Restaurants give back for ThanksLiving

There’s a movement growing in the Rehoboth area that reflects an important change in how Americans are beginning to view what and how we eat. Nowhere was this more evident than in the satisfied looks of diners pushing back after the 5th annual VegRehoboth ThanksLiving feast, held this year at Fork and Flask at Nage, on Sunday, November 19. The restaurant stayed busy through the afternoon and into the evening, serving over 120 meals created and prepared by Chefs Sean Corea of the restaurant and Hari Cameron of a(muse) and grandpa (MAC). From the marvelous Thai curry cauliflower soup with layers of flavor or the elegant endive and apple salad sprinkled with cranberries and lightly dressed, through the butternut squash risotto, pumpkin-spiced grilled tofu smothered in mushroom gravy, or Hari’s mac un-cheese, all the way to the sublime apple cider gelato served with a cashew creation that deserves a new name, in a new language.  Diners immersed themselves in a meal and an experience that celebrated life from a compassionate plant-  and planet-based point of view. Diners loved it. Many of whom love it every 1st Saturday of the month, when Fork and Flask at Nage hosts a monthly Vegan Brunch Buffet.
Want more evidence that plant-based eating is the new go-to choice? Talk to the 50 + people who crowded into grandpa (MAC) for Hari Cameron’s vegan cooking class on November 30th. Dorothy Greet wrote about it on her blog “Go Veg” where she educates on reversing and eliminating heart disease. She should know: switching to a plant-based diet stopped her life-threatening cycle of deadly heart attacks. Dorothy is disease-free and an ardent convert to plant-based living. Or check out Ornish Lifestyle Medicine, the nationally recognized program sponsored by Beebe Healthcare.  Beebe is the only provider in Delaware of the program that has proven to stop and reverse heart disease and includes a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet.
The list of veg/vegan friendly restaurants is lengthy and once those not on the list read this, will get even longer. Heck, even Burger King out on Rt. 1 has a veg burger. The list includes: Cultured Pearl, Fork and Flask at Nage, a(muse) and grandpa (MAC), Saketumi, Indigo, el Mariachi, Cilantro, Modern Mixture, Semra’s, Bangkok Thai, FishOn, Miyagis Noodle Shop, Victoria’s Restaurant….get the picture? The food truck business is catching on too. Take Susan Pawlikowski, who debuted “gettaPIZZAthis” at Rehoboth Beach VegFest 2016. Her mobile wood-fired oven has since traveled from brewery to winery to farmer’s market with numerous special events in between. “I have a sign that says “ask about our vegan options” and guess what? It’s all vegan!”
Omnivores who are bored with the same old same old can ask many chefs in Rehoboth to make a plant-based meal. Foodies love seeing that look of concentration and exploration on a chef’s face when they are invited to create a new dish. And plant-based possibilities are endless. Try and walk away from Sean Corea’s caramelized brussels sprouts or his root vegetable breakfast hash or his tofu scramble that will make you wonder what you ever saw in eggs. He enjoys developing new menu ideas and is delighted with the turnout for 1st Saturday Vegan Brunch. “We love appealing to all diners and don’t want to leave anyone out. Plus, plant-based eating is becoming pretty popular so it’s fun to develop new menu ideas that will appeal to both groups” says Sean, who has been head chef at Fork and Flask at Nage for 3 years. Hari Cameron agrees, “From a purely business perspective, it just makes sense to cook for as many different dietary styles as we can. We want to gain customers and we love exploring new culinary ideas.”
“It’s so exciting and uplifting to see more and more people seeing the benefits of a plant-based diet. We are reaping the benefits of healthier living while showing compassion for animals and reducing our carbon footprint at the same time. It’s a win, win, win!” says Tara Sheldon, President of VegRehoboth. “We are so grateful to Hari and Sean for making a generous donation to VegRehoboth from the proceeds of ThanksLiving and for being so supportive of VegFest every year.” VegRehoboth is entirely volunteer run and only makes enough money to cover costs.  “Their donation will give us a jump start on our 6th Rehoboth Beach VegFest, planned for June 9th, 2018.” 
It’s only a matter of time before some enterprising chef starts looking for that perfect spot to open Rehoboth’s first plant-based eatery. Who will it be? Someone who’s willing to explore the exciting new plant-based cuisine. Meanwhile, we cool cats are eating at our favorite restaurants. Join us! Explore your options, live to the max, go plant-based for a meal or two, or seven! You’ll be pleasantly surprised. You may even find you feel better afterwards. And that carbon footprint? It just got smaller.