Food news: Dispelling ‘rabbit food’ myths with vegan pop up

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A new vegan pop up cafe in Sheffield city centre is aiming to dispel myths and tempt taste buds with flavoursome plant-based lunches.

FANFARE is the latest pop up to launch at Union Street, with its first regular event held last Friday.

It is the brainchild of four friends who run it as a workers’ collaborative using their different backgrounds.

Dishes will be filling - not ‘rabbit food’ - based on a base of rice, tacos or salad served with vibrant toppings such as beer battered aubergine, smoked pulled jackfruit and pol sambol, which is a Sri Lankan dish made from lime, coconut and curry leaves.

The vast majority of the menu will also be gluten free.

“It’s an exciting time to be vegan in Sheffield”, said Mikk Murray, one of the founding quartet, who runs his own vegan and vegetarian network on social media.

The artist added: “And in the wider society it’s being promoted by all types of people from Hollywood celebrities to elite athletes.

“People are choosing a vegan lifestyle for all sorts of reasons, whether it’s health or ethics or something else.”

Ben Manovitch created the initial outline for FANFARE a year ago, and the team held their first event in Barnsley in October 2016. The enthusiastic response led them to seek more permanent residencies.

“We’d heard so much about Union Street and we were really keen to get involved”, said Ben.

“We had looked at places who might accommodate our pop-up, but Union Street doesn’t just accommodate start-ups, it makes things happen.”

Other organisers include Carolyn Collins, who has cooked plant based food for 20 years and Rheanna Lucy Akua Griffin, who has a degree in culinary arts as well as a special interest in sugar-free baking.

FANFARE will be at Union Street from 11.30am to 2pm on Fridays. Follow @fanfareproject online for more details.