As more and more people shift to a greener, plant-based lifestyle, it is wonderful to have organizations like The Seed who make the shift delicious and accessible to New Yorkers. They’ve been hosting monthly pop-up markets free to the public, and they recently hosted the first Seed popup dinner with the incredible Chef Daphne Cheng…

Chef Daphne Cheng is a young and ambitious chef who adores making people happy with delicious, vegan food. Having overcome anorexia nervosa in her early teens, she has a deep seated appreciation and respect for food. Her care and gastronomic passion is apparent in every bite of her creations. She is determined to make a difference in people’s lives by showing them how satisfying healthy and compassionate food can be.-Cuisineist.com

The Seed popup dinner was held at the Altman Building, where The Seed’s monthly markets are held as well. The venue was transformed with three long tables set beautifully with flower centerpieces and seats for around 100 people.  Right next to the tables, open for viewing, was Chef Daphne along with her staff prepping each and every plate meticulously for the guests. It was fun to see how much time and detail went into just setting up the plates, I can only imagine how long it took to prepare each dish.

Before the meal began, my friend and I took our seats and made introductions with the people around us, asking what brought each of them here. For the most part, it seemed, that the attendees were vegan and passionate about a plant-based lifestyle. It was inspiring to see so many people supporting a cause so dear to their heart.

Before we were served our first course, and every course thereafter, Chef Daphne stood before the attendees and introduced herself and described what we were eating. So many different kinds of vegetables, legumes, and grains were used; the variety and creativity was remarkable.

Here’s what was served at the Seed Popup Dinner

1st course: Kale salad with Arugula, fried chickpeas, edible flowers, purple potatoes, and a BBQ miso dressing.

Seed popup dinner

2nd course: Beet gazpacho, mustard oil, topped with pickled cabbage.

Seed popup dinner

3rd course: A combination of grains; einkorn, freekeh, farro (probably a few more I could not understand) with a side of seasonal mushrooms, cauliflower puree, and my favorite, shitake “bacon” sprinkle

Seed popup dinner

4th course: a sampling of vegan products including chocolate from Raw Chocolate Love NYC and Cocorau, and “cheese” from Cheezehound

Seed popup dinner

5th course: Butterbeer ice cream by Three Little Birds with a garnish of pepitas and coconut cream.

Seed popup dinner

The combination of flavors and ingredients were unlike anything I had ever tasted. I was blown away by Chef Daphne’s work and I hope to experience more of it one day. (Open a restaurant please!) All in all I had a wonderful time at the event. It’s always inspiring to see people eating for a cause greater than themselves. This dinner proved that a plant based lifestyle can be inventive, and just as delicious and satisfying, if not more so, than a meat-filled meal.

Stay tuned for upcoming events by The Seed by checking out their website.

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About The Author

Profile photo of Julie
Healthy Eater

Southern girl at heart, minus the fried food. Fresh on the NY food scene, hungry for a healthy way to live in this food capital.