The first ever Himalayan Vegan Festival was initially scheduled for 2021, however the world well being pandemic led to postponement. Initial plans had been for the competition to happen on consecutive weekends in Kathmandu, Nepal and Thimpu, Bhutan, however attributable to ongoing journey restrictions in Bhutan the choice was made for Nepal to host each weekends. So after greater than two years of planning, postponements and rescheduling, the Himalayan Vegan Festival lastly passed off over two weekends in Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal.
The listing of audio system was spectacular and included Dr Susianto Tseng, the President of World Vegan Organisation, and Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Indian parliamentarian and founding father of People for Animals. We had been actually honoured to be featured alongside so many consultants of their discipline who had travelled from all over the world to share their information and experiences. The listing of esteemed audio system additionally included a trio of plant based mostly meals innovators, Seth Tibbott, the vegan meals pioneer and founding father of Tofurky, Derek Sarno, vegan chef and co-founder of Wicked Kitchen, and Abishek Sinha, CEO and co-founder of GoodDot, the main plant based mostly meat producers in India.
Also current and talking on the competition had been Ken Spector from HappyCow, the go-to web site for vegans worldwide, award profitable conservationist and founding father of Save Elephant Foundation and Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, Lek Chaillert, and Dr Harsha Atmakuri, the director of Maa Ka Doodh, a floor breaking documentary which exposes the dairy business in India. The likelihood to attend the world premier while in Kathmandu was a chance we didn’t wish to miss, together with different delegates we packed out a neighborhood theatre to observe this difficult and thought upsetting documentary.
Having labored all through the area, supporting inns, resorts and eating places of their efforts to embrace the quick rising demand for vegan and plant based mostly meals, I used to be invited to guide a collection of talks and workshops with company and hospitality professionals attending the competition.
Whilst in Kathmandu, competition delegates had been hosted by The Soaltee Kathmandu who supplied an ideal base during the competition. Considered to be one of many most interesting inns within the metropolis, they’d beforehand welcomed teams, conferences and company from all over the world with a variety of dietary necessities. They definitely embraced the vegan idea and delivered a wide selection of plant based mostly delicacies throughout our keep. We cherished that they created a vegan counter at breakfast and we additionally cherished the possibility to eat idli each morning, the right begin to the day.
We had been made to really feel very welcome by Ms Pratiksha and Mr Sharma throughout our keep at The Soaltee, we loved speaking to them about future plans to supply extra vegan meals, they usually additionally invited me to a particular vegan lunch ready by Chef Vinay Singh. Having the possibility to take pleasure in a real style of his culinary creations was a spotlight of our time at The Soaltee, the momos had been divine and the pea and potato muffins served with a trio of chutneys definitely hit the spot too.
When they contacted us after the Himalayan Vegan Festival with the thrilling information that they had been internet hosting their very own 10 day vegan competition to coincide with World Vegan Day we had been over the moon. We can’t wait to have the chance to return to Kathmandu and see how they’ve continued to develop their plant based mostly providing at The Soaltee.
Pokhara had tons to reside as much as as a bunch metropolis after the thrill of Kathmandu, however they’d an ace up their sleeve. The merely mesmerising and ever altering lakeside and mountain vistas will reside with me ceaselessly, and I’m fairly positive that the opposite delegates really feel precisely the identical. Whether throughout a lakeside boat journey to take in the sundown, or an early morning experience on the Annapurna Cable Car to admire the views with fellow delegates together with Yukari and Priyanka, all over the place you look in Pokhara will make you’re feeling alive, we’re excited to return and discover the world additional.
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Also being nicely versed at internet hosting giant and various teams, the superb Pokhara Grande was our dwelling in the course of the competition weekend in Pokhara. They excelled themselves by guaranteeing that the competition delegates weren’t solely welcomed with that famed Nepalese hospitality, however the government chef and his staff labored tirelessly to create scrumptious vegan meals together with vegan croissants for breakfast! It’s not day-after-day that we get to eat vegan croissants so we definitely made the a lot of the alternative. Our breakfasts at Pokhara Grande additionally featured regional favourites comparable to dosa and idli which at all times make us joyful. Other meals noticed us take pleasure in a large and various number of vegan curries and stir fries, which means that going hungry throughout our time at Pokhara Grande was by no means going to occur.
The competition wouldn’t have occurred with out the beneficiant sponsors that included the award profitable Vegan Travel Asia who’re the main vegan tour operators within the area. Offering small group excursions that help communities while respecting the atmosphere, it’s no shock that they had been not too long ago the winners of ‘Asia’s Responsible Travel Award’ on the World Travel Awards for the second consecutive 12 months. We’ve been working with them to create vegan excursions in Cambodia which launched in December 2022, while in October they led the primary ever vegan trek to Everest Base Camp, supported by vegan mountaineer Kuntal Joisher, the primary vegan to summit Mount Everest.
The first ever Himalayan Vegan Festival was an unbelievable expertise and we had been blessed to have the chance to be concerned and meet so many inspiring vegans from all over the world. For anybody contemplating a vegan journey journey to Nepal, then we’re positive that any time spent in each Kathmandu and Pokhara will ship on so many ranges, they had been the right host cities. This was our first glimpse as to what Nepal has to supply, and we’re excited to proceed our personal vegan journey journey to Nepal within the very close to future.
Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest. Vegan Food Quest have develop into luxurious vegan journey specialists as they proceed to seek out, eat and write about the perfect vegan meals on the planet.
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