Chris Homsey is a wonderful addition to the Twin Cities Veg Fest planning committee. She is coordinating our cooking demos, and we’re excited to work with her!
How did you get involved in planning Twin Cities Veg Fest?
I attended Veg Fest for the first time last year and had a great time trying the food samples and listening to the excellent presentations. Then one day I saw on Facebook that a committee was forming for this year’s festival, and I decided to get involved!
What have you enjoyed most so far?
Working with a very creative and talented group of people on the committee. Everyone has their own unique backgrounds and skills that they bring to the table, and it’s been an absolute pleasure to work on a common goal with all of them. Plus we always have delicious food at our meetings.
What are you most looking forward to at Twin Cities Veg Fest?
The cooking demos! This is the first year that chef-instructors will be demonstrating recipes and handing out samples, so I am excited to see how it all turns out. A lot of the recipes will be appealing to those who are not necessarily vegetarian, and we welcome everyone no matter where they fall along the dietary spectrum.
What makes you optimistic about the animal advocacy movement?
Compared to even a few years ago, there are so many more mainstream restaurants, shops, and companies that offer food and fashion with no animal components. Vegan/vegetarianism is becoming less of a “fringe” niche, and companies realize it is in their interest to offer options to those who wish to avoid meat and its by-products.
This is the first year we’re doing cooking demos. What do you think it will add to the festival?
More opportunities to eat. 😉 Aside from that, it’s a great opportunity to show the audience that vegan food can be easy to prepare, as well as tasty. There’s no need to worry about going hungry or missing out if you decide to reduce or eliminate meat from your diet. In fact, vegan food can sometimes be pretty indulgent.
Imagine you’re talking to somebody who isn’t vegetarian and is, um, a little afraid of you. What would you say to them to convince them to come to the festival?
There is no reason to feel intimidated! The festival is not designed for vegetarians only. The exhibitors and organizers are a very welcoming bunch, so just come and check out whatever aspects of the festival you find interesting. There are so many experiences and activities to take in, including food samples and vendors, cooking demos, inspiring speakers, and even a kids’ area.
What hobbies do you enjoy (besides devouring tasty vegan food)?
I’m a bit of a tennis freak. I never really played as a child but took a lesson a few years ago, and now I’m hooked! In addition to the physical exercise, I love the mental aspects of it. When I’m not playing tennis or captaining tennis teams, I enjoy biking the trails near my house, walking with my dog Mika, and playing word games.
What’s a fun experience that you’ve had with a non-human animal?
One that really stands out is getting right in there with the pigs at Farm Sanctuary in Upstate New York (my husband and I spent our honeymoon there). Some of the pigs are very gregarious, and close to a thousand pounds! It can be a bit intimidating when they approach you to have their backs scratched, but they are very friendly and love attention. A common misconception is that pigs by nature are mean or dangerous, but in reality they are very gentle when treated well and given enough room to freely move about. Can you tell I really love pigs???
What’s your favorite vegetable?
I love orange starchy vegetables like winter squash and sweet potatoes. And it may be a vegan cliché, but I honestly adore kale.