Celebrate online with other foodies. Image via Adobe Stock

Festive Vegan and Plant-Powered Show: SA celebrates organic cuisine

South Africa’s first online food and lifestyle show that focuses on vegan and plant-based foods and conscious living is set to take place on 28 November 2020.


Celebrate online with other foodies. Image via Adobe Stock

The Festive Vegan & Plant-Powered Show (FVPPS) is a first for the industry in that it will bring revolutionary changes to the traditional food and trade show exhibition format. 

The one-day show aims to bring the vegan, plant-based, and conscious living revolution that has become more popular over the past few years to a mainstream audience.

The show hopes to provide a professional, visual experience for online visitors to discover organic, vegan, vegetarian, and conscious-living products and services engagingly from the comfort of their homes. It is also hoped that bring much-needed support for small South African food producers.

Highlights of the show

The Festive Vegan & Plant-Powered Show will host over 100 exhibitors showcasing a variety of products; a Plant Kitchen main stage cooking theatre where demonstrations and cooking sessions will take place throughout the day; interactive master cooking classes; plant power talks; networking sessions and meet-and-greets, and a “Virtual Mall” shopping expo.

The show is not only aimed at vegans and vegetarians but also welcomes flexitarians, sports enthusiasts, individuals with health issues, and people looking for ways to live a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their families.

Celebrated Vegan Chef Gaz Oakley to Showcase Plant-based Cooking

The FVPPS will host several well-known and up-and-coming chefs, including the celebrated vegan chef, Gaz Oakley. The 28-year-old UK-based chef, author, and social media sensation who is known as the Avant-Garde Vegan will host a special cooking demonstration which he promises will impress even the toughest of critics.

“Expect a beautiful recipe that doesn’t take long to cook but still really impresses,” he said.

Cooking and sport were early passions of Oakley who learned to cook from his father. He got his part-time chef’s job at a local hotel restaurant when he was just 15, and a year later, after completing his GCSEs, he began working full time as a chef at the restaurant.

Oakley’s other passion for sport would come to influence the way he cooked years later. While taking a sabbatical, he started weight training and adopted a body builder’s diet but gained a lot of weight and did not feel healthy at all.

After hearing his favourite musician Jme (aka Jamie Adenuga) speaking on the radio about a YouTube video by Gary Yourofsky that made him make the change to veganism overnight, Oakley followed in his footsteps. 

“I watched the video and was blown away. From that day on I knew I would be vegan for the rest of my life,” says Oakley. 

Going Vegan 

Oakley started experimenting in his kitchen to keep his new eating plan plant-based interesting and healthy. He says that when he ate his first self-made vegan meal it tasted so fresh, vibrant, and flavoursome, it reignited his love for cooking and he began to create mouthwatering vegan food. And he wanted to share his passion.

“One day, I came up with an idea to turn people on to the idea of veganism. I invited a group of friends over and made them the most amazing vegan burgers ever. They were gobsmacked and didn’t believe they really were 100% vegan burgers. From that moment on, I knew that I had to use my cooking skills as my way of promoting veganism.”

In February 2016, Oakley started his recipe-sharing Instagram page @avantgardevegan, which was an instant success with over half a million followers. In December of the same year, he launched Avant-Garde Vegan YouTube, where he shows people how to cook his dishes with the recipes he has shared. 

Oakley has written several books, including #Vegan100 and Plants Only Kitchen, which feature simple protein-packed recipes that appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike.

What’s Next for the Avant-Garde Vegan?

Oakley recently became the executive chef at a London vegan burger restaurant, The Vurger Co., designing new burgers and dishes for their menu. He says he would love to own a restaurant one day in the future.

“I have dreams of opening my own restaurant and one day I will, but in the meantime giving people the chance to taste my food at restaurants before opening the doors to my own place is pretty awesome.”

Early bird tickets for the FVPPS are now on sale from Quicket at R80 until 7 October. Thereafter tickets will cost R120.