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Local Group Pioneer’s ‘VegFest Fiji’

Local Group Pioneer’s ‘VegFest Fiji’
Vittoria Pasca (second from left) and Nakita Irvin (fifth from left) during the opening night of VegFest Fiji.
November 09
10:25 2018

November is recognised internationally as World Vegan Month and in bringing the momentum home, a group of local enthusiasts staged ‘VegFest Fiji’.

The vegetarian food festival, probably the first of its kind in the country, aims to raise awareness around cooking using local plants, as well as the health and environmental benefits of having a more plant-based diet.

Vittoria Pasca, who is one of the lead organisers, is a nutritionist by profession and the founder of Healthy Eating Fiji, which provides consultancy services on everything related to diet and nutrition.

“We wanted to show people that you can have a fine dining experience only with local fruits and vegetables,” said Ms Pasca.

“The idea is not to push people to become vegan but to show that if you eat more fruits and vegetables and less of animal products, then it can have lots of benefits for your health.

“It is open to everyone, most of the organisers are not vegan or vegetarian even.”

The festival, which will run throughout the month, will feature several activities like cooking classes and movie nights, followed by a dinner and cocktail on November 28 and 30.

The opening was marked by a dinner at the Eden Bistro & Bar in Suva last week; the event was a sell-out.

“The response was amazing. We had not expected such a good turnout,” said Ms Pasca.

“The tickets were $50 each and all 65 of them were sold out. All proceeds go to the restaurants just to help cover the costs.”

Nakita Irvin, who is also part of the organisng committee, said there was a demand in the market for healthy alternatives.

They will also be organising dinners regularly with interested restaurants to present new vegan cuisines for people to try.

Ms Irvin is the founder of Tasty Island Treats, the producers of chilled ice pops made out of local fruits.

“I will be hosting the closing cocktail which will be held at 11 Bureta Street, Tamavua, where Tasty Island Treats is based and the theme is going to be Celebrating Breadfruit,” she said.

“Breadfruit is a common Pacific food, but we are used to it being prepared in only one or two ways so this time around we will have different toppers and desserts that are breadfruit based.”

Information on the festival and details of events can be found on their Facebook page – VegFest Fiji.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

 

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