FoodieCon Miami: Vegan Chef Priyanka Naik to Deliver Talk

FoodieCon, an event hosted by South Beach Wine and Food Festival, is set to take place at Miami Beach. This gathering aims to create a space where famous online food influencers can engage with their followers. Visitors will enjoy a diversified two-day program filled with meet-ups, food and drink tastings, presentations, and even a special happy hour with renowned actor, Neil Patrick Harris. “It’s an unrivaled platform that assembles the best talents of the culinary world in one spot – well, technically one beach,” quips vegan chef, content creator, and TV presenter Priyanka Naik. “It isn’t just about high-profile chefs we all recognize; FoodieCon incorporates non-traditional chefs into the mix.” Naik worked in the tech industry for giants like Bloomberg, Condé Nast, and Twitter, while juggling her passion for food blogging on the side. This background aids her informative input on one of FoodieCon’s panels, namely, transitioning “From Cubicles to Content.” She will also share valuable insights on the “Cuisine and Culture” panel. As a first-generation American with Indian roots, Naik had a vegetarian upbringing in the U.S, a long way away from her extended family. “Food was a key connection to our cultural identity,” she shares. Both panels exemplify significant aspects of her identity and the reasons she ventured into this field. “For younger generations, these discussions could be inspiring,” she points out. She aspires to highlight the myriad potential paths to a successful career in culinary arts.

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Naik is also signing copies of her cookbook, The Modern Tiffin, at FoodieCon. She had initially considered culinary school but was deterred by her unwillingness to cook meat and the lack of focus on Asian cuisine. This absence of formal education complicated her journey to TV exposure, as networks doubted her unorthodox approach to food and her unusual look. Despite these obstacles, she eventually won over skeptics through her victory at the Food Network Cooks vs. Cons competition, following which she published her cookbook, increased her TV presence, and secured significant brand collaborations. “The advent of the internet has created an avenue where we can share our talents without hindrance,” Naik argues. Six years ago, she transitioned from vegetarianism to veganism for ethical and environmental reasons. Her ecological exploits include a column in The Washington Post, “Ecokitchen,” and a Peacock TV program called Today Table, focusing on sustainable living, low-waste culinary practices, recycling leftovers, and composting. She doesn’t concentrate on veganism’s health benefits but adopts a holistic and ayurvedic method that draws on ancient Indian medicinal wisdom.

She is among a wide-ranging group of eco-conscious creators seeking to encourage others to join this growing arena, ranging from foragers to fashion enthusiasts. “There’s a significant number of men leading the charge in eco-living, deviating from the traditional masculine stereotype of meat and potato lovers,” she notes. “In revisiting my culinary origins, I realized that much of our native cuisine is inherently vegan. We simply call it food, not vegan,” she muses. Her long-time Miami resident sibling has shared some recommendations for vegan and vegetarian dining options in the city. “Nowadays, there’s a massive array of choices,” she comments, recommending spots like Planta, Hutong Miami, Doggi’s, Amal, Motek, and Byblos. Latin American cuisine is always on her must-try list whenever she visits South Florida. Don’t miss out on FoodieCon held from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 24, at the W South Beach on 2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach.