Category Archives: Events

event recap: Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration 2014

Disclosure: In exchange for sharing information about this event, I received two media passes to attend this Veggie U event. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Saturday night, we worked our way downtown to the Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration at its new location, the Tri-C Hospitality Management Center and Pura Vida on Public Square.

veggie u hans and alicia

I look slightly possessed — or just really excited about locally grown veggies. Half of one — six of the other.

We arrived during the six o’clock hour during the “preview party” where guests could grab a pre-dinner beverage from one of the vendors including Rockmill Brewery, Vintners Select, Wine Trends and Town Hall.

veggie u beverages

But once 7PM hit, it was time to get to eating the Tastes of the World, the event’s theme for 2014. We wasted no time digging right in while catching up with some of my favorite Cleveland chefs and getting to know some new(-to-me) ones.

veggie u amp

Chef Jeff Jarrett from AMP 150 — representing Moroccan cuisine — served a Pork Belly with Vegetable Salad and Chermoula. Thanks again Chef for always having a great gluten free option at local food and wine events!

veggie u hodges

Chef Nate Barker from Hodge’s Cleveland — representing Chinese — served Pork Belly, Edamame, Five Spice, Bok Choy. This was one of Hans’ favorites of the night — I think he may have snuck a third plate when I wasn’t looking. 

veggie u anna

Chef Anna Harouvis from Good to Go Café/Anna in the Raw — representing Greek — served Watermelon Mint Juice and Sprouted Chick Pea Hummus. Chef Anna is my newest girl crush. I hope she doesn’t mind if a crazy yoga teacher ends up eating all of her food and then requesting a three day juice cleanse. 

veggie u urban john

Chef John Selick from UH Ahuja Medical Center/Sodexo — representing Indian — served Crab Pakora with Mango Chutney (pictured on the left). Chef John and I were already Twitter buddies, but after Saturday night, I’m trying to find a way to include him in one of my upcoming events. Super cool guy with my favorite dish for the evening.

Chef Brad Cecchi from Urban Farmer Cleveland — representing Mexican — served Carne Asada (pictured on the right). Chef Brad and marketing coordinator Stephanie were the sweetest — I felt like we could have chatted with them all night. And that carne asada was delicious — I’m not eating all that much red meat anymore, but after that sample, I would easily order an entire steak for myself from this uber-new Cleveland’s restaurant.

…and then all rounded out with some Mitchell’s Ice Cream — I called it another successful eating evening in CLE.

LONG STORY SHORT: Towards the end of the night, we found ourselves chatting with a Huron-based Veggie U volunteer over a couple cups of vegan sea salted caramel and toasted hazelnut ice cream (I highly suggest mixing the two, BTW). The more he spoke about the time he spent helping the non-profit, the more I could see how easy it is for people to come out and support its good work. While it’s easy to get lost in the fun of a wine and dine, that night Veggie U reminded us all of its importance: “If we can make eating healthy food engaging and exciting then we can hope to make an impact on the choices children make for a healthy future.”  Let’s see how we can help continue not only this solid non-profit event, but that vital mission.

Want to learn more about Veggie U?  Check out their Facebook page and follow @VeggieU on Twitter.

Disclosure: In exchange for sharing information about this event, I received two media passes to attend this Veggie U event. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.




on the mat: Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga {hosted by Evolution Yoga}

Congrats to Aaron (@AaronPikeCPA on Twitter): you won two tickets to Locavore on August 21st! Didn’t win? Purchase tickets online at the event website.


Next month is my yoga teaching anniversary. With just under two years under my belt, the lessons keep coming — some faster than others. One of the many reasons why I enjoy being a part of the Evolution Yoga team is that owner and studio director Sandy Gross continues her lifelong education of yoga by hosting the best yoga teachers in the world here in Cleveland.

One of those teachers that she’s asked to return several times is Bryan Kest. He is recognized as a creator of Power Yoga. Bryan is the founder of Santa Monica Power Yoga in Santa Monica, but continues to teach classes, retreats and workshops all over the world. Since Bryan was born here in Cleveland, Ohio (someone update his Wikipedia page, please!), he’s always welcome to working in a visit to the Northeastern Ohio area.

This Wednesday night, Bryan made his ninth visit to Evolution Yoga, teaching a room full of 90+ yogis at the Shaker Dance Academy.

Bryan Kest Power Yoga Talk

Starting at 6:45PM, Bryan class ran all the way until 10:20PM. Part lecture and part asana practice, he challenged our thought patterns while keeping us on our toes the entire evening.  If you know anything about Bryan’s teaching style, he’s been known to add some colorful language into his lessons. This is just a collection of some of the quotes from Wednesday’s practice:

  • “Yoga is like a buffet. Eat what you want, don’t eat what you don’t want – and don’t blame the chef if you ate too much!”
  • (after someone let out a fairly long sigh in down dog) “We’ve got a moaner!!”
  • “I’ve been asked, “should you do inversions while you are menstruating?” How the f*ck would I know?!? Ladies, you have some crazy sh*it going on!”

With a name like “power yoga”, you knew exactly what you were getting into in terms of the asana practice. The flows were challenging, inspiring and kept you on your toes – even when you knew what was coming. Bryan told us to consider the class to be a big game of Simon Says – so while I knew we had to still flow the pattern of poses on our opposite side, I remained intensely focused – mostly because I wasn’t sure what was up his sleeve.

Bryan Kest Power Yoga Class

As we moved, Bryan also snuck in a plethora of gems – even with the occasional curse word:

  • “Yoga NEVER tells you what to do. Yoga doesn’t ask you to do anything except to wake the f*ck up.”
  • If you bring your sh*t to yoga (competition, vanity, judgment, reactivity), your yoga turns to sh*t.”

But then there were some that were sans cursing — all golden:

  • “Yoga is not a sport. It is awareness. Meditation is killing the enemy.”
  • “Cultivate the benevolent. Eliminate the malevolent.”
  • And my personal favorite: “Yoga doesn’t want to change you — it wants to take care of you.”

When the words came out of Bryan’s mouth, my eyes looked up from my trusty notebook — the light bulb had appeared over my head. Lately, I’ve been noticing just how hard I am on myself. While fully aware of it, it’s been hard to kick that habit — and to embrace one of being kind — forgiving of myself even.  Bryan encouraged us to drop those habits of negativity, judgement and aggression; noting how much better our lives would be if we could just seek the peace that lived inside us already. That last quote was exactly what I needed to hear that night. It’s been easy to take that lesson with me since — and I’m grateful to him for that.

LONG STORY SHORT: Earlier that night, I joined Sandy as she picked Bryan up before the class. On the car ride there, I could tell by her giddiness that we were all in for a treat. I purposefully came in to the night blindly — not watching any YouTube videos or even reading up all that much about Bryan. I wanted to be surprised by the experience in his class — and he didn’t disappoint. Bryan’s going to be visiting us at Evolution again this coming February, so keep an eye on the Evolution Yoga website. Sign up early — this last session sold out and I’m sure Clevelanders will be back for more Bryan Kest this winter!

Disclosure: I work at Evolution Yoga as a yoga teacher. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.


GIVEAWAY: Locavore 2014 {to benefit the National MS Society’s Ohio Buckeye Chapter}

Disclosure: In return for running this giveaway, I was offered media passes to this event. Locavore logo ℅ the MS Ohio Buckeye Chapter. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Local foodies rejoice: the 5th annual tasting event, Locavore, to benefit the National MS Society’s Ohio Buckeye Chapter, will take place on Thursday, August 21 at Windows on the River in downtown Cleveland.


From the event website: “Your senses will be indulged as you sample decadent chocolates and pastries, and delicious hors d’oeuvres from local Cleveland vendors all paired with some of Ohio’s finest wines made from Ohio-grown grapes. Event attendees will be able to browse fabulous raffle and silent auction packages and purchase tickets for those liked best. There will also be a Blind Wine Pull which promises to be full of surprises and fun!”

You can purchase tickets at the event website.  It’s $60 per person for each “Event Ticket” which includes all food and wine pours from the featured vendors (a cash bar will also available). An $80 per person “Patron Ticket” also includes an exclusive wine tasting with a wine expert. 

…or you can win two Event Tickets to the 2014 LOCAVORE EVENT on August 21st here on the blog!  Enter by using Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You have until THIS Friday, July 18 at 12:00AM to enter. A winner will be announced later that day. Since this is for a local event, please enter only if you/someone you can give the tickets to can attend.

Prep your bellies and your Ohio pride – we’ve got some  eating to do – enter today!

Keep up to date with the National MS Society – Ohio Buckeye Chapter by liking them on Facebook, following them on Twitter - also, keep an eye on the #Locavore hashtag for full event updates.

Disclosure: In return for running this giveaway, I was offered media passes to this event. Locavore logo ℅ the MS Ohio Buckeye Chapter. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Connect with me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...