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The first ever Himalayan Vegan Festival

The first ever Himalayan Vegan Festival

The first ever Himalayan Vegan Festival was initially scheduled for 2021, but the global health pandemic led to postponement. Initial plans were for the festival to take place on consecutive weekends in Kathmandu, Nepal and Thimpu, Bhutan, but due to ongoing travel restrictions in Bhutan the decision was made for Nepal to host both weekends. So after more than two years of planning, postponements and rescheduling, the Himalayan Vegan Festival finally took place over two weekends in Kathmandu and Pokhara in Nepal.

The list of speakers was impressive and included Dr Susianto Tseng, the President of World Vegan Organisation, and Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Indian parliamentarian and founder of People for Animals. We were truly honoured to be featured alongside so many experts in their field who had travelled from around the world to share their knowledge and experiences. The list of esteemed speakers also included a trio of plant based food innovators, Seth Tibbott, the vegan food pioneer and founder of Tofurky, Derek Sarno, vegan chef and co-founder of Wicked Kitchen, and Abishek Sinha, CEO and co-founder of GoodDot, the leading plant based meat producers in India.

Also present and speaking at the festival were Ken Spector from HappyCow, the go-to website for vegans worldwide, award winning conservationist and founder of Save Elephant Foundation and Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, Lek Chaillert, and Dr Harsha Atmakuri, the director of Maa Ka Doodh, a ground breaking documentary which exposes the dairy industry in India. The chance to attend the world premier whilst in Kathmandu was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss, along with other delegates we packed out a local theatre to watch this challenging and thought provoking documentary.

Having worked throughout the region, supporting hotels, resorts and restaurants in their efforts to embrace the fast growing demand for vegan and plant based food, I was invited to lead a series of talks and workshops with guests and hospitality professionals attending the festival.

Whilst in Kathmandu, festival delegates were hosted by The Soaltee Kathmandu who offered a perfect base for the duration of the festival. Considered to be one of the finest hotels in the city, they had previously welcomed groups, conferences and guests from around the world with a wide range of dietary requirements. They certainly embraced the vegan concept and delivered a wide array of plant based…

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