Come. Eat some jollof. See you there ;)
Tickets on eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-vegan-nigerian-pop-up-restaurant-6-buffet-tickets-28528116364
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Who knew? Brick Lane Sunday market (in East London) is a hotspot for vegan street food and cake stands. From the wonderful @youngvegans to the delightful @organiclivity, this short video highlights some of my favourite finds...
And a few snapshots...
And a few snapshots...
|Vegan street food - @youngvegans|
|Beautiful...raw cake by @organiclivity|
|Brownies...I got my fix|
Wednesday, 5 October 2016
It's not everyday that a vegan cafe opens up in your neighbourhood, and I can't tell you how excited I am to share this find with you.
What: vegan cafe serving raw and cooked vegan meals, sweet treats, and beverages. They also provide catering/delivery services, workshops & events, and celebration cakes to order.
Where: 59 Chamberlayne Rd, London NW10 3ND.
Did you know: there will be a London Vegan Bloggers and Vloggers meetup at Paradise Unbakery on Saturday October 15th. I will be there. If you're a vegan blogger/vlogger, come along too! :)
I first encountered Paradise Unbakery as a raw vegan stall at Brighton Vegfest back in 2015. I remember stopping to stare and marvel at the intricately designed raw cakes and the tempting display of raw vegan pizzas and tarts. Fast forward to early September 2016 and a friend casually mentions the opening of a new vegan cafe called Paradise Unbakery. I recognised the name instantly. When I looked it up and saw that it was a stone's throw away from where I live, I already had my mind set on visiting.
When I walk into Paradise Unbakery for the first time, I am immediately floored by the bright setting and charming decor. It is beautifully furnished with floral touches and pastel shades. I immediately think: "excellent workspace" (and I have since been back with a friend to do some work/reading there - with drinks and cakes for sustenance, of course. See images further below). There is a food photography session going on at the back of the cafe and Egle, the brain behind the establishment, looks occupied but still comes over to say hello.
After a quick introduction, I take my time ordering a salad from the deli display. The salads are colourful and inviting; there's variety - from avocado to beetroot to sweet potatoes and broccoli... an abundance of vegetables jump out at me. I settle on a combination of a green bean salad, an avocado salad, an artichoke salad, and though my salad bowl selection calls for three options, I am kindly offered a fourth choice and so pick some baked sweet potato wedges.
I settle down to my tasty salad and fresh juice, and when I am done, Egle comes over to have a chat. I've come with lots of questions and she kindly and generously answers each one.
@So meet Egle, founder and owner of Paradise Unbakery. Originally from Lithuania, she reveals that after moving to the UK with her family, she actually spent most of her formative years in the Kensal Green area. Years later, she never imagined that she would end up owning an establishment in the same vicinity.
Egle's background is in textile design (and you can tell from the aesthetically pleasing look of her raw cakes), but it was her sweet tooth and a desire to enjoy healthy versions of some of the desserts she loved that led her down the path of creating sweet vegan treats. Although vegan herself for over 10 years, she only started Paradise Unbakery a couple of years ago, taking her creations to food fairs and festivals around the UK. Like most food entrepreneurs starting out, she always hoped for a cafe of her own some day. What an accomplishment to have turned this dream into reality! When she shares the full story of how she came about acquiring the cafe space - purely from being at the right place at the right time - I am simultaneously gobsmacked and inspired.
According to Egle, the local response to Paradise Unbakery has been mixed, though mainly optimistic. On the negative end of the spectrum, she's been confronted by someone claiming that the cafe is 'taking options away' from the community (whatever that means!) and yet another insisting more than a couple of times that they add 'a little chicken or fish' to the deli selection. Similarly, a few locals have found it difficult to warm up to the vegan milk alternatives used in the teas, coffees and other hot drinks. But Egle is not discouraged, and she shouldn't be. There has been an abundance of positive feedback from vegans and non-vegans alike, and I am glad to add my voice to the mix.
Finally, I ask what her all time favourite raw dessert to make and eat is and she answers this easily: cherry and chocolate. She reaches for a recipe book and opens it to reveal the image of a beautiful cherry-chocolate dessert, adding that anything containing chocolate is a winner. I couldn't agree more!
If you get the chance while you're out and about in London, do make your way over to Paradise Unbakery. Let's support this new vegan venture!
|Paradise Unbakery flyer|
|2nd visit: work, work, work...and coffee and lemon poppyseed cheesecake|
Sunday, 2 October 2016
It's about that time really. I've got my mind on assembling a kick-ass team of people to join me on this journey... Kinda like the Avengers, but with food and minus the capes.
Over the next few months, I'm going to be running and taking part in various events. October alone is going to be packed with all sorts. And so the role is ideal for anyone who's after some freelance/flexible work to supplement their current job, or students after some part-time experience. Applicants must be based in London.
Successful applicants will be added to a database and notified in advance when I've got an upcoming event. If it works to your schedule and you're able to help out, you'll simply indicate your availability and we'll take it from there.
At this stage, it's all about hands-on, practical work. Not an office desk in sight, and certainly no suits, ties or pinstripe skirts. Not yet anyway.
The sorts of things you'll be helping with include:
- the monthly Vegan Nigerian Pop-Up Restaurant
- catering gigs
These events will involve customer-facing service, so it helps if you enjoy meeting new people, are friendly, and have some experience in the hospitality industry (though not entirely essential). It will also involve the not so glamorous tasks of helping to set up and clear up at events. You might assist with running stalls at food festivals and get involved with food prep.
- national minimum wage
- free food at events (lunch/dinner covered)
If you're a foodie at heart, have an interest in vegan/Nigerian/healthy cuisine, are able to take initiative and be a fantastic team player, then I want to hear from you! Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV and a short message introducing yourself.
Saturday, 1 October 2016
As I only have two large rectangular cake tins at home, I made four times the basic sponge cake mixture and trimmed them into four equal rectangles, leaving me with one extra layer of sponge. I would recommend using square tins if possible so that you only need to triple the sponge mixture.
To make this cake, you'll need:
- basic sponge cake mixture (click for recipe)
- green gel food colouring