Food & drink

Party like a vegan in Lisburn food festival

Áine Carlin's polenta pizza is perfect for vegans
Joanne Sweeney

VEGANS are inviting meat eaters to party with them in Lisburn's first vegan food festival.

Penny Square market in Haslem's Lane will be hosting the mini food festival on Saturday June 23, which will throw down the gauntlet to those who are dedicated carnivores.

A highlight of the day will be the  Vegan Food Challenge at 3pm where people can attempt to eat a mammoth platter of food including a chickpea burger, BBQ pulled Jack Fruit, sausage rolls, chilli, Mama Hazel’s coconut and lentil curry, sweet potato fries, a hot dog and dessert including chocolate fudge cake, carrot cake and a German  biscuit.

Participants are invited to book a place at the banquet table and whoever completes the meal first within the 45 minute time frame wins their entry fee (£20) back alongside a bottle of vegan wine, a T shirt and a winner’s plaque.

Trisha Ross, chef and owner of new vegan restaurant The Vegan Rocket, explains: “The main reason I wanted to have a vegan festival is to show people how easy it is to live a vegan lifestyle and to banish misconceptions that vegan food is a bowl of salad and piece of fruit. For every meat meal, there is a vegan alternative which is just as tasty.

"To prove that, we’re inviting visitors along to take part in our Taste Test. As a bit of fun, we’ll blind fold participants throughout the day and offer them pulled pork from Street Food Kidz and our pulled jack fruit and see if they notice a huge difference. It’s a fun but simple way to show off our food.” 

V-Kind, Northern Ireland’s vegan activist group will also be in attendance to give visitors an opportunity to learn more about veganism with group leader Cliff Grant giving talks throughout the day.

Entry to the event is free. It runs from 10am-5pm with music by Alex Smythe and other bands throughout the afternoon.

To book a stall on the day, contact Sarah on the Penny Square Facebook page or email 

Read moreÁine Carlin debunks the myth that vegans can't have fun with food

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