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Vegan Feast on Tap for Festival Kick-Off

New York, NY, March 04, 2015 --( A three-course vegan feast created by Chef Jay Astafa will kick off the 2015 version of the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival on Friday evening, March 13, at the National Gourmet Institute in Manhattan.

Astafa, who studied restaurant management at the International Culinary Center, is the vegan chef at 3 Brothers Pizza Café on Long Island. Due to his innovations there, the café has received the “Best Vegan Pizza” award from PETA. He is also the chef/owner of Jay Astafa Catering, a New York-based vegan catering boutique.

For the kick-off, 7-8:30 p.m., diners will enjoy these Astafa creations:

1st course: white asparagus panna cotta, king oyster mushroom scallop, and chilled potato leek soup

2nd course: cauliflower steak chimichurri featuring purple cauliflower puree, beluga lentils, rainbow chard, and almond romensco

3rd course: “cheesecake” with carrot coconut gelato, walnut crumble, pineapple coulis, and crystallized ginger

All three courses will utilize seasonal, local, fresh, whole ingredients. Diners will be seated in an intimate setting.

There will also be an optional hors d’oeuvres reception prior to the dinner, 6-7 p.m., with live comedy from BET star Alex Carabano and sparkling KeVita drinks. The menu for the reception includes crostini with mint-sorrel pesto, green peas, and cashew parmesan; chipotle and coffee-braised carrot mini tacos; and mini beet burgers.

Tickets for the VIP reception and dinner are $95, and those for the dinner alone are $65. They may be purchased at

For the two days following the dinner, the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival returns to the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea with a new lineup of speakers, chefs, vendors, and entertainers to mark its fifth year. Children’s activities, yoga classes and two film screenings will round out the festival’s offerings.

For more information on the festival, visit To purchase tickets, go to
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U.S. Veg Corp
Sarah Gross

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