Vegan potluck @properfoodcafe

Potluck: a meal or party to which each of the guests contributes a dish.

Now let me tell you a secret.

I have been desperate to go to a potluck.

For. Like. Ever.

I blame Pinterest.

So anyway, on the London Vegan Meetup page, there was a vegan potluck event. I put my name down immediately, but there was already a waitlist in operation.

No sweat, I’d go to next month’s eats.

At around 11pm the night before the potluck, I was on the way home dinner with a girl-friend, and I checked my emails.

I was off the waitlist!

The pantry-scramble

Oh sh*t. What on earth am I going to make?!

The potluck was on a Sunday, and none of the supermarkets open until 10 or 11am. I was leaving the house at early to get to Psycle, so it was going to have to be a pantry effort. And I was going to have to leg it over from spinning. And the overground wasn’t on…

Still, just small details. Not enough to deter me from going to my first bloomin’ potluck. Oh no no.

In the end I made a batch of peanut-butter brownies and a wild rice and roasted veg salad .

I say salad, but I’ve no idea what it was. It was tasty though, which is all that matters!

The brownies were made by eye, and they were fine, but not amazing. I didn’t have any chocolate in the house, and there’s only so good a brownie made with cacao can be.

The venue

After turning up horribly dishevelled and feeling like a radiator, I walked into the cutest, most darling little cafe:

The Proper Food Cafe

I’ll let the photos do the talking.

The owner of the café – Kate – was an absolute gem. Kate used to run the Wild Food Café in Covent Garden. If you know it, I need say no more. If you don’t…two words: Vegan. Heaven.

She explained how the café used to be a deli before she took over. Cheeses, meats, pickles, the works…a charcuterie dream.

Kate explained that instead of switching everything over to vegan straight away – in a way rejecting old customers – she would do it gradually, and invite old customers to try some of the vegan options. It was about letting people experiment for themselves, rather than a ‘your’re either a vegan or you’re not’ approach.

Kate approached the transition with the biggest, most open of hearts. And from what she told us, the old customers have responded very positively. I really take my hat off to Kate in having the grace and kindness to take this approach. It was refreshing to see such openness.

There was a variety of ages, conversations and food types that afternoon. All of which were just as wonderful as the next. There was sushi, curry, raw balls, salads, vegan sausage rolls, chocolate desserts…all of which were delicious.

I hadn’t ever tried a vegan sausage before. Let alone a vegan sausage roll. But Kate, you did them proud. Holy macaroni. They were ridiculous. Such a treat!

All in all, it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. It was great getting to meet some other like-mind, and not-so like-minded vegans. It was lovely to be able to try a little slice of other vegans’ dinner tables, and to share my cooking too. I really miss cooking for others, so the potluck was a lovely way to do that again.

Also, a big thank you to Jess too for organising the event!

Future events

The vegan pot-lucks will be held every third Sunday of the month at Proper Food Cafe.

Proper Food Cafe, 378 Kingsland road, Haggerston, E8 4AA 020 7254 0405

If you bring a dish, you can tuck into everyone else’s dish. The aim is that everyone contributes and brings effort to their dish, and to the table. Ain’t no room for you bringing a bunch of bananas – raw vegan or not! A pre-packaged vegan pie isn’t going to cut the mustard either. We want dishes that have been made with love! If that’s what you want to eat, that’s what you should bring.

I’ll definitely be doing this again, and would encourage anyone else to do likewise. It was a really positive – and tasty – experience, and was a great way to introduce some new ideas to the kitchen.

Your lass,

Cat x

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