Veg Fest and The NCVA Vegan Cupcake Challenge is less than two weeks away! Ottawa’s best amateur vegan bakers are no doubt immersed in a frenzy of last-minute baking and testing as they vie for the title of the NCVA Vegan Cupcake Champion and the fabulous prize package that accompanies the prestigious title.
As of now, there are 18 entrants to the competition, so it’s going to be fierce! And delicious.
Today in the last part of the “Meet Our Judges” series we introduce Ian Capstick.
Ian Capstick, principal of MediaStyle, an Ottawa-based communications firm, has been saying ‘thanks’ with cupcakes since he opened up shop.
His enthusiasm for baking has manifested in the sponsorship of an unconference about cupcakes known as Capital Cupcake Camp. With hundreds of entries, t’s definitely the largest cupcake event in Ottawa. Which means Ian Capstick knows cupcakes.
While MediaStyle is not a cupcakery, Ian believes that cupcakes are meant for sharing, much like the communications work MediaStyle does online.
For Part 3 of our 5 part Meet the Judges series we get to know the Ottawa Citizen’s own Ron Eade.
Ron Eade has been the food editor at the Ottawa Citizen, the capital region’s largest newspaper, since 1998. He is also the authour of Omnivore’s Ottawa, a blog encompassing all things food in the Ottawa region.
While Ron is far from vegetarian, he does have an appreciation for good food in whatever form, and has attended Veg Fest as a patron in both 2009 and 2010. In 2011 he joins the NCVA as a guest judge for the NCVA Cupcake Challenge.
At home he regularly experiments in the kitchen and tests new dishes on his wife, Nancy, and young son, Graeme. Most of those dishes are not vegetarian.
On May 1, Ron will be found eating far too many cupcakes for one person, along with the other NCVA Cupcake Challenge judges. Already announced: CBC’s Stu Mills, and the incomparable Auntie Loo. More to come!
In part 2 of our Meet Our Judges series we introduce CBC Radio’s own Stu Mills.
Stu Mills grew up in Haliburton Ontario. At Simon Fraser University he studied Communication and Philosophy.
He continued with his studies in those areas at Queen’s University. During this time he fell in love with radio’s ability to focus the mind on spoken ideas while working at CFRC 101.9 FM, the Queen’s University radio station.
He’s been reading the news at CBC Ottawa since 2005, was the Friday host for Ottawa Morning for much of last year, regularly fills in for Rita Celli on Ontario Today, and for Alan Neal on All in a Day on CBC Radio One (91.5 FM).
Stu has a passion for the outdoors, especially mountain biking, and in all mechanical things. He lives in Wakefield, Quebec.
We’ve had such an AMAZING response to the Cupcake Challenge and we’re really looking forward to seeing and of course TASTING all your creations!
For those of you that haven’t signed up for a chance to have your cupcake named Ottawa’s best vegan cupcake, please click here
We kick off the Meet Our Judges series with none other than Ottawa’s own queen of vegan cupcakes….Auntie Loo!
Auntie Loo’s is a small vegan bakery here in Ottawa. Ms. Loo learned to cook at the knees of her family members, and the majority of what she produces are these very recipes- veganized! Auntie Loo firmly believes that if you want a dessert, it had better taste like one. Auntie Loo’s uses organic products whenever possible, and works with and purchases from small local businesses.
Most people want to know the story, so here it is: Put up to having a vegan treat table at the 2004 Ladyfest Ottawa Craft Sale by her sweet-toothed roommates, Ms. Loo had never even considered baking as a career. Overwhelmed by the response, Auntie Loo’s was born.
Nowadays, Auntie Loo’s Treats can be found in several locations around Ottawa, including her storefront at 507 Bronson Avenue.
Riding on the success of the inaugural pub night, we have planned to have another one in less than two weeks. A.k.a. you now have plans for Thurs. Feb. 24, 2011 after work/school. So come and be a part of this new movement of vegetarian pub-goers who are not only trend-setters, but pretty fabulous at any rate.
In support of the NCVA Restaurant Outreach program, we are duly holding the upcoming pub social at Burrito Borracho in Byward Market. This new Mexican restaurant has just been newly renovated and is bound to impress with a brand new liquor license and everything on their menu prepared to be veganised. Who wants delicious Mexican grub and beer? Todos nosotros!
So, mis amigos, below are the details to note in your social agenda:
This latest in my series of stupid blog titles is a nod to the fact that I have to drag my sorry arse up the painfully steep Booth Street hill to get from my house on Primrose to Chinatown on Somerset.
But it is very much worth the climb. You see, in addition to the fantastic mock meats about which Neil has recently blogged, China town is home to many other vegan delights.
Today I’d like to highlight the wonton. A wise man (Neil) once said that all things are better when they are wrapped in dough. Unfortunately, when we vegans try to live this truth we are thwarted by the numerous stupider men who decided put eggs in all the wonton wrappers stocked by mainstream supermarkets.
Happily, pretty much every one of the 80,000 or so grocery stores in Chinatown stocks vegan versions (an ironic exception is Phuoc Loi, faux meat destination).
They are in the refrigerator section, and look like this:
To ensure that you don’t get eggy ones, just harken back to your days of eating snow. Remember what your mother told you: White, “Ok,” Yellow, “No Way!” Or just read the ingredients.
There are lots of great wonton recipes on vegweb.com, but you hardly need one. Just finely mince (slapchop!) about a cup each of onion, carrot, celery, plus whatever other veggies you fancy; add some salt, pepper and spices (Chinese 5-spice powder is good) and cook over medium heat until soft. I strongly advise also adding some minced faux meat – preferably mushroom chicken, beef, or mutton. I used Nelakee’s “pork steaks” tonight and they were great, too.
Once the filling is done, put about a tablespoon into each wonton and seal the edges (just squish ‘em together – no water or anything needed).
Next, fry them in a bit of oil until each side is golden brown.
Finally, stir up a sauce made of equal parts water, soy sauce and fruit juice and toss in a few slices of garlic and ginger. You should have enough sauce that it will fill your frying pan about one inch from the bottom.
Pour the sauce into your pan, put the lid on, steam for 5 minutes, and serve. They finished wontons are best dipped in soy sauce or in a 1:1 mixture of soy sauce and vegetarian oyster or stir fry sauce. These items also available in most Chinatown shops.