NOVI (WWJ) – In response to growing interest in a plant-based diet, VegFest, metro Detroit’s premier vegetarian tastefest and expo, will move to Suburban Collection Showplace (formerly Rock Financial Showplace), in Novi for its annual event on March 27.
Presented by VegMichigan, the event features notable local and national speakers, including Oprah’s vegan chef and author Tal Ronnen, and former Detroit Piston and NBA champion John Salley.

Visitors can hear talks on the health, environmental/ethical benefits of a plant-based diet and enjoy tasty vegan cuisine from two dozen local restaurants along with national brand samples, food demonstrations, exhibits, children’s activities, door prizes and more.

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“The event is designed to give people real tools and resources for changing their diet for the better,” event chair Wendy Jones said in a release.
Last year’s VegFest, held in Ferndale, drew more than 2100 attendees. The 2011 event is expected to draw upwards of 3000.
Keynote speaker Tal Ronnen is one of the most celebrated vegan chefs working today. In addition to preparing vegan meals for Oprah Winfrey’s 21-day vegan cleanse, he catered the first vegan dinner at the U.S. Senate. Chef Tal’s new cookbook, “The Conscious Cook,” is a New York Times best-seller. He has worked at several of the nation’s top vegan restaurants and conducts master vegetarian workshops at Le Cordon Bleu College campuses nationwide. At VegFest, Chef Tal will speak and prepare delicious vegan recipes at noon. 
NBA champ and TV personality John Salley returns to VegFest, having drawn record-breaking crowds to the event the past two years. Salley helped lead the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers to NBA championships before retiring to host the Emmy-nominated “Best Damn Sports Show Period” and has since appeared in films and TV shows. Salley is vegan — meaning he neither eats nor uses animal products — and he passionately believes that this diet choice improved his game and his life. He will speak at 2 pm.

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VegFest takes place from 11 am until 5 pm on Sunday, March 27 at Suburban Collection Showplace, located at 46100 Grand River Ave. in Novi. Parking is free.
Admission is $10 at the door; $5 for students; free for children under 6 and VegMichigan members.

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For memberships, discounted tickets and more information, visit the VegMichigan website or call toll free at 877-778-3464.