There’s something about the question do you remember your first? that probably stops you in your tracks, leaves you scratching your head, smiling nervously and wondering what on earth I’m talking about. For effect I shall insert a pregnant pause here so you can hide your blushes.
Okay, that’s enough reflecting and flicking through the corridors of your past. I’m not trying to pry into the pages of your love life, I’m talking about your first vegan dining experience!
I had eaten vegan before in fact I had a fabulous raw vegan experience in Ochi Rios Jamaica courtesy of Dr Aris Latham from Sunfired Foods, so long ago but so tasty that I’m still licking my lips, and of course I had eaten at Lovegift Vegan, but since dipping my toes in the vegan pond my first experience was The Calabash of Culture in Sydenham South London. It was a significant moment, it was the second anniversary of my stroke and my cousin took me to lunch.
As we walked through the door, there was something homely about the place and as we met Raa the owner my cousin exclaimed that I would be back and this was all before we had eaten anything. The place was an eclectic mix of library, vegan supply store, jewellery shop, cafe and children’s play area all rolled in to one. It reminded me a lot of Desmonds the friendly barber shop where people came to simply hang out and chat, so that became it’s nickname and I’d like to think the reason Raa changed the layout of the space.
Over the next two years I spent many nights at Desmond’s, laughing, debating, making friends and sampling everything on the menu. I was inspired and encouraged and not only did it provide me with the opportunity to see vegetables in a new light, it was also the where I hosted my first vegan event. I was the host of their Fork over Knives video night and debate.
There is so much I would love to share about the food and my dining experiences but as it has now closed its doors I don’t want to torture you with the food and experience you can’t have.
Suffice to say it will always have a place in my heart.
Where was your first vegan dining experience?