Mark Reinfeld, vegan chef and author

Mark Reinfeld —the celebrated vegan chef and author who was slated to present a cooking demonstration a few days later at the Tampa Bay Veg Fest—discusses what he’s found, over the years, to be the biggest misconception about vegan eating. 51fFhhgeeVL._SX404_BO1,204,203,200_He addresses some of the largest challenges folks can face when first trying their hand at creating vegan meals (which, as a tangent, leads to Reinfeld noting that there are several exciting new advances in the realm of vegan cheeses). Reinfeld recounts some of his own challenges in the formative years of becoming a vegan chef—explaining that he began that journey after realizing law school wasn’t a good fit, and quitting, noting that his path toward vegetarianism and then vegan living dovetailed with the development of his culinary career. Reinfeld reveals his576792_521651374548819_1927572510_n favorite 30-minute dish, and his favorite ingredients. He also offers a sneak preview of the cooking demonstration he would be presenting at the Tampa Bay Veg Fest on the forthcoming Saturday. He recalls the Blossoming Lotus, the late, great and highly acclaimed restaurant he launched in Kauai (it received an award naming it best restaurant on that Hawaiian island). And he provides an overview of newer ventures, such as the Vegan Fusion Culinary Academy in Miami, and the limited one-on-one Skype consulting he offers restaurateurs, aspiring cookbook authors, and others. (

dillie09cut-04ALSO: I spoke briefly with Dr. Melanie Butera, the veterinarian and adoptive3016672 “mom” to Dillie The Deer, the deer born blind, who lives with Butera and her husband. Dillie has her own room, from which there is a streaming online transmission via the DillieCam. Butera’s self-published book about Dillie was picked up by a major publishing house—she’s expanded and updated it, and it’s out now (


COMEDY CORNER: Sebastian Maniscalco “Raccoons ” (part two)   (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Beatles’ “Dig A Pony”


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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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