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Food

Crash Course in Raw Sustainability

Posted by Amie / September 12, 2011

Concordia-sustainable-food-festival and crudessence cookbook launchEco-conscious foodies in the downtown area today are going to want to hang out in the Guy/Concordia area for the 2nd annual Concordia Sustainable Food Festival and Crudessence restaurant's 5 à 7 cookbook launch. Taking place behind the Hall building on Reggie's patio, "Turnip the Beet" is trying valiantly to make vegetables sound cool. They're almost succeeding, but they don't do quite as good as Crudessence, who's taking a happy hour shmooze tradition and turning it into a delicious mix of "raw"-food glow-wearing devotees and people who don't understand the concept of choosing to live without a stove or a microwave, but want to take advantage of the free, raw, organic nibbles.

The Sustainable Food Fest runs from 10:30am-10pm and features hourly workshops on everything from food politics to gluten-free baking, canning, seed harvesting, urban gardening, and dumpster diving. They're free and given by caring, knowledgeable people basically donating their time. I'll say that last year's canning workshop got my canning obsession going, and Myrite Rotstein's "Slow Food" workshop was the first time I tasted baobab.

Plus a film screening of "Dive!" at 7:30pm, and the opportunity to talk with and samples the food of retailers, grocers, restaurants and farmers from around the Montreal area, and lunch/snacks/dinner of local, organic maple syrup, apple pie, and poutine(!). Vegan? Who knows? Also, smoothies from a bicycle-powered blender, BYO-mug for a cup of McAuslan's beer, and lots of snack-able samples.

And live music from Amy Barrington, Athena Holmes, Norvaisa, David Simard, Laura Beach, and The Unsettlers.
The Unsettlers - "Dead and Gone"

The Food Festival goes all day, but from 5-7 hop a street over to 2157 McKay to "raw" restaurant Crudessence. It's been a long time coming but the city's first "raw" food restaurant and only "raw" food chain (there's a raw ice cream store up by Jarry Park, and prepared products at health food stores such as Marché Bleuet and Tau) is finally releasing their long-anticipated cookbook! Now you too can food process and sprout your way to better health without splattering coconut all over your computer.

New to "raw" un-cooking? Here's the spiel: living foods, no preservatives, no animal products, no flours, no refined sugars, all organic when possible, most often delicious, especially the smoothies and the (tiny but filling) creamy un-cheesecakes, brownies, tiramisu, and keylime pie, and no heat above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. That's lower than your oven. So it means they can dehydrate things like sprouted chia and buckwheat, and juice and blend up smoothies and gazpacho. They also throw in a whole bunch enzyme- and nutrient-rich super-foods like maca, spirulina, and goji berries. Expect some hors d'oeuvres the likes of sunflower seed paté sushi or dehydrated corn and flax chips with salsa and cashew or macadamia nut sour cream. Less about being local than about optimal health.

I'll be looking for the recipes in the cook book for what are definitely the best vegetarian burger and the tastiest vegan, tamarind-tinged pad thai. The real question is will there be nutritional info included? You maybe don't want to know how many grams of fat you just inhaled in that blueberry cheesecake or macamadia nut bechamel sauce, but you definitely do want to know about all the vitamins and minerals you'll soon be absorbing.

"Turnip the Beet": Concordia's Sustainable Food Festival
Where: Concordia University - Hall Building - Reggie's Terrace and Parking Lot
When: Today, Mon. Sept. 12, 10:30am-10pm
How Much: Free!

Crudessence Cookbook Launch

Where: 2157, Mackay St.
When: Today, Mon. Sept. 12, 5pm-7pm
How Much: Free!

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