Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Dairy-Free Dessert Diva Makes Vegan Twinkies on Nightline

My friend Fran Costigan will be my roommate at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference in Chicago in a few weeks. The most exciting part, other than the fact that we like each other, is that she was just filmed for news show Nightline demonstrating how to make vegan "twinkies". Her new website also looks great.

I met Fran at an IACP conference in Phoenix where we ended up sitting next to each other at lunch. We both pulled out our special tags so that enable us to get vegetarian meals at these conferences. Really nice of them to think of that for us foodies who prefer "real food". The sad part is that often the food is prepared by hotel or convention center catering services and what they offer to feed us is woefully inadequate, especially if you are a vegan.

My sister just told me about a lunch that she went to where all the other people got sandwiches with fillings such as roast beef or turkey with bags of chips but what they had for the vegetarians was a plain salad with tomato. No bread to go with it, nothing else. I told her that it must be a plot to starve the vegetarians and maybe they'll go away. She said what she thinks is more likely the truth -- they just don't think about it. One of my hot buttons.

Why don't they think that vegetarians care? Maybe it's because most meat eaters don't care as long as they get their food, be it lousy sandwiches or not. This is not truly the case since there are conscious meat eaters but it's almost an oxymoron. If they were really conscious, wouldn't they choose not to eat meat? (I do realize that I am being a bit judgmental but I can be since I am the writer here.)

Back to Fran... She's wonderful and I love what she does to make truly tasty vegan desserts that anyone wants to eat. Too bad that we won't have an oven in our hotel room. Oh, but she is teaching a cupcake class immediately before boarding the plane. Maybe I could talk her into saving one and bringing it for me -- in case it's one of those instances that there isn't much for this vegetarian to eat.

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