes have become incredibly popular, helping cancer survivors and their families learn new tastes and easy food preparation skills. Julie Hasson is a passionate cook and teacher, author of 5 cookbooks and the host of the acclaimed internet cooking show, "Everyday Dish." She has also trained with The Cancer Project to present their nutrition and healthy cooking classes. and

Classes (A108)

Sussanna Czeranko, ND, 2:00pm

"Preventing Cancer: Eating Outside the Box, Can and Jar"

Eating in today's world can be a complicated, formidable challenge. Busting the myths that surround our dietary options, especially when we are faced with diseases such as cancer, can remove some of the doubts that we may have. You will gain tools and tips to navigate the food highway and strengthen your confidence in nutritious food again. Dr. Czeranko has been teaching nutrition for the past 30 years. A naturopathic physician licensed in both Ontario, Canada and in Oregon, Dr. Czeranko has been practicing since 1994. Sussanna's "Clinic in the Woods" was on a 26 acre Ontario farm where her wildcrafting and organic botanical gardens, along with a thriving balneotherapy focus formed the basis of a widely respected nature-cure practice. She has traveled extensively in Europe and Southeast Asia studying balneotherapy, medical spas, peloid therapies, carbon dioxide therapies and water cure. She has lectured in Canada, Europe and the US at various medical conferences. She currently has a private practice located at the new clinic at NCNM. She can be contacted at

Brian McCarthy, 12:30pm

"The Challenges and Rewards of Being a Family on a Vegan Diet"

Chef Brian P. McCarthy has been a professional cook for 28 years and is currently a vegetarian chef for Bon Appetit Management Café at Intel. Brian is the co-author of The Vegan Family Cookbook with his wife Karen. Brian will be talking about the basic food diet of a vegan family (vegan food pyramid and protein options), vegan food options as they compare to non-vegan food options, preparing your kids for school (school parties, field trips, and dealing with class mates), going over to friends' house, going out to eat, birthday parties, traveling, shopping, reading food labels, and special insight to what really happens in a restaurant kitchen.

Sharon Warner Methvin, PhD, 5:00m

"Making a Difference for Animals -- One Bite At a Time"

Dr. Sharon Methvin is an anthropologist and long time ethical vegetarian. She has been teaching anthropology and sociology at university or professional levels since 1988. In 1997, she was honored with a human rights award for her research on poverty. Her humanitarian concerns extend beyond human rights to the rights of animals as well. In this regard, she serves as a consultant on a variety of animal welfare issues and frequently provides public and expert testimonies to government agencies. Most recently, her research and activism took her into the animal markets of China and into the lives and efforts of the brave animal activists in China.

Dr. Richard Heitsch, 3:30pm

"Vegan Diet for Optimal Athletic Performance"

Dr. Richard Heitsch, medical director of the Integrated Medicine Group in Northeast Portland, has over 10 years experience in Functional Medicine and a masters degree in Public Health. He is trained as a surgeon and holds vast experience in general and trauma surgery as well as sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Kathy Hessler, 11:00am

"Factory Farming: Consequences for Humans, the Environment, and Animals"

Intensive Livestock Production has devastating consequences for the health of the planet and those who consume factory farm products. Additionally, working conditions for those inside these factories, and the effects of these operations on neighbors, are important factors to consider when evaluating the impact of this type of livestock production. Lawyer and Law Professor, Kathy Hessler will address some of these consequences and discuss the costs to individuals and society which result from intensive livestock production. Professor Hessler has been teaching law for over 17 years and practicing law for more than 20 years. She has been active in the animal community since the late 1980's as an activist, speaker, organizer, author, and legal academic.

Ask the Experts (Exhibit Hall)

Experts on nutrition, health, cooking, and vegan parenting will be available at various times throughout the day. Experts remain available both during and in between other scheduled presentations.

Stephanie Lucas, RN, MS, MPA, 11:00am-12:30pm

As an RN for over 25 years, Stephanie has seen first-hand how our Stardard American Diet has contributed to dramatically increased rates of obesity and chronic illnesses. As a parent with a vegan teenager, she can share practical advice on motivating healthy eating. Stephanie is also a member of NW VEG's, Veganic Gardening Group, and she is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about gardening without the need for animal by-products.

Tammy Russell, RD, MS, LD, 12:30-2:00pm

Tammy provides specialized nutrition counseling in regards to vegetarian and vegan diets. Complementing her passion of nutrition is her love of vegetarian cooking and raw foods preparation.

Brian McCarthy, 2:00-3:30pm

Chef Brian P. McCarthy has been a professional cook for 28 years and is currently a vegetarian chef for Bon Appetit Management Café at Intel. Brian is the co-author of The Vegan Family Cookbook with his wife Karen. At 12:30pm, Brian will be giving a talk: "The Challenges and Rewards of Being a Family on a Vegan Diet."

Dr. Ole Ersson, MD, 3:30-5:00pm

More info coming soon!

Sue Aberle, RD, MS, 5:00-6:30pm

Sue specializes in vegetarian and vegan nutrition, and believes that prevention of disease begins with our food choices. She is currently a raw food vegan.

Musicians (Stage)

SweetJuice, 6:30pm

Devoted vegans Adam East and Kris Deelane front SweetJuice, an alt-folk-rock act that has been described as "Annie Lennox and Elvis Costello fronting Crazy Horse without Neil Young." East and Deelane have grown from an acoustic duo (Adam & Kris) to a full-fledged band. Their song, "Baby, Let's Get a Divorce," sparked national attention with profiles by Geraldo and People Magazine. Their relationship with Gibson Guitar led to opening for both Joan Jett and Brian Wilson in Las Vegas. The act is a festival favorite across the county, having played such gatherings as Kerrville Music Festival, Oregon Country Fair, and Festival of the Dragon. Visit SweetJuice online:

Jon Davidson, 11:15am

Jon Davidson is an acoustic alt/rock artist from Portland. Singles from his latest album have garnered airplay on over 200 FM stations in 46 states, and have been featured in several MTV and VH1 shows. Visit Jon online at

Seth Martin, 12:45pm

In Seth Martin's songs, lyrically and musically, two powerful notions come across: the spiritual is physical, and the personal is political. In other words, everything is connected. This means that, among other things, regarding style and subject matter, everything is fair game. Visit Seth online at

Kate Mann, 2:15pm

Kate Mann's songs take you on a southwestern journey of the nighttime world with snapshots of love lost and dangerous encounters. A former high school teacher, Kate had an awakening of sorts in 2005 and started touring the West, playing venues from farmers' markets to cafes to dive bars. Visit Kate online at

Amy Bleu, 3:45pm

Amy Bleu and her back-up band are performing at bars, festivals, and coffeehouses across the Northwest. Critics and fans have described their songs as everything from sea shanties to vaudeville-influenced ditties to indie rock songs. Bleu still performs solo occasionally, and sometimes as a duo with her accordionist/xylophonist, Adam Sullivan. Visit Amy online:

Dawnya Clarine, 5:15pm

Fans love Dawnya Clarine's clever, unexpected lyrics and catchy musical hooks. Elements of pop, blues, reggae and jazz are woven together under her smooth, sultry voice. A contagious, positive aura bubbles from Dawnya and her songs. Think Jack Johnson meets Norah Jones and you'll get the idea. Visit Dawnya online: