Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2018 – All American Vegan Dinner

Vegetarians and vegans can often be forgotten during food festival events, but the team at The Creators Lounge put them at the forefront during their recent All American Vegan Dinner at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Recreating the American classics with a vegan twist, a five course degustation style meal was enjoyed by all.

The evening started with a short introduction from the host of The Creators Lounge, as well as the resident chef. There was a strong focus on keeping everything local, which fresh produce sourced from the Footscray market across the road, and bread from the nearby bakery institution, Nhu Lan. It was an impressive feature knowing that all the elements of our meal were sourced locally with minimum food miles.

Our five course meals started with a juicy corn on the cob. Doused in vegan cheese and sitting on a avocado salsa, the first course gave great confidence for what was to follow. Following this was a chilli, cheese, ‘steak’ sandwich. Whilst I can’t say the chilli hit was anywhere near hot enough for me (!), I was quite impressed with both the cheese and the steak. The texture of the steak was quite chewy, replicating a meaty texture well.

The third course was the classic cheeseburger. A mock meat patty, vegan cheese, sauce and pickles, all in a soft bun. Burgers are my weakness and as expected, I fell victim. I devoured this course in a matter of minutes and was left wanting more.

Course number four was the standout of the meal, showcasing the creativity of the chef. We were treated to sticky bourbon ‘ribs’ served with a vegan chipotle sauce and chips.  The meat was created around wooden sticks to simulate ribs, and doused in a sweet, sticky bourbon coating which was delicious.

The meal ended with a deconstructed apple pie served with an affogato of vegan ice cream and an amaretto shot. The puff pastry for the apple pie was handmade by the chef and it was a standout.

The Creators Lounge did an amazing job creating a vegan menu that could be enjoyed by all. No longer did the vegans feel like they were missing out on the stalwarts of the American menu, for this meal at least, cheeseburgers and sticky ribs could be enjoyed by all.

– Moni
Moni loves food. No really, she LOVES food. She spends a lot of time eating, cooking, photographing or writing about food.

The Melbourne Food & Wine Festival will return in 2019.

The Creators Lounge
116a Hopkins St
Footscray, VIC 3011

The Creators Lounge is a unique venue combining a barber shop, a bar, and a restaurant, as well has regularly hosting a range of events including comedy shows and music gigs.

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of The Creators Lounge.
Image: Monica Russo.