Cookery Demos

There is always a diverse and exciting range of vegan cooking demonstrations, with tasters, and free recipes to take home.  The following demonstrations have been confirmed:

11am: Angela Hurley, Lifestyle Matters

12pm: Julia Grueskin, Professional Chef

1pm: Aaron Brunet,  Masterchef winner

2pm: Tom Riley, Green Dinner Table

3pm: Budhsamudra, the Lotus-Heart

Demonstrator Bios:

sm cookery demoAngela Hurley – When Angela was a young mum in her mid-twenties with one child, she saw the need of looking at the nutrition of her family. On a standard Kiwi diet and a husband who was just hinting at some health issues, she decided to research it. She and her husband had developed a friendship with a vegetarian Dutch couple who were a tremendous help. After two weeks on the vegetarian diet, they were sold on it. The difference was incredible. Angela kept diligently experimenting with foods and by her fourth and last child, the family decided to cut out all animal foods and go fully vegan. That was 30 years ago. Angela has tirelessly searched, cooked, experimented and tried it out on her family. She has contributed heavily to recipes in Vegan cookbooks for Kiwis and been very active and effective in presentations to the public in the couple’s What’s Cooking cooking and nutritional classes. Today all the children are married and all four have held to the vegan diet where they possibly can. They all have enjoyed excellent health and well-being.

Julia Grueskin teaches plant-based cooking and baking, Hatha yoga, art, and Spanish classes for adults, kids, teens, and families in Christchurch. She also prepares vegan and vegetarian personal chef meals, catering, and cakes. Julia has completed the 900-hour Professional Chef Training program at the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, TX, as well as the 500-hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program at Yoga Yoga, also in Austin, TX. Most recently she started New Mexico’s first cat cafe in Albuquerque, New Mexico, before moving here to New Zealand! She wants to empower people of all ages to integrate new delicious and nutritious recipes into their diets, while being creative and playful at the same time. She also wants to encourage people to incorporate a holistic view of wellness that includes yoga and art.  www.juliagrueskin.com.  021 02360899. jgrueskin@yahoo.com

Aaron Brunet won Masterchef NZ in 2013 as an omnivore, released his first cookbook and then experienced a burnout, going largely under the radar for a couple of years. This began a personal enquiry into how he could live in our modern world in a way that made real sense to him, acknowledging the major issues of our times including climate change. He chose a whole-food plant-based lifestyle for its reduced impact on the environment, for the significant health benefits and to cause the least harm to fellow beings. Since late 2014 Aaron has written a column in Bite magazine, which became plant-based when he did in early 2015. Recently he has been running plant based cooking workshops, and has just started doing “House Calls” where he cooks with people in their homes and shares their real reactions. He hopes that by showing what everyday Kiwis think of plant-based food he can make it more relatable and inspire people to give it a go. As part of his environmental purpose Aaron also has a part-time day job working with a community trust helping run the re-use shop at Auckland’s largest transfer station. This keeps his feet firmly on the ground (especially answering the “how did you end up here?!?” questions) and he finds the work very aligned with his food mission since both involve helping people transform their viewpoint on major issues.

Tom Riley was born and raised right here in Christchurch.  He became interested in the chef’s life after reading Orwell’s prolific Down and Out in Paris and London. Tom was educated at Ara (formerly CPIT), yet it was at home that Tom learnt a lot about plant-based cuisine thanks to his steadfastly vegan wife.  Starting as a dishwasher in Christchurch, he worked his way up through various roles in the kitchens of Sydney and Edinburgh before leading a team of his own at one of the busiest cafes in Toronto. Inspired by ingredients and techniques, Tom is passionate about sharing his love for good food with anyone lucky enough to taste what he’s prepared.  Proud to be back in Christchurch during this exciting time of growth for the city, he and his wife welcomed their first child last year.

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Budhsamudra has been expressing his culinary skills for almost 10 years both overseas and in New Zealand. From a New York vegetarian diner to 7 years as a vegetarian chef in Wellington he now works full time in The Lotus-Heart in Christchurch. He enjoys fusion-style cooking, combining fresh organic ingredients – with a particular love of herbs – from different cultures and putting his own unique twist on them. His creations are multi-layered, vibrant and colourful.

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