Dominican/Trinidadian singer Belcalis Almanzar (known professionally as “Cardi B”) enjoyed vegan food provided by catering service/food truck Food Art by Lauren at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Food Art by Lauren founder Lauren Von Der Pool told VegNews that a number of artists performing at this year’s festival “caught wind” of the availability of her vegan food and either “trekked” the one-mile stretch outside of the performing area to acquire her plant-based dishes or ordered her food via text message or Instagram. “They loved my Coachella menu, which featured everyone’s favorite, my Cornbread Chik-un and Waffles topped with White Sweet Potato Purée, Coconut Braised Greens, and a Blue Majik Mango Butter,” Von Der Pool said. “I’ve already gotten calls from everyone with requests for more. A few people ordered multiple times in the same day.” Celebrities who enjoyed Von Der Pool’s vegan food during the festival included rap group Migos, Canadian singer Daniel Caesar, musician Kelela, instrumentalist Sudan Archives, rapper Ghostface Killah, writer/actress Jade Novah, Grammy-nominated singer Luke James, former professional basketball player John Salley, and singer Beyoncé’s crew. Von Der Pool began her journey into vegan cooking by selling vegan tarts at the age of 16 in front of Howard University Business School in Washington, DC, before attending acclaimed culinary school Le Cordon Bleu in California at the age of 21, when she worked with Wolfgang Puck Catering to provide vegan food to ceremonies such as the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and American Music Awards. Von Der Pool has since worked with former first lady Michelle Obama on her “Let’s Move” campaign, musicians Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, and Erykah Badu, and was the impetus behind tennis star Venus Williams adopting a mostly plant-based diet to combat Sjögren’s syndrome. Von Der Pool believes that celebrity endorsement of vegan food is an important step in the right direction. “It’s important to impact celebrities with this knowledge and awareness because they naturally share it with the masses, which is what we need,” Von Der Pool said. “It is a global wake up call.”
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