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

VegFest 2014
Event Info
Fitness & Fashion
Speakers, Chefs, Classes and Experts
Info for Exhibitors and Sponsors
Media Downloads
Past VegFests
2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009


Ed Begley, Jr.

We are sorry to report that Ed Begley, Jr. will no longer be able to speak at Portland VegFest due to an unexpected filming conflict. We hope to have him join us next year and are currently working on a separate event featuring him this November. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this shift has caused and look forward to seeing you all at Portland VegFest 2014!

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Saturday 12:30pm: Preventing and Treating Disease with a Nutritarian Diet-Style

Saturday 2pm: Q & A with Joel Fuhrman

Sunday 5pm: Super Immunity and Preventing Cancer with a Vegan Diet

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, New York Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Dr. Fuhrman is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows including The Dr. Oz show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Live with Kelly. Dr. Fuhrman’s own hugely successful PBS television shows, 3 Steps to Incredible Health and Dr. Fuhrman’s Immunity Solution bring nutritional science to homes all across America.

Caroline Trapp, MSN, APN-BC, CDE, FAANP

Caroline Trapp is committed to changing the way diabetes is treated. Pills, injections, finger sticks, portion control, going hungry, carb-ophobia – there is a better way! Ms. Trapp is the diabetes nurse practitioner with Premier Internists of Southfield, Michigan, and the director of diabetes education and care for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Ms. Trapp has been a certified diabetes educator since 1994 and an adult primary care NP specializing in the care of people with diabetes since 1998.

Saturday 3:30pm: "Food for Life: The Power to Heal Diabetes" Documentary

Health has been lost as diets changed, but there is hope. Meet three Native Americans and their families who reconnect with ancestral wisdom to reclaim their health. Attendees will receive the DVD, which features Dr. Neal Barnard of PCRM and cooking lessons by award-winning chef, Dr. Lois Ellen Frank. Executive Producer Caroline Trapp will discuss the making of the documentary.

Sunday 11:00am: Food as Medicine – A New Approach to Type 2 Diabetes

Welcome to the “Diabetes Diner!” My name is Caroline, and I’ll be your waitress. What’s on the menu? Lots of choices. Some are great. Some are very expensive. Some have side effects. Some have safety concerns. It can be a bit overwhelming. How can you decide what treatment(s) are the best option for you to prevent or treat diabetes?

Ellen Jaffe Jones

Ellen Jaffe Jones is "THE VEG COACH," aka "The Broccoli Rep." Because as she says, "Who else IS the broccoli rep?" An inspiring motivational speaker, she is also a personal trainer, running coach, author, and exceptional cooking instructor.
Ellen's best-selling book, Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, rapidly became one of her publisher's best-sellers due to Ellen's use of social media. Her next release, Kitchen Divided, was written for vegans who are sharing a kitchen with an omnivore. For her latest book, Paleo Vegan (co-authored with Alan Roettinger), Ellen researched different versions of paleo diets on the market and was able to combine the essence of paleo diets with vegan principles.

Sunday 3:30pm: Paleo Vegan

Join athlete/certified personal trainer/cookbook author Ellen Jaffe Jones for a zippy, visual look at "The REAL Paleo Diet." She'll slice and dice the current paleo fad and look at what was real and what was not during ancient times and what it means for vegans. What gave meat-eaters the exclusive rights to define the current Paleo fad? It's time for vegans to reclaim and redefine the term. Surprisingly, minus the meat and dairy, there is much common ground between the two ways of eating. Find out how they got married.

Sharon Palmer, RD

Saturday 11:00am: Global Traditions for Plant-based Eating

Sunday 2:00pm: Meeting Nutrients of Concern on Vegetarian Diets

Sharon Palmer has created an award-winning profession based on combining her two great loves--food and writing. As a registered dietitian with 16 years of health care experience, she channeled her nutrition experience into writing features covering health, wellness, nutrition, and cuisine. Sharon is also a passionate writer about food and environmental issues. Her book, The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health Beginning Today was published in June 2012. Sharon is also the editor of the acclaimed health newsletter, Environmental Nutrition and writes every day for her popular Plant-Powered Blog.

Danny Houghton

Sunday 11:00am: Veganic: Grow Food Safely

His business card says Vice-President for Marketing and Sales, but you'll find Danny Houghton playing many roles at One Degree Organic Foods. A Founding Partner, he works directly with President Stan Smith to develop strategy. A key player in supply and procurement, he leads ingredient expeditions around the world, in search of pure veganic harvests. As head of the media team, he coordinates video production at each location and manages print, design, web, public relations and social media functions. And as someone with a lifelong love for technology, he oversees the software innovations that bring the brand's famous transparency to life.

Rebecca Gilbert

Rebecca Gilbert is the founder of the Yummy Plants vegan lifestyle website and the author of It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan!, a step-by-step plan to help you start eating vegan today. A former competitive figure skater, Rebecca healed from chronic joint pain by switching to a vegan diet. She has been a featured speaker at the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, Paris Vegan Day, and Vegetarian Summerfest.

Saturday 3:30pm: It's Easy to Start Eating Vegan!

Health and ethical concerns are encouraging more and more Americans to switch to a plant-based diet. Rebecca’s talk will include information on easy egg and dairy substitutions, vegan protein sources, how to stock your vegan pantry, and tips on how to make a vegan diet workable both inside and outside your home.

Hope Bohanec

Hope Bohanec has been active in animal protection and environmental activism for over 20 years and recently published the book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? She is a nationally recognized leader and speaker in the animal protection movement, and is currently serving as Projects Manager for United Poultry Concerns. Before this, Hope offered her organizational talents as the Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals.

Saturday 5:00pm: Chickens - Exploitation of the Innocent

Chickens are arguably the most abused and exploited animal on the planet. We will explore the life of a chicken in the food industry, both in large and small scale production, exposing the truth behind “free-range”, “cage-free” and other new labels. We will discuss the pros and cons of backyard chicken-keeping and raising chickens in urban areas.

Sunday 2:00pm: The Ultimate Betrayal - Is There Happy Meat?

This presentation lifts the veil of secrecy surrounding alternative animal farming. Drawing on peer-reviewed research, worker testimony and meeting the animals themselves, this presentation explores the recent shift in labeling animals processed for food. Is free-range better for the environment? Is organic humane? This presentation offers answers to these critical questions.

Kent Thornburg, PhD

Sunday 12:30pm: Wholesome Food is the Required Therapy for our Worsening Population Health

Kent Thornburg, Ph.D., director of the OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition & Wellness, and professor of medicine at OHSU, is an internationally recognized leader in research on the developmental origins of health and disease. He has published more than 125 papers on pregnancy and fetal development. His studies show the vital connection between maternal diet, the quality of fetal growth and epigenetics – how adult onset diseases are “programmed” in the womb, and how vulnerabilities to disease can be passed from one generation to the next.

Katie Cantrell

Katie Cantrell is the founder and executive director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition (FFAC). After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2009, she founded FFAC and has since given over 150 presentations about factory farming at venues such as Stanford, Yale, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Her presentations have been used as a resource by food justice activists across the country.

Saturday 2:00pm: Why Veg: The Surprising Power of Our Food Choices

From social justice to climate change to health care costs, our food choices have huge impacts. Learn about the effects of factory farming, and why our diet is one of the single most effective ways that we can help the world. This presentation is a must-see for people who care about food, for people who care about people, and for people who like seeing cute animal pictures.

Sunday 3:30pm: The Biggest Impact: How to Advocate to All Types of People

The founder of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition will share her experiences reaching out to environmental, social justice, and religious groups. By strategically framing the issue of factory farming, we can reach broader audiences and build a powerful coalition.


Sunday 12:30pm: The Only Thing We Kill Is The Stage

PlantBuilt is a 501c3 non profit organization and a collaboration of vegan strength based athletes who compete annually to dispel the myths that vegans are weak and scrawny. PlantBuilt also raises much needed funds for farm sanctuaries and vegan outreach. Meet several team members from this years squad of bodybuilders, cross fitters, and powerlifters and find out why they believe that a message of compassion in athletics and competition is so important.
Giacomo Marchese
Dani Taylor
Christian Garcia
Jason Morris
Ashlee Harrison
Sara Russert
Kelly Green

Cooking Demonstrations

Fran Costigan

Fran Costigan, is a pastry chef, culinary instructor, cookbook author, and such an international authority on vegan desserts and baking she is known as the “Queen of Vegan Desserts.” Those desserts—captured in her cookbooks, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, and her latest: Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, as well as numerous magazines and television programs—are sophisticated and delicious enough to satisfy anyone who loves dessert, whether vegan, omnivore, or somewhere in between. Fran lives, teaches, and lectures in New York City, where she runs the Costigan Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®, and at conferences throughout North America and Europe.

Saturday Demo: Simple and Scrumptious Triple Coconut, Chocolate & Fruit Parfaits

Layered in fancy parfait glasses or simply spooned into a dish, the recipes for a blender-made Magic Coconut Cream, a Coconut-Chocolate Mousse, and Candied Coconut are so good, you’ll find it hard not to taste and taste until there is nothing left to serve. In this demo, Chef Fran will make, and you will taste, a super sensational super easy, gorgeous dessert that is infinitely customizable.

Sunday Demo: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Vegan Chocolate Desserts!

Learn to make incredibly versatile, super silken vegan ganache, and then truffles, chocolate crostini, ice cream sundaes, chocolate beverages, and the best cake glaze ever--the one Chef Fran uses to make her renowned Chocolate Torte to Live For, is yours in a flash. Prepare to dazzle friends, families and vegan doubters.

Alan Roettinger

Alan Roettinger is a writer, food designer, blogger, and public speaker. As a private chef for twenty-five years, he has served clients (including a president and a prime minister) in the United States, Europe, and Australia. His cookbooks, Omega-3 Cuisine, Speed Vegan, Extraordinary Vegan and Paleo Vegan (with Ellen Jaffe Jones) showcase his ability to bring health and pleasure together in a wide range of dishes that are simultaneously sophisticated and accessible for the home cook. Alan is dedicated to encouraging and empowering people to make smart choices in what they eat.

Saturday Demo: Paleo Vegan

Just as it’s possible (and for several reasons, preferable) to choose vegan in our time, it was possible to choose vegan in the Paleolithic period. Most educated guesses indicate that our ancient, pre-agricultural ancestors gathered far more than they hunted. Fortunately for us, eating well is now quite easy and enjoyable, as you will see. Alan will be demoing and sampling out: Arugula with Grapefruit Reduction and Hazelnuts and Pee Wee Potatoes with Olives and Rosemary.

Sunday Demo: Extraordinary Vegan

In food and cooking, it’s really not very far from ordinary to extraordinary. And since life is much shorter than we like to think, why not make every meal extraordinary? Discover an uncomplicated, highly gratifying nutritious snack with layers of flavor and texture. Learn how to make a simple slaw into a delicious treat, and then turn it into a stunning presentation—and see how easy that actually is! Alan will be demoing and sampling out: Quick Spicy Slaw and Nutty Chocolate Protein Bars with Chia Seeds

Ellen Jaffe Jones

See complete bio in Speakers section above.

Kitchen Divided: Coping When Others Don't Eat the Way You Do

As more people go vegan for health and animal rights reasons, often friends and relatives don't quite "get it" just yet. If you live in a divided household, or in a world that doesn't eat the way you do, come find food samples to streamline your life and make you less like a short-order chef. Ellen will be demoing and sampling out a Composed Tomato and Millet Salad.

Talya Lutzker

A certified Ayurvedic practitioner, Talya Lutzker is also a nutritionist, professional chef, yoga teacher and founder of Talya’s Kitchen Catering Company. Talya’s passion for holistic medicine and innovative, healthy food sparkles through in her intelligent, warm, fun and inspiring teaching style. Through cleansing programs, cooking classes and one-on-one consultations, Talya helps people learn to love cooking, self-care and eating well. She co-runs the Santa Cruz Aushadi Health Foundation, an Ayurveda-By-Donation clinic that originated in her teacher’s panchakarma treatment center, the dhyana Center. She is the author of The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen.

Saturday Demo: Vegan Ayurveda: The Sweet and Sour Rasas

Join Talya Lutzker, certified Ayurvedic practitioner, nutritionist, and author of "The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen", for this inspiring and enlightening food demo that highlights the sweet and sour tastes (rasas) of Ayurvedic medicine. You will learn basic Ayurvedic cooking techniques - and the incredible health benefits Ayurveda lends to food preparation - using all plant-based ingredients. Dadus and Vegan Mango Lassi will be demoed and sampled.

Sunday Demo: Vegan Ayurveda: The Pungent, Astringent and Salty Rasas

Talya Lutzker, certified Ayurvedic practitioner, nutritionist, and author of "The Ayurvedic Vegan Kitchen", lights up our kitchens again with a food demo highlighting the pungent, astringent and salty tastes (rasas) of Ayurvedic medicine. Talya will teach the benefits of cooking with spices and how to approach food preparation with a long-term healing perspective and an emphasis on delicious results - using all plant-based ingredients. Yummus, Tridoshic Spice Mix, and Oil and Vinegar Potato Chips will be demoed and sampled.

Rebecca Gilbert

See complete bio in Speakers section above.

Cooking Demo: YUMMY PLANTS 101!

Join Rebecca Gilbert, the founder of the Yummy Plants vegan lifestyle website and the author of It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan!, for a fun demo to help you make yummy meals that are meat-free, dairy-free, and easy to prepare! ​Rebecca will be making No Chicken Salad and S'more Pudding, two delicious recipes from her new book​ It’s Easy to Start Eating Vegan​. During the ​demo she’ll ​also ​be sharing tips to turn ​your favorite ​traditional recipes into vegan delights!

Teen Area

Free Photo Booth!

Get your face painted, pose with your friends and create an Vegan Super Hero memory at this year's VegFest and enter to win a raffle full of veg books, treats and clothes!

Participate in a Scavenger Hunt at our Trivia Table

Fun and prizes!

Youth Booth

Make a difference for farm animals!

Create a few Happy Socks cat toys to be sold to raise money for Out To Pasture Farm Sanctuary!

SATURDAY ONLY: Learn how to frost cupcakes like a pro! 12-4pm Saturday, September 27

Lisa Higgins, Owner of Portland's Sweetpea Baking Co. will be teaching teens the most important life skill - cupcake decorating! Try your hand at piping frosting onto cupcakes, and adding your own creative touch with toppings and decoration. Take a photo of your finished product, and then devour it!

Kid's Activities

"Taste the Rainbow" table

Kids can try various colored fruits and vegetables in exchange for different color beads in order to create a keep sake bracelet.

Face painting!

Crafts and Activities

Games Veggie Twister, PETA’s Fur N’ Feathers board game and more!

Story times and "Whale Bag" demonstration

Presented by HEART (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers) and the makers of PiggyTales
11am: HEART
1pm: HEART
2pm: PiggyTales
3pm: Whale Bag with HEART
5pm: Piggy Tales
11am: PiggyTales
1pm: PiggyTales
3pm: PiggyTales
5pm: PiggyTales

Ask the Experts (Exhibit Hall)

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

Sharon Palmer, RD -- expertise: Nutrition

Sharon Palmer has created an award-winning profession based on combining her two great loves--food and writing. As a registered dietitian with 16 years of health care experience, she channeled her nutrition experience into writing features covering health, wellness, nutrition, and cuisine. Sharon is also a passionate writer about food and environmental issues, having published a number of features on plant-based diets, hunger, agriculture, local and organic foods, eco-friendly culinary practices, sustainability, food safety, and food security.

R.J. Dannemiller, MA -- expertise: Vegan Minimalist Lifestyle

R.J. Dannemiller is a minimalist lifestyle expert, sociologist and founder of Simple Savvy Holistic Living-- "The Voice of The Minimalist Lifestyle". At the Ask The Experts table, he'll answer questions about living, traveling and snacking from a vegan minimalist perspective.

Wendy Gabbe Day -- expertise: Raising Vegan Families

Wendy Gabbe Day is a vegan cooking instructor, author of a whole-food cookbook, Scatter Vegan Sweets, NW VEG board member and former coordinator for the organization. She attended University of California, Irvine and played Division 1 college basketball. Wendy has been a vegetarian since birth and a vegan since the age of 5. Wendy and her husband, Eric, are proud parents of a vegan toddler and are expecting another little one in December.

Erin Lehn Floresca -- expertise: Vegan/Gluten-free Baking

Fellow veghead Erin Lehn Floresca has been a writer and editor in the healthy living realm for over 10 years. Several years ago, this avid baker began exploring the gluten-free lifestyle for digestive health reasons. However, she didn’t want to give up the flavor or texture of her favorite baked goods. After much trial and error, she finally learned the secrets behind what constituted a good gluten-free flour blend. Stop by and chat with her about how to ensure your homemade vegan/gluten-free baked goods taste amazing! Connect at

Kathy Peterman, RN, MA -- expertise: Juicing and Raw Cleansing

As an RN for 33 years, Kathy has explored nutrition and how to be the healthiest we can be. One way to supercharge nutrition and healing is through juicing and a high raw vegan diet. If you have considered doing juicing, a raw cleanse, or trying a raw diet, drop by to ask questions, discuss how to ensure your success and increase your intake of healing fruits and vegetables.

Stephanie Lucas, RN, MS, MPA -- expertise: Health & Veganic Gardening

As an RN for over 25 years, Stephanie has seen first-hand how our Standard 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.

Northwest VEG strives to ensure that our activities are fully accessible. To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations, please contact us at as early as possible so we may attempt to fulfill your request.