Yesterday was Heritage Day in South Africa – or these days better known as National Braai Day. While most South Africans opted for a corpse to chow, a group of us decided to celebrate tradition the compassionate way. Vegilicious and the South African Vegan Society co-hosted a stupendous vegan Braai Day Braai at Mowbray Bowls Club. Over 100 likeminded folk grabbed their tongs and gathered around for a plant-based feast! Fry’s Family Foods, Nobleway Foods Artisan Seitan, Utopia Foods, and Phat Fox Frozen Fun were generous enough to sponsor our little get-together, and sample their yummy veggie treats.
As Don was up in Durban for his own Braai Day event, I volunteered to bring (and braai) 100 Fry’s chicken-style nuggets and around 40 chicken-style burger patties for the grill. I also made a big bowl of vegan curry noodle salad as a side. We braai’d the nuggets prior to the rest of the goodies to provide the crowd with a little nibble while they mingled. Other bite-sized snacks included a variety of seitan from Nobleway Foods (my favourite by far was the Noble Red Pepper & Black Sesame Seed flavour), coconut yoghurts and cashew cheese from Utopia Foods and mini ice cream cones from Phat Fox Frozen Fun (I confess… I had four)!
The braai was a bring & share, so everyone who arrived popped a bowl of something veggie on our overflowing table. There were quinoa salads, potato salads, bean salads, kale salads, brownies, cakes, corn in the cob, veggie skewers, pumpkin tart, incredible doughnuts from Rumsy’s Noose, stacked chicken-style burgers, and even a braai pie that would make Suzelle proud!
Even more exciting than the food, was the people. I bumped into a few familiar friendly faces such as Pamela (who is filming a documentary about black vegans in SA at the moment), Dylan and Jo from Vegan Review and SA Vegan Society, Kirtanya from SMILE UCT and Adien from Plant. I also had the pleasure to finally meet Francesca Rose, who’s beautiful Insta account I’ve been following for many months, and Carissa’s funny friend Charles Yip.
The day was about so more than just braaing veggies. It had a sense of togetherness, equality, and unity. We were friends sharing fantastic food as family. It was such a privilege being a part of possibly the biggest vegan event in Cape Town and I can’t wait for our next event happening soon. Keep your eyes peeled to the Vegilicious and SAVS Facebook pages for more info on upcoming feasts near you.