The Edgy Veggie

Seed Food and Wine Festival celebrates vegan eating in Miami

The power of purple comes alive in this potato hash.
The power of purple comes alive in this potato hash. For the Miami Herald

Love Sunday brunch? So do Miami chefs Amber Antonelli, Dewey LoSasso, Mark Reinfeld and Mark Zeitouni.

On Nov. 22, they’re heating up the kitchen with a lavish vegan spread, capping off Seed Food and Wine Festival’s five-day, plant-based party.

You could say the festival is especially timely, coming shortly after the World Health Organization’s findings on the dangers of cured and processed meats.

But Seed, now in its second year, isn’t about told-you-so lectures. It’s about inclusiveness, yumminess, and, says Zeitouni, “wanting to have fun.”

Non-vegans are welcome at Seed. Including three of the four chefs who are cooking brunch.

“I’m an omnivore,” said Zeitouni, chef at The Standard in Miami Beach. “But a good portion of what we eat should be vegetarian.”

Reinfeld, the other Mark on the menu, has been spreading the plant-based love around South Florida as consultant for Full Bloom, South Beach’s romantic new vegan restaurant. He also recently started Vegan Fusion Academy, a plant-based culinary school, also in South Beach.

A dedicated vegan who cheffed the brunch at Seed’s debut last year, Reinfeld said he is glad to be back.

“I love being part of such a comprehensive experience that showcases how amazing the plant-based lifestyle can be,” he said.

Antonelli, of The Naked Bite, also participated in the brunch last year. Since then, the culinary instructor and private chef has been named a healthy local game-changer by Edible South Florida magazine. Like Zeitouni and LoSasso, she’s an omnivore but with a veg-forward attitude.

“Our mission through the Naked Bite is to make veggies the best thing on your plate, and that’s exactly what Seed stands for,” Antonelli said.

For LoSasso, making the change from over-the-top fine-dining to farm-to-table rustic wasn’t a stretch. The former chef of The Forge and North 110 said he’s been “playing with vegan elements” for 30 years, long before vegan was cool.

Now running the food and beverage program at Homestead’s Schnebly Redlands Winery and Miami Brewing Co., LoSasso said “farm-to-table was never really a ‘thing’ for me. It was more like breathing.”

LoSasso’s thinking wings and bacon for the Seed brunch — that’s crispy wing beans and meaty smoked oyster mushrooms. Antonelli won’t give away any surprises but promises, “It’s going to be pretty special.”

Whether they’re vegan or omnivore, all four chefs bond over great food.

“A group of us feel vegetarian food deserves a prominent part on the menu,” Zeitouni said. “We stick together.”

Ellen Kanner:, @edgyveggie1

Seed Food and Wine Festival

What: Mantra Yoga and Brunch

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22.

Where: Thompson Miami Beach, 4041 Collins Ave.

Tickets: $50-$60

More info: Seed’s multiple events run Nov. 18-22 throughout Miami. Visit

Purple Potato Tempeh Hash

Recipe courtesy of Vegan Fusion, There’s more to brunch — and protein — than eggs and bacon. Chef Mark Reinfeld shows vegan’s rich and hearty side with this tempeh and potato hash that loses nothing in the translation but the corned beef, cancer link and cruelty.

1 1/2 cups purple sweet potato, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

8 ounces tempeh, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, or 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional

4 teaspoons soy sauce or wheat-free tamari

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional

1 cup arugula, kale or chard, shredded

Place a steamer basket in a pot filled with half-inch water over medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, and cook until just tender, approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, place a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the onion, and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to soften. Add the tempeh, and bell pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, and adding small amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking.

Add the liquid smoke, if using, soy sauce, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, and nutritional yeast, if using, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the arugula or kale, and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the cooked potatoes, and gently stir well before serving.

Tempeh is fermented soy cake, available at Whole Foods, Asian markets and in the produce section of most supermarkets, usually next to tofu. Tamari is guten-free soy sauce, available at Whole Foods, Asian markets and many supermarkets.

Yield: 4 servings