Le Vegan Week

Exchange District Restaurants hope to push folks out of their comfort zones with new takes on comfort food.

Are you ready to spice up your next take-out order with Le Vegan Week? A new initiative from Winnipeg VegFest, the “vegan comfort food” themed week runs from January 17-23, featuring over 20 restaurants including these Exchange District favourites.

The Acorn Cafe

The Acorn Cafe has supported VegFest Winnipeg since the beginning. Founder and manager Sherry Sobey says comfort food reminds her of foods that bring back memories–with grilled cheese being a childhood favourite.

They’re featuring a crowd-favourite they only bring around once in a while, vegan grilled cheese and soup made with cheese crafted from their expert in-house cheesemaker, Vegan Fromagerie. 

“Grilled cheese…is an ultimate comfort food especially when it’s a really ooey gooey one. We’re loading it up with dill havarti vegan cheese.”

Sobey is excited to offer an “alternative to traditional comfort food” and prove that being vegan is a lot more than just veggies. 

Deer + Almond

Chef Mandel Hitzer was honoured to get the call to participate in Le Vegan Week. 

“We love vegetables and we don’t put any boundaries on what we make.” 

Deer + Almond is featuring a “Godoujhang glazed Korean fried cauliflower… kind of like a bibimbap Korean rice bowl. It’s super fun [with] lots of big flavours.” Hitzer hopes folks who aren’t vegan or vegetarian order and realize how great vegan food can be.

And if you’re inspired to cook up some veggies at home, Chef Hitzer has a pro tip. Treat vegetables like you would treat a roast or a braised dish. You give a little extra love [and] the results are more rewarding than eating a piece of meat.”

Amsterdam Tea Room

Amsterdam Tea Room’s Chef Aron Epp is looking forward to showcasing one of the restaurant’s vegan menu items. Epp sees it as “an opportunity to fight the stereotype of vegan food being bland and boring by presenting a really flavour-packed dish.”

Amsterdam Tea Room is featuring Hutspot Dumplings. “I made a dumpling similar to gnocchi, that gets tossed in a cashew cream sauce, then served over sauteed kale and purple sauerkraut, topped with chilli oil and crispy onions.” (This dish will also be featured in week 4 of the upcoming Exchange District Cooking Club series, where Chef Epp will guide participants in the making of the dumplings via a live cooking show! More details & tickets here.)

For Chef Epp comfort foods are “different foods to different people but anything that makes you feel warm and fuzzy.” 

You may not have warm, fuzzy memories of grandma cooking up sauteed kale-topped dumplings, fried cauliflower bowls, or vegan cheese on snowy winter nights–but this winter, why not create a new memory with one of the many flavour-packed, plant-based Le Vegan Week dishes?

And don’t forget to vote for your favourite new comfort food at starting January 17th!