Freya Dinshah, President of the American Vegan SocietyUPDATE 2/3/20: American Vegan Society President Freya Dinshah comments, regarding the plans announced for the Governor’s Ball, “Although Chef Puck did not create a 100% vegan meal for this year’s Oscars, going from 50% vegetarian (including some vegan) to 70% vegan is a bold move toward the right goal, so, Bravo! Every time we choose a plant-based meal we improve our health, sustain the planet, and save animals.”

An Open Letter:

Dear Wolfgang Puck – 

All eyes are turning to you after the plant-based Golden Globes and last night’s Critic’s Choice Awards. Will such an accomplished trendsetter make a couple of frilly plant-based gestures to keep up with the curve, or drive 100% in the opposite direction, or outpace everyone with the most amazing all-vegan dinner ever?

We at the American Vegan Society endorse the third option: Make this year’s spread at the Academy Awards Governors Ball 100% vegan, creating new dishes and rethinking others to a degree unseen anywhere before.

A tall order, maybe, but you have two key advantages. One is being Wolfgang Puck, with unparalleled experience and creative spark to pull this off. The other is having American Vegan Society President Freya Dinshah in your corner, ready to support and assist you.

Freya Dinshah is a vegan pioneer with decades of experience in providing a wide variety of tasty vegan food for large gatherings. Having written our country’s first “vegan”-titled cookbook (The Vegan Kitchen, 1965), she practically invented the vegan spread that feeds a thousand. (Actual number was 1500 …as yours is!)

For the 1975 World Vegetarian Congress, it was Freya Dinshah who created a plan to feed all those people 3 vegan meals a day over a 10-day period. Prior to this, no one in America had ever fed vegan meals to so many people at a time — as you can see, like yourself, she’s a trailblazer. She had to offer variety on a meal-to-meal and day-to-day basis while satisfying many different dietary preferences.

OK, maybe you don’t need the 100-serving recipes that Freya Dinshah created for Eggplant Coronets, Chestnut Roast, Eggplant Mousakka, Potato Rutabaga Casserole, Savory Crumb-Encrusted Tofu, Filbert Nut Roast, or Hawaiian Salad with vegan Pineapple Mayonnaise. But her hard-won vegan insights could boost your already established creativity to the next level.

“Mainstream chefs tend to be happy to leave things out for vegans,” she notes by way of example, “but they sometimes forget to give us something else instead.” After all, she advises, “crunchy” veggie treats are fun, but vegan eaters want hearty, protein-rich main dishes as well. Doing those right is a next-level achievement that will endure.

So, sure, you could just do two or three “wow” vegan appetizers and treats, like the apple-ribbon rolls and candies showcased on The Ellen Degeneres Show, and cling to the safe beef and lobster dishes people expect to see as the main courses. OR you could celebrate with us the 60th anniversary of the American Vegan Society by making history with an all-vegan spread, including vegan entrees, so innovative and appealing it will merit its own awards ceremony.

Feel free to contact AVS at [email protected] and let’s make this happen. The possibilities are delicious!

For a compassionate world,

American Vegan Society