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Dancing Bear Exploring Vegan Cuisine at a Special July 21st Wine Dinner

Vegan Cuisine the focus of a Special Wine Dinner on July 21

“Going Vegan” did not come easily to Rachel Oldham and Dana Sorenson, featured Chefs for the Vegan Wine Dinner set for Saturday, July 21st at Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro. Klinker Brick Vegan Winery out of Lodi, California will complement their cooking with wines notably absent of any animal byproduct. The cost is $75 pp. 

“As much as I wish I could say Dana and I have been vegan our whole lives, this is not the case,” Oldham said. “I initially went pescatarian (no chicken or red meat, just fish) when I was 17, and over the years, I’ve taken it step-by-step until I went completely vegan about two-and-a-half years ago. It was a long process for me, but Dana went from a full-fledged meat eater to vegan overnight about three-and-a-half years ago. Different strokes for different folks.”

Their motivation to stop eating foods containing animal products?

“Initially, my main inspiration was my personal health. I live by the Hippocrates statement ‘Let food by thy medicine, and medicine be thy food’,” Oldham said. “A plant-based diet is what, I believe, keeps me the healthiest. Over time though, I’ve become infatuated with America’s food industry, what major corporations put in our food and the alarming and cruel practice of factory farming. Both Dana and I feel just as passionately about the farm-to-table movement as we do about veganism. Supporting local farms is as much a part of our mission as being vegan is.”

Sampling Delicious Vegan Cuisine

Fellow vegans and those who simply want to explore the joys of delicious vegan cuisine can sample some of the dishes that these Chefs create during the 4-course Vegan Wine Dinner at Dancing Bear.

The evening begins with Peach & Yarrow Kombucha Cocktail Hour with Mom’s Garden-Fresh Summer Rolls, Appalachian Pierogis, and Savory Croquettes. The first course, “Rose”, features heirloom tomato, house made sourdough and marinated tri-bean salad. “Syrah” offers stuffed squash blossom and zucchini ribbons, nut feta, mint, and melon. The third course, “Cabernet,” presents smoked oyster mushroom fan, tarragon crushed corn, and herb oil drizzle. The final course, “Albarino,” brings dinner guests a delightful dessert with peach gazpacho, fermented coconut cream, frozen blackberries, and basil syrup.

“The biggest challenge for Dana and I is probably dessert,” Oldham said. “We’re both savory girls through and through, so creating desserts has been tough. I’m not a fan of processed sugar — I literally don’t use it in any of my cooking. Instead, I use dates or maple syrup to sweeten my treats, but those are both expensive and simply not as sweet as the sugar most people are used to eating. So, I let Dana take over the sweetening part of dessert and close my eyes. Alas, we’ve definitely been able to create some delicious desserts including tiramisu, fudge brownies, and yogurt & granola cups!”

Their favorite ingredients to use?

“Oh, this is easy for me,” Oldham responds. “My favorite ingredient is chickpea flour. I preach the power of chickpea flour to everyone I meet! It’s packed with protein and works as a healthy thickener and binder. Another staple in our kitchen is black salt, which is a type of salt that has a sulfurous, egg-like flavor. It works wonders on savory dishes.”

Vegan Wines to Complete the Culinary Carousel

Klinker Brick Winery, presenting drinks at the dinner, has earned a large number of medals and awards over the years from distinguished organizations and competitions across the country and the world. Klinker Brick is known for producing its zinfandel from vines that are 50+ years old, yielding grapes with intense sweetness, color and concentration of flavors. The climate in Lodi leads to grapes with more balanced pH and acid than other, more coastal wines. The label is poured from our restaurant among many choices.

Experience the Tastiest Part of a Plant-Based Diet

We believe anyone who appreciates great food and wine will enjoy this very special dinner. Join us on July 21st from 6-9 pm for this fantastic event at Dancing Bear Lodge & Appalachian Bistro, located at 7140 East Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882.