bastille_day_expediting_cropIn Los Angeles, the Urban Dinner Socials monthly pop-up restaurant creates international vegan menus from local backyard produce. On July 14, the project celebrated Bastille Day with French cuisine – including vegan escargots made from shiitake mushrooms. The dinners, conceived and produced by avocational chef Megan Hobza, are supported by the ultra-local growers of Whittier Backyard Farms. The backyard farmers and other volunteers from local time banks come together once a month to create a locally-sourced, organic, vegan four-course dinner. Guests dine at one long, companionable table under the stars. The Urban Dinner Socials use no prepared ingredients but instead use vegetables and nuts to replicate the textures of meat and dairy. At the Bastille Day dinner, the menu included chickpea foie gras, portobello boeuf bourguignon, and a raspberry charlotte made with cashews instead of cream. The dinner used no soy or corn, and the only wheat was found in the artisan baguettes from The Baker’s Mark.

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