In upcoming months we’ll be profiling several vegan waffle party hosts. It’s exciting to see the creativity others have used when they throw a waffle party. Alongside that, it’s fun to learn a little bit more about the hosts themselves. Who are some of the cool people who have joined in this unique form of spreading fun, food, and social consciousness?
My hope is that this inspires others of you who have hosted a vegan waffle party, or who are considering doing so. (You can sign up here!) Additionally, I hope you enjoy learning about hosts’ other activities, causes, and passions as much as I do.
The first is Christine “Peanut” Vardaros, a veteran vegan waffler who has been with us from the first year we went global. Her delicious vegan Liege waffle recipe is referenced on the vegan Liege waffle page, and flavor variations on the basic Liege can be found under Sweet Dessert Waffles. Oh, and she also promotes one of the planet’s coolest forms of transportation. (Above photo by Bram Paulussen.)
Your city (and organization/business/website associated with your events, if relevant):
Everberg, Belgium (a Flemish-speaking town 10km from Brussels). My blog is christinevardaros.blogspot.com. I am also on Facebook and Twitter.
When did you host your first waffle party, and how many have you hosted?
I have held a Vegan Waffle Party every year since its inception.
How does hosting waffle parties fit in with your personal mission?
When I first heard about the Global Vegan Waffle Party I was immediately intrigued and excited! I loved the concept party because it was something personal for me. I live in Belgium where they theoretically make the best waffles in the world – super rich with caramelized sugar pearls inside and a light coating of caramelized sugar on the outside – but yet I could never eat one since I am vegan.
Walking by the waffle stands in the streets every summer was torture….until I finally took the time to make my own version of those tasty waffles. After many many attempts, I finally got it down.
So in a way the Global Vegan Waffle Party represents to me the successful veganization of my Belgian life. It also confirms to others that with a plant-based diet you do NOT have to give up your favorite foods. You still get what you want while the animals get to avoid torture, rape, mutilation and eventual brutal death.
I originally became vegan to gain a sporting advantage as I am an international-level professional cyclist.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve experienced or witnessed at a waffle party you’ve hosted?
What I loved most was the reaction of one of our Belgian friends who was a self-proclaimed waffle connoisseur. When he tasted mine, his eyes got so big I thought they were going to pop right out of his head! He couldnt get words out for the first ten minutes as he was not willing to waste a single precious moment that could be spent on wiping his plate clean. I was surprised he could actually eat with that perma-wide smile that spanned from ear to ear. He was most impressed that it tasted like the real thing but had a “cleaner” taste to it.
What causes and activities are you most passionate about? (Includes both serious and fun.)
As a pro cyclist, I love to ride my bike. I travel a lot so I really enjoy trying strange foods. I am also big on vegan baking. I really enjoy creating my own recipes. In fact, every year at the last big international race of the year, I hold a vegan cookie party for my friends/supporters/family. And every year I am told by many of them that i should open up a cookie company. Maybe one day…but for now it is put on hold.
When I am not busy with cycling or my other job as a journalist/writer on sports/health/fitness/nutrition (in English/Dutch), I am a spokesperson for a few organizations such as IDA (In Defense of Animals), PCRM (Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine) and The Vegan Society. I give talks around the world on a plant-based diet to get the most out of your body.
Anything else you’d like people to know about you, that I haven’t asked about here?
In addition to promoting a plant-based diet and a vegan lifestyle (as I am vegetarian 23 years, vegan 13), I am also a big promoter of bicycles as transportation. I have never owned a car.
Many thanks! And I’ll encourage people to nag you about starting that vegan cookie company.
Note: Part of WaffleParty.com’s purpose is to inspire awareness of complex social issues. As such, different opinions and approaches are sometimes represented. A given host’s specific opinions and endorsements may or may not reflect the viewpoints of the site’s author, or those of other hosts represented here. This is totally cool. Feel free to add your own comments if you wish. I recommend my book Naked Idealism or Hillary Rettig’s Lifelong Activist for additional ideas on dialogue within change-oriented communities.