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Learning Kitchen 2019


The Learning Kitchen is our food and cooking demo destination!


Schedule subject to change without notice.

10:30 AM to 6:15 PM

MC: Lisa Karlan (Learning Kitchen Coordinator)

Nutrition Educator/Health Consultant

Lisa Karlan is a Heath Educator and Nutrition Consultant and has been the the Learning Kitchen Coordinator and MC for VegFest LA since 2016, an annual labor of love spreading the vegan message through food demonstrations w/notable vegan chefs. She is a contributor/reporter for the JaneUnChained News Network (JNN), which focuses on animal rights news, health and the environment. JNN also hosts a daily live vegan cooking show where Lisa is either the behind the camera filming and sometimes in front of the camera sharing her culinary experience and nutrition knowledge as a plant-based educator/chef. Lisa is a certified Food for Life Instructor, with Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine where she holds classes and teaches about plant-based nutrition.MORE INFO!YoutubeFacebook InstagramTwitter

11:00 AM to 11:50 AM

Zoe Rosenberg & Emily DesJardins

Animal Rights Activists

Zoe Rosenberg is a 16 year old animal rights activist. She founded Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary at age 11, which has now saved over 800 lives. Zoe is the social media coordinator for Direct Action Everywhere and she travels the country speaking about the importance of taking action to help and save animals.
Emily DesJardins for the Animals is a blossoming animal rights activist and certified integrative health coach from San Luis Obispo, California. Her goal is to inspire individuals to not only embark on a voyage of life-style change, but begin demanding systematic change as well. Emily is the organizer of the San Luis Obispo (SLO) Save chapter, a co-organizer of the SLO Anonymous for the Voiceless chapter, and an active member of Direct Action Everywhere.
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12:00 PM to 12:40 PM

Cena Vegan

Authentically Flavored Plant Based Meats

Mike Simms, Carmen Santillan and Gary Huerta are health-conscious foodies who founded Cena Vegan, a company with 66% Latin American ownership; thus, they know what authentic Latin American flavors should taste like! As more people aspire to live a happier existence by their lifestyle and food choices, they are committed to the idea that by choosing Cena Vegan’s vegan meat products, there is no compromise or sacrifice in flavor.
Cena Vegan has become one of the most popular food vendors at many festivals in Southern California; notorious for the longest lines!  Now that their products are available in retail stores in Central and Southern California and can be shipped to California, Arizona and Nevada, people can make their favorite South of the Border meals at home using their Pollo Asada, Carne Asada, Al Pastor & Gluten-Free Barbacoa as a base.
These vegan meat products taste like home cooking, because they are home cooking. The flavors are crafted from family recipes that helps the home chef create authentic, home-cooked meals, with meatiness minus the guiltiness that is good for you and the planet.
At Cena Vegan, their guiding principles focus on contributing to a cleaner, more sustainable environment. They are always looking for solutions that are best for the environment, even if it costs them a little more such as compostable packaging, environmentally friendly business practices and using production materials that are locally sourced. 
Cena Vegan see the big picture which exemplifies what it means to think bigger than short-term gains. 
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12:50 PM to 1:30 PM

Trying Vegan with Mario

TV Show Host: Trying Vegan with Mario

Growing up in Chicago I worked for my dad’s Italian Sausage factory.
Before I became the host of Trying Vegan with Mario, on Roku, I started a company producing other people’s cooking shows. I became interested in vegan food when my business partner lost 100 pounds by eating vegan. After that I started learning a ton about plant-based nutrition when I realized that there are no cooking shows about vegan food that I could relate to. That’s what inspired Trying Vegan with Mario. It’s a cooking show where I’m on a mission to learn how to cook from the most incredible plant-based experts. The viewers learn about vegan cooking and benefit through my experience. It’s about good food and taking steps for everyone.MORE INFO!YoutubeFacebook Instagram

1:40 PM to 2:20 PM

Audrey Dunham

Plant Based Sports/Nutrition Specialist

Audrey Dunham is plant based and sports nutrition specialist, fitness trainer, and former NPC (National Physique Committee) fitness competitor, yet, a food lover and pastry chef at heart with an amazing blog!  Audrey is also the proud wife of funny man, Jeff Dunham, mama to twin boys and step-mom to three grown girls. Her goal is simplify cooking and baking plant-based foods, while emphasizing the health related benefits. We all deserve to live happy, healthy lives and enjoy delicious food along the way.
In addition to creating a food and health blog, which is a fantastic resource of beautiful recipes, Audrey recently launched a new vegan, gluten-free & non GMO Cookie Kit from Peanut’s Bake Shop. (Peanut is a character in her husband, Jeff Dunham’s shows, who is a ventriloquist & comedian). 
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2:30 PM to 3:10 PM

Elysabeth Alfano

Author, Chef, Radio and Podcast Host

Elysabeth Alfano is a Chicago/Los Angeles media personality. She is a plant-based radio host on WGN Radio, and has a podcast called Awesome Vegans on WGN Radio and and JaneUnChained in which she interviews vegan athletes, celebrities, influencers, musicians, politicians, entrepreneurs and more. She is also the Silver-Chic Chef, creating plant-based recipes and demos on TV (WCIU, WGN), on-line and at VegFests.  Elysabeth is featured on and is an Associate Producer of the upcoming movie, Gray Is the New Blonde which features Elysabeth (and other women) as a pioneer who has gone gray and never looked back.  Elysabeth created and hosted the Chicago TV shows, The Celebrity Dinner Party and Fear No Art and was a contributing author on the book, Slow Food Guide to Chicago: Restaurants, Markets, Bars. She occasionally contributes to VegNews. 
MORE INFO!YoutubeFacebook InstagramTwitter

3:20 PM to 4:00 PM

Ali Cruddas

Chef / Founder of Bodhi Bowl (in DTLA)

Ali Cruddas is a highly sought after vegan chef in the Los Angeles area. She is the owner and founder of a casual dining restaurant, Bodhi Bowl, which brings delicious, fresh, affordable, vegan faire to the residents and the weekday workforce of Downtown Los Angeles.
Ali is just as at home in her restaurant, as she is in the kitchen as a personal chef, or in a high volume 5-star restaurant.
Her menus are creative and innovative. The common emphasis, wherever Ali’s food is served, is on the people who are enjoying it. She specializes in ingenious ways of meeting special dietary requirements with her fusion of Asian, African, Latin American, Modern European and Classic American cuisine. 
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4:10 PM to 4:50 PM

Dahlia Marin, RD

Plant Based RD, Nutritionist, and Chef

Dahlia Marin is a Plant Based Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist, who has used food as medicine on a whole food plant based diet for the past 8 years to overcome pre-diabetes, PCOS, GI issues, obesity, and Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, and have a healthy plant-based pregnancy.  She is passionate about healing the gut, as it is a key to healing the entire body. She uses her own health story and clinical experience working with clients from a multitude of backgrounds and health conditions to get to the root of what ails them, helping to find true healing and well-being.MORE INFO!Facebook InstagramTwitter

4:10 PM to 4:50 PM

Angie Sadeghi, MD – Gastroenterologist

Plant-Based Gastroenterologist

Dr. Angie Sadeghi is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, a diplomate of the American Board of Gastroenterology, and member of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.  She is a weight management specialist, animal lover, vegan, and fitness enthusiast.
Her Newport Beach clinic offers a complete range of services including treatments for digestive, stomach, esophagus, liver, and colon-related illnesses. She has extensive training from the prestigious University of Southern California (USC), and demonstrates exceptional commitment to excellence in treating diseases of digestive tract.
Combining evidence based medicine, her expertise in the digestive system and her passion for physical fitness and nutrition, Dr. Angie has developed a comprehensive approach to helping patients live a healthy life. Dr. Angie is passionate about disease prevention and educating her patients about the health benefits of following a plant based whole foods diet.
MORE INFO!YoutubeFacebook InstagramTwitter

5:00 PM to 5:40 PM

Dotsie Bausch

Olympic Medalist and Podcast Co-Host

Having made history on the Olympic stage as a badass cyclist, silver medal-winner Dotsie Bausch has taken the next step to confirm that she’s also a badass off the bike. Furthering the message of her powerful and persuasive TedEx Talk, “Olympic Level Compassion,” that led to her selection as one of “The 20 Badass Veg Women Who Are Making History” by ChooseVeg, Bausch launched her non-profit animal protection organization, Compassion Champs, in March of 2017. Never one to shy away from facing staggering odds – just like she did in the 2012 London Games while riding for Team USA, whose unlikely and triumphant story is chronicled in the Netflix documentary “Personal Gold” – her outfit’s latest initiative is the disruption of the dairy milk industry through an Olympic athlete-driven social campaign called Switch 4 Good. The inaugural Switch 4 Good commercial aired on NBC during the 2018 Olympic Winter Games closing ceremonies and also on ABC during the Academy Award’s broadcast. View the commercial at
A former world record holder, eight-time U.S. National Champion on the road and track, and a cycling color commentator on television, Bausch was compelled to adopt a compassionate plant-based lifestyle after seeing an exposé about the routine cruelty of factory farming. She trained for and competed in the Olympics on a plant-based diet. Now retired from professional cycling and armed with a degree in Plant Based Nutrition from eCornell University, she speaks passionately around the world as the voice of farm animals, spreading her message about the numerous benefits – humane, nutritional and environmental – of plant-based eating as a lifestyle choice for athletes and non-athletes alike.
MORE INFO!YoutubeFacebook InstagramTwitter

5:00 PM to 5:40 PM

Carey Kidd

Vegan Powerlifter and Advocate

Carey Kidd is a powerlifter and has been vegan since birth. Growing up in the South, his vegan diet was tested constantly through societal and cultural southern norms, but he held true to his values, proving that you can be a healthy, athletic vegan even in the face of adversity. Now as a father and family man, Carey is striving to spread the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle while with others, while also focusing on improving his own fitness to best represent the vegan strength-building community. Carey is the COO of Tru Supplements and an ambassador for Switch4Goood and the Vegan Strong team.MORE INFO! Instagram

5:50 PM to 6:15 PM

Nickie Mingarelli

Vegan Chef, Animal Sanctuary Director

Nickie Mingarelli is the director of Love Always Sanctuary, a small sanctuary in the City of San Fernando, CA that specializes in hospice care. We believe all beings are different but equal and deserve equal love & rights. We have lots of different fur, feather, and scale babies here at the sanctuary. Many of them come from animal shelters, cases of neglect, saved from slaughterhouses, and even animal testing laboratories. We are so grateful for our supporters, volunteers, and donors. Together we are showing the world what it means to respect all life.
Our goal is to expand the sanctuary so we can  help both humans and animals by providing psychotherapy at the sanctuary, by licensed therapist, where not only would the guidance of a therapist help heal humans but also adding some pig belly rubs and turkey cuddles.
Nickie is also Private Vegan Chef who specializes in weekly food prep and delivery of wholesome plant based comfort food.
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5:50 PM to 6:15 PM

John PIerre – Living with Harmony

Nutrition and Fitness Consultant, Author

Nutrition and fitness consultant John Pierre has trained hard-core athletes, Hollywood celebrities, rock-stars, and Fortune 500 executives. Assisting a wide range of clientele and people of all backgrounds and fitness levels, John’s passion is to help everyone. Credited as being one of the first pioneers in the U.S. to create “brain-building” classes that enhance cognitive fitness in our geriatrics community, 30 years of experience has provided John with a unique understanding and ability to help others with cognitive challenges.
John Pierre was recently inducted into the North American Vegetarian Society Hall of fame, and continues to contribute widely to magazines and publications in the area of health and fitness. John is the author of several books, including: The Pillars of Health, and Strong, Savvy, Safe, available at, and has starred in numerous health-promoting DVD’s and online programs that reach countless individuals all over the world. He is also the co-founder of Living With Harmony, a nonprofit organization (
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We’re sorry but Chef  submissions are CLOSED for 2019.  Please check in with us around November when we open them up for 2020

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