Workshop Speaker Bios

Mel Rogers

Mel is a vegan chef, tutor and musician based in Somerset. She is the owner of Mel’s Kindness Kitchen, specialising in vegan cheeses, also offering informative workshops in vegan cuisine and catering for dinner parties and events. Visit Mel’s stall at the WinterFest to stock up on her legendary Christmas cheese boards.

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John Anwen

John is a spiritual author, writer, public speaker, animal activist and vegan mentor. He is a proud patron of Welsh animal sanctuary, Beneath The Wood Sanctuary. John has turned his whole life around since being diagnosed with heart failure in 2015 and adopting a vegan diet.

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Jane Easton

Jane is former Food & Cookery Manager for Viva!, author of the Viva! Cookbook and, co-editor of, and contributor to many other Viva! food resources. She’s now officially retired but still teaching cookery, encouraging vegans young and old and all the vegan-curious out there!

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Helen Wilson

Helen Wilson, vegan chef, consultant and owner of Great Green Kitchen, Swansea. Helen has spent the last 10 years promoting, teaching and creating vegan food. She has delivered dozens of talks and cookery demonstrations across the UK and her recipes have appeared in many major food magazines, books and websites. Helen was cookery manager and editor at vegan charity Viva! and head chef at Swansea’s first vegan cafe, Urban Zen.

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Talks & cookery demos

11am  –  Mel Rogers

Mel Rogers of Mel’s Kindness Kitchen, will be demonstrating how to make two different kinds of delicious vegan cheese to add to your cheeseboard. The quick and easy methods she uses are nut and gluten free and can be adapted to suit your own tastes.

12pm –  John Anwen

Vegan = Compassion, Compassion = Vegan.
Having led what can only be described as an alternate and extreme life, John Awen has turned his life around. From the dark recesses of an 11 year heroin addiction, serving several prison sentences, being shot, stabbed, surviving several heart attacks and illnesses, John shows change is possible if we want it. Having raised animals for food himself John has seen all sides and now openly and candidly shares his life. Despite being told in mid 2015 he was in advanced heart failure, John has gone on to defy the status quo. From animal cruelty stats and facts, this talk will have you riveted, tearful, shocked and speechless. A not to be missed journey.

1pm  –  Jane Easton

Christmas cooking without tears! Mushroom & Nut Wellington (plus alternative fillings); Ultimate Gravy and side vegetables- plus cheatin ‘ alternatives for the time-strapped!

2pm  –  Jane Easton & Helen Wilson

Try Vegan? Dip your toes into plant-based living! with Helen Wilson of Great Green Kitchen, Swansea and Jane Easton, author of the Viva! Cookbook. Whether you’re a cooking from scratch kind of person or kitchen phobic, Helen and Jane will help you explore ‘vegan for a month’ options: great recipes, healthy convenience foods, shopping tips, eating out and nutrition (and a few treats!).

3pm  –  Helen Wilson

Christmas Party Snack Ideas for Busy People! Join Vegan Chef and Consultant, Helen Wilson, for a tasty and inspiring demo showcasing some quick and easy snack ideas to share with family and friends this Christmas. – Not ‘pigs’ in Blankets with Sundried Tomatoes, Cream ‘Cheese’ and Cranberry Bruschetta, Caramelised Onion Luxury Hummus (without the plastic pot) and Speedy Mini Mince Pies!