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Originally published Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Weekend highlight

Vegfest caters to foodies this weekend

Interested in healthful eating? Seattle's Vegfest will feature advice, cooking demos and samples.

Seattle Times staff

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Creative, interesting food that's good for you and good for the planet awaits at Vegfest this weekend at Seattle Center. Whether you're a vegan (a vegetarian who avoids dairy products), an avid foodie or simply interested in healthful eating, Vegetarians of Washington invites you to taste hundreds of samples, watch cooking demonstrations, learn about the health benefits of vegetarian food and meet vendors selling cookbooks and other products.

Cooking demonstrations hosted by restaurants and guest chefs will include the cuisines of Thailand, India and Vietnam. There will be the chance to "Talk to an Expert" about health, nutrition and cooking. For kids, there will be clowns and face painting along with opportunities to learn about healthful food.

Vegfest welcomes all; in previous years about half the attendees were nonvegetarians. If you're interested in becoming a vegetarian or simply looking for creative cooking options but aren't sure what to eat, what to buy and how to cook it, Vegfest will provide information and inspiration.

Vegfest is planned and staffed by hundreds of volunteers of Vegetarians of Washington. Being a vegetarian is not required for membership. The group sponsors year-round programs including vegan dining events hosted by local chefs on the third Wednesday of each month. Nonmembers and kids are welcome.

The details

Time: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Cost: $7 at the door, ages 12 and younger free.

Location: Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, Seattle.

Getting there: Via I-5 North or South, take the Mercer Street/Seattle Center exit, exit 167. At the first traffic light, turn right onto Fairview; at the next light, turn left onto Broad Street, turn right onto 5th Avenue, then left onto Roy Street to access Seattle Center parking and other pay parking lots. Seattle Center traffic hotline and parking info, 206-233-3989; Metro Transit service, 206-553-3000 or tripplanner.metrokc.gov/; Seattle Center Monorail, 206-905-2620 or www.seattlemonorail.com.

More information: 206-706-2635 or www.vegofwa.org/vegfest/index.html.

Madeline McKenzie: 206-464-8245 or mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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