Cooking demonstrations

We offered a great collection of cooking demonstrations who shared lots of handy tips on how to cook great vegan food. Below you will also find their recipes.

Claire Ward

Making vegan cheese at home

Start time: 11am

Claire Ward is fascinated by vegan food and how to make vegan the foods she loved as a non-vegan. As a busy mum and working professional, Claire chills by spending hours in the kitchen perfecting her vegan cooking techniques to make the perfect cheeses, chikun and desserts such as vegan pavlova complete with marshmallow filling and whipped cream topping. Claire will be sharing some of her culinary secrets with Kapiti Expo attendees and will show you how to make an easy and delicious vegan cheese. You can follow Claire on Instagram.

Download my cheese guide

Gaura Mantra

Crispy Mexican bean tortilla wrap and Mexican soup!

Start time: 11:45am

Gaura Mantra was 18 years old when she decided to become a vegetarian, and started attending vegetarian and vegan cooking classes in her home town in Siberia, Russia. After being invited to teach and cook at Urban Yoga studio in Melbourne, Gaura became a yoga and pilates teacher as well as a cook for the studio, running various cooking classes and demonstrations, cooking retreats and caterings during her five year stay. She even got the chance to be trained by one of Australia’s top vegetarian chefs, Kurma Dasa! She has been doing the same here in New Zealand at the Bhakti Lounge. Her real passion is sharing this knowledge of proper health and nutrition for the body, mind and soul with others.

Fiona Greig (Sunday Cantina)

Raw Peanut Butter Slice and a Superfood salad

Start time: 12:30pm

Fiona Greig is a local chef and business owner of two popular cafés on the Kāpiti Coast and loves to share her love of good food with you. Fiona is all about fresh, innovative, New Zealand cuisine, using locally sourced, healthy produce. Her food is pure, full of flavour and is sure to impress.

Fiona opened the Sunday Cantina in Waikanae just over a year ago which serves a mix of fresh, locally-sourced, healthy food. Fiona will demonstrate how she prepares her amazing Peanut Butter raw vegan slice and create a Superfood salad. “I’m excited to be able to share my passion for food with you,” she says.

Angela Hurley

Savory walnut balls

Start time: 1:15pm

When Angela Hurley was a young mum in her mid-twenties with one child, she saw the need of looking at the nutrition of her family. On a standard Kiwi diet and a husband who was just hinting at some health issues, she decided to research it. She and her husband had developed a friendship with a vegetarian Dutch couple who were a tremendous help. After two weeks on the vegetarian diet, they were sold on it. The difference was incredible. Angela kept diligently experimenting with foods and by her fourth and last child, the family decided to cut out all animal foods and go fully vegan. That was 30 years ago. Angela has tirelessly searched, cooked, experimented and tried it out on her family. She has contributed heavily to recipes in Vegan cookbooks for Kiwis and been very active and effective in presentations to the public in the couple’s What’s Cooking cooking and nutritional classes. Today all the children are married and all four have held to the vegan diet where they possibly can. They all have enjoyed excellent health and well-being.

Liliya Goncharova

Lemon meringue pie

Start time: 2pm

Liliya Goncharova holds a Bachelors degree in Food Technology and a Level 5 certificate in Hospitality. She has worked in the hospitality industry for the last eight years throughout the USA, Russia and New Zealand. Liliya’s favourite and specialty items are her pastries, cakes and breads (which her friends, flatmates and family have no complaints about!) Liliya recently finished working at one of the top restaurants in Auckland making vegan desserts, sourdough bread and pastry!

Amber Sturtz, Taco Addicts

The art of making a damn good aioli

Start time: 2:45pm

Taco Addicts owner Amber Sturtz hails from the most taco obsessed city in the USA (Austin, Texas!). She missed the freshness of the Tex-Mex food that she grew up with, so after a career in travel & tourism, she retrained to become a chef. Amber started Taco Addicts to share her food history and favourite flavours with Wellingtonians, creating a menu that reflects the New Zealand bounty, but shows off Austin taco traditions. Food values are also important to Amber, so managing a business that is seasonal, sustainable, and eco friendly are built into the core of Taco Addicts. Amber was raised pescatarian so her menu reflects this background, always offering at least 2-3 vegan options.

What I will prepare:
Amber will show you how to make a vegan aioli. This taco sauce goes on most of the vegan tacos we serve at Taco Addicts. We’ll be using aquafaba, and if you aren’t familiar with this ingredient, you should definitely come along to this demo and find out more. Aquafaba is a great replacement for eggs – you can use it for vegan aioli/mayo, cakes, brownies, meringues, burger patties. It’s wonderful stuff (that you would normally just pour down the drain)! This is a recipe that Amber created when she was first making tacos and sauces for Taco Addicts and it’s become a favourite of her customers. is originally from Austin, Texas, and Mexican and Tex-Mex food runs deep in her veins. The delicious flavours can be fresh and satisfying, succulent and spicy, or comfortingly warm and fuzzy.

About the Vegan Expo

Originally launched in 2007 as the Vegetarian Expo in Christchurch, this inspiring annual food and lifestyle event has continued to demonstrate growth and popularity for the past ten years and is now held nationally.

Helpful FAQs

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