On June 15th, 2013 for the Vegan Rumble & Shake ChuChai backed by: D-Trois Pierres, Les Douceurs du Marché, 4 Corners of the Table, Majiza Phillip Rhythm’n’Groove and Mélanie Dusseault Photographe; faced-off agains:
Green Panther backed by Carya and Zephyr farms, Truffe Import, Brutalimentation, GOA pilates and Jean-Phillippe Cousineau Illustrator; and against
Crudessence backed by Lufa Farms, Prana, Sportera, Midnight Poutine and Rachel et Michel Video Productions. This was my experience of it as an organizer….
The Vegan Rumble & Shake felt like having two brides and a groom (vegan ones, of course) and their respective and eclectic families under one roof. There was the food, dancing, confrontation, emotion, the ceremony that was a little drawn-out, couples were formed, people let loose and the guests from different spots in society coming together.
For myself, I felt like the over-zealous mother-in-law in adrenaline-land worrying if everything was going to come together…. until the moment actually arrived and then it all whirled by. Like a wedding, you plan and plan for a day that goes by quickly and when it gets there, you try to just relax and hope nothing goes seriously wrong.
When it went down, it was inspiring to see what comes out of combining so many talented people, their products and getting them to strut their stuff.
Really, with all of these fine-tuned professionals, nothing could go wrong, they just had to do their thing.
From the wild mushrooms, that were supplied to the sprouts and unconventional herbs, like chocolate mint and anise hyssop, kale, fresh garlic scapes, rhubarb, arugula, maple syrup and strawberries from the farms,to the raw decadence of Crudessence Stéphanie Audet’s dessert,
Chef Lily of ChuChai’s tightly crafted rolls,and Chef Luis of Green Panther’s fun and festive felafels, the deliciousness and freshness was off the charts.
Crudessence took the trophy for bravado with Stéphanie Audet being hoisted like a championand David Côté’s Rocky-style boxing training,
Green Panther did their muscle flexing and red carpet cameos, but Chef Lily had the quiet assurance and grace of a ninja. The variety was the most resplendent aspect of the night to me, and I could have crowned different players for different things, but the combination of all of the creations seemed to over-shadow the unicity of a winner: each contender was a champion in their division.
The old-school hip hop dancers,
GOA’s pilates’ crew
and Sportera rocked the house.
It was nice to see good and healthy food linked to energy, participation and unconventionality. When I planned this aspect, I wanted it to be like a scene from Westside story where the crews face-off by dancing and singing.
I didn’t want passive observers waiting on the sidelines for what comes next, but to get in the Rumble and get their hands dirty with the chefs. This was the second biggest thrill to me.
Tisha, Makeda and Suzanne really killed it, finishing their Bell Biv Devoe choreaography of “Poison” with an up-in-your-face ass smacking aimed at the competition.
They called out “When I say Chu, you say Chi, Chu- Chai, Chu-Chai” They even said “Crudessence, Green Panther- pssshh, who are they?”
They rocked the dis as it can only be done in the old school. Makeda even had the hot pants and halter-top- shazam!
GOA’s Dana, Véro and Mariano surprised us, and showed the versatility of pilates; people were having fun and playing and I saw many legs shaking with effort for their teams.
Sportera was the best match with Crudessence in sheer oomph and pep and the competitors moved around double-time with David Côté and Stéphanie Audet seriously scouting the most die-hard soldiers from up-above.
The food at 10:45pm was a welcome reward,
and the buzzing around the tables from station to station and chef to chef,
tasting and chatting created a cloud of sighs, satiation and sheer pleasure.
Many of the winners of the prizes came to me bubbling with joy and thank you’s. The mutual gratitude that flowed between the businesses and the participants was unbelievable. From bi-weekly CSA baskets over the season given by Carya to shocked helper Justine Ethier, to the $200 dinner at ChuChai to Mélodie, all-day workshops in Crudessence’s Living Foods academy to Élodie, Michael Mooney jumping around in celebration for his $200 Lufa prize and Romain Rougier that left with his fresh truffle from Truffe Import, there was much to celebrate.
There were less people than we had hoped, just over one hundred, but it was the right number for the space. The bios were a little long and after the hype of presenting the contenders, the zealous exercise, and unbelievable food it concluded with those who had been recruited by the chefs being the real winners, instead of crowning a team. The shake didn’t go-down after the strenuous exercise and eating and the food wasn’t formally presented nor the ingredients from the farmers and the food suppliers, although, many got the details from the farmers, chefs and suppliers by getting to know them personally.
The imperfection aside, it was a beautiful sight to behold these three clans together and the public joining-in the out-pouring of energy and the culinary muscle flexing and to see people leave well-fed and many with hefty prizes.
Many people have already asked that the event be re-done. I am all for it and I know the spots that need to be buffered. I also hope all of the contenders can get divorced so we can get married again next year, with less ceremony, more reception, a little earlier and, of course, with a panel of judges and a champion belt to seal the deal! Be there or be square at the VVEEEGGAANNN RRRRRUMMMMBLE and SSSHHHHAAAKKKEE 2nd edition!
Thank you to Mélanie Dusseault Photographe for all of the wonderful photos and for going above and beyond the call of duty!
Special shout-out to Aisha Issa of Nutrisco Sensorial Marketing who promotes Drugstore and ChuChai and co-organized with me and who has opened-up the world of fantasy event-planning to me!
Check-out the articles of fellow blogger Amie Watson of Midnight Poutine (member of the Raw in Montreal group- like me!) and Rachel et Michel’s super-duper video
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