The highlight of the weekend for me, as well as the entire crowd for sure, was watching Chef AJ on stage. She is a world class entertainer and we are lucky as heck to have her in our plant based movement. She is clever, hilarious and brilliant in the kitchen. There simply is NO ONE like her.
We were lucky to see Chef AJ on stage for two full cooking demos as well as a really entertaining Chopped competition between Chef Del, Chef Darshana Thacker, Chef AJ and the team of Ann and Jane Esselstyn. The basket ingredients were tofu, an Engine 2 pizza crust (available at Whole Foods), pineapple and kale. A surprise ingredient, applesauce, was thrown in after about ten minutes. There was also a small pantry of ingredients provided to supplement the chefs.
I’m proud to say that my new friend Darshana was the winner! If you don’t know Darshana, she definitely comes off as the underdog in this group of loud and outspoken personalities. She blew everyone away by making two different delicate appetizers with the ingredients and I was almost salivating wishing that I could taste what she had cooked up in those thirty minutes. The whole contest was just a joy to watch.
And then, just like that, the conference was over. I was rushing AJ and Darshana to the airport as they had booked a return flight home that left us absolutely no time to relax after Rip’s the closing remarks. But I’m happy to report that we made it to the airport and they got on their flight (they easily could have missed it!).
And now I’m here, kind of sad, and missing everyone. And really grateful to have had the experience.
Thank you to Jillian, the event coordinator, who busted her ass nonstop like no one I have ever seen before and gave me the opportunity to attend.
Thank you to Rip and Adam for having the drive, the energy and the dedication to mastermind these conferences.
Thank you to Jane, Ann and Rip for just being my buddies on this journey. And for all of your easy and yummy food.
Thank you to Dr. Doug Lisle, for letting me hug you (twice!) even though my guess is you’re not a hugger, and for being on my personal board of directors during the biggest challenge of my life.
Thank you to all of the doctors who spend their life figuring out that what we were were eating was not working for us and then opening themselves up to go against the system and vocalize the truth.
Thank you to the Chefs who spend their days dreaming up ways to make vegetables, fruit, beans, potatoes and whole grains as tasty as any dead, decaying flesh and processed poison and therefore make living this way a pleasure each and every day.
Thank you to Chef AJ for your never ending coaching and support and for staying with me in Cleveland each time you come, and most of all for pushing me to do the right thing, even when it’s very uncomfortable.
Thank you to all of the 2Forks Food Conference attendees who care enough to take the time, spend their disposable income and learn a new way to live so that we can continue to grow this thing–for our own health, for the animals and for the planet.
And lastly, thank you to Char and Laurie and Sandie and Lisa and Victoria and Dave and Wanda and Mark and each and every volunteer who busted their butts as well to make this one very special weekend for 300 beautiful souls.
Okay, now I’m crying again . . .
Until we meet again.