11:00 AM


3:00 PM

Saturday 2:00 PM

Patrik Baboumian 
​TOPIC: 7 years of vegan power. Why Germany's strongest man went vegan and what happened afterwards. 

The world's strongest vegan on his journey to dispel the world's most dangerous myth. Patrik Baboumian has written two books since he went vegan almost 8 years ago and he continues to travel the whole world on his mission to fight a false image of masculinity. In this talk he will let you follow his personal journey that has inspired thousands of young men around the world.


1:00 PM


3:00 PM

Rescued Friends Animal Sanctuary is a place where all animals are friends; no one is seen as food or dispensable, unloveable or undeserving of respect. We provide a forever home to abused, neglected, or unwanted farm animals, as well as provide education about the health, environmental, and compassionate benefits to a plant based way of life. By cultivating compassion through action, rescue, education, and community involvement , Rescued Friends is changing the lives of farm animals and people alike.

Deborah Devore
Food Presentation
Vegan Seaside Sandwiches - Chick-pea Tuna Salad, Crab Cakes and Rainbow Slaw 

Almost Vegan Cooking School is a not-for-profit School created by Debbie Devore in Denver, Colorado. The cooking school began from a daring invitation to invite a summer of students from a local movie house, the Chez Artiste, into her home kitchen for free cooking lessons.  The movies premiering that event were “Forks over Knives” and the movie” I Am”.  Since its inception nine years ago Almost Vegan Cooking School has grown into a global online cooking school and You Tube Channel featuring weekly video cooking classes.  The school is now fueled by volunteer students and donors who want to help spread the good news surrounding a plant-based diet.

16504 East Dorado Avenue, Centennial, Colorado 80015


12:00 PM

Sunday 4:00 PM


11:00 AM

Michael Suchman (Vegan Mos)

Food Presentation
​TOPIC: Making it Vegan: Turning Omnivore Meals into Vegan Ones

Michael Suchman and Ethan Ciment founded and run the popular blog Through their recipes, they show that eliminating animal products does not mean giving up your favorite familiar foods. Together they were named one of the top 10 male vegan bloggers for 2015 by VegNews magazine and won a 2016 Bloggy Award as one of the top vegan blogs to follow from the same magazine. The Vegan Mos regularly speak and hold food demos at veg fests around the county.  Their first cookbook, NYC Vegan: Iconic Recipes for a Taste of the Big Apple was published in 2017. Michael is a certified Vegan Life Coach and educator through Main Street Vegan Academy and a certified Food for Life instructor through the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. Ethan is a podiatric surgeon in Manhattan and is the President of the Board of Directors of Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. They share a home in Brooklyn with their dogs, Riley & Charlie.

Allan Roettinger
Food Presentation
TOPIC: Make it Extraordinary! 

Alan Roettinger is a writer, food designer, blogger, and public speaker. He has been a private chef to the stars for over 30 years, serving clients in the United States, Europe and Australia. Raised in Mexico City, he acquired a taste for exotic food and culture early on—a passion for flavor and beauty that drives his culinary expression. He has cooked in private homes, catered parties and provided specialty desserts for a broad spectrum of high profile clients, from entertainers to presidents. A world traveler, he absorbed elements from many cuisines to synthesize a unique creative style. Throughout his years as a private chef, he developed a reputation for working within the limitations of restricted diets to create delicious dishes tailored to the specific tastes of each person. His primary focus is bringing health and pleasure together in food. Alan’s first cookbook, Omega 3 Cuisine showcases his ability to bring health and flavor together, offering a wide range of dishes that are simultaneously exotic and accessible to the home cook. His second cookbook, Speed Vegan, offers quick, easy plant-based dishes with unusual flavors for the time-pressured home cook. In Extraordinary Vegan, released in October 2013, Alan takes vegan cuisine a giant step forward with sophisticated new dishes, while keeping them easy and manageable by the average home cook.  His fourth cookbook, Paleo Vegan, a collaboration with co-author Ellen Jaffe Jones, was released in the spring of 2014, offering vegan options for anyone interested in following a “Paleo” diet. Paleo Smoothies was released shortly thereafter, followed by The Almond Milk Cookbook, offering a wide range of applications for almond milk, was released in 2015. He is passionate about encouraging and empowering people to “Eat smart, and live joyfully.”  Visit him at

In Alphabetical Order

The Good Life Refuge believes that animals deserve to be seen as sentient beings. They deserve respect, love and  the best treatment and care possible. Our mission is to provide refuge for abused, neglected and at-risk animals, especially farm animals. Our goals are to provide excellence in care, species appropriate nutrition and housing, and a loving and nurturing environment with mental stimulation and enrichment. Animals that are considered non-adoptable will take residency at the sanctuary and for adoptable animals we will find excellent homes. We are also dedicated to inspire others to a more balanced and compassionate lifestyle by outreach and advocacy.

Colorado Farm Sanctuary Coalition
Panel Discussion

Dr. Kim Allan Williams, Sr., M.D., MACC, FAHA, MASNC, FESC
TOPIC:  Nutrition and CV mortality

Dr. Williams is Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Rush University and specializes in cardiology, prevention and cardiac imaging. He has served on numerous national committees and boards including serving as the President of the American College of Cardiology, President of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Black Cardiologists. He is also the founder of the Urban Cardiology Initiative in Detroit, Michigan to reduce ethnic heart care disparities, and continues community-based efforts in Chicago at Rush. A native of Chicago’s South Side, Dr. Williams has over 30 years of experience as an educator, researcher, and physician.

We are a sanctuary for homeless, abused, neglected, used, slaughterbound animals, a place of healing, growth and education for all people who wish to see the world become a better place for all animals, human and non-human.We host events to connect farm animals to their human friends, and vice versa, and plan to operate a small non-violence and outdoor education based school for three to five year olds.

Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary is a safe place for animals rescued from abuse, neglect, slaughter and exploitation. We are not a petting zoo. We do not breed or sell animals. Occasionally animals are rescued already pregnant, they and their children will live out their lives here and will never be separated, sold or used.

JL Fields
​Food Presentation
TOPIC:  Vegan Meal Prep: Learn how to save time, save money, and flex your culinary muscles

JL Fields is the founder and culinary director of the Colorado Springs Vegan Cooking Academy. She is a Master Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator, Food for Life instructor, chef instructor in the culinary program at the University of New Mexico-Taos, personal chef, career coach, and a corporate consultant offering wellness training, brand representation, and strategic planning services. JL is the author of Vegan Meal Prep: Ready-to-Go Meals and Snacks for Healthy Plant-Based Eating, Vegan Pressure Cooking: More Than 100 Delicious Grain, Bean, and One-Pot Meals Using a Traditional or Electric Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot®, and The Vegan Air Fryer: The Healthier Way to Enjoy Deep-Fried Flavors and co-author of The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook: Over 100 Plant-Sourced Recipes Plus Practical Tips for the Healthiest, Most Compassionate You and Vegan for Her: The Woman's Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet. She writes the monthly vegan dining review for the Colorado Springs Gazette. 

Dr. Andrew Freeman MD, FACC, FACP 
TOPIC:  Plant Based Diets 2019: What's the Latest Science

Andrew M. Freeman MD, FACC, FACP joined National Jewish Health in Denver, CO after completing his training in Philadelphia at Temple University. Prior to that, he completed his internal medicine training at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He completed medical school at SUNY Buffalo with research honors after graduating summe cum laude from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. At National Jewish, he serves as the director of clinical cardiology and the director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness, and is an Associate Professor of Medicine. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology, cardiac CT, and echocardiography. His clinical and research interests are in disease prevention, exercise and lifestyle medicine, imaging heart disease, nutrition, and cardiac sarcoidosis. 
Dr. Freeman also hosts a monthly Walk with a Doc program (http:/Denver.WalkWithADoc.Org) in the Denver area where he volunteers his time to walk with patients on Saturday mornings to teach key health concepts, but also to explore using exercise as medicine for the greater good of the public. Finally, Dr. Freeman holds some key leadership positions in the Colorado chapter of the American College of Cardiology as well as at the national level, including founding chair of the Early Career Council and Section, an active member of the Best Practice Quality Improvement committee, co-chair of the Lifestyle and Nutrition Workgroup and a spot on the Patient-Centered Care and ACC Digital Steering Committees. He has published scholarly manuscripts on patient-centered care, cardiac sarcoidosis, and served as editor-in-chief of the Patient Centered Care community on CardioSource. He serves as the social media editor for JACC, the country’s number one cardiology journal. An avid teacher and educator, Dr. Freeman teaches medical, physician assistant and pharmacy students regularly, and has hosted many community lectures and CME programs. He is a regular feature at VegFest Colorado and continues to expand his teaching and messages of prevention and wellness all over Colorado.

Dr. Aysha Akhtar
TOPIC: Our Symphony With Animals. How empathy for animals is vital for human well-being. (subject matter: health, well-being, empathy and animals) 

Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., is a neurologist and public health specialist and is on a mission to show that what’s good for animals is also good for humans. Exploring diverse topics including infectious disease epidemics and the health consequences of factory farming, Dr. Akhtar explains how many of our most urgent and pressing public health threats are connected with how animals are treated.
Dr. Akhtar is the author of the book, Our Symphony With Animals. On Health, Empathy and Our Shared Destinies, to be published May 7, 2019. You can watch her TED talk, Do Animals Hold the Key to Your Health? where she discusses the connection between animal protection and human health.
Dr. Akhtar is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, is Deputy Director of the Army Traumatic Brain Injury Program, and serves as Lieutenant Commander in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Dr. Akhtar has appeared in the television shows, 30 Days, produced by Morgan Spurlock, and in Nick News, on both occasions discussing animal experimentation. You can learn more at her website,

Jane Esselstyn
TOPIC:  The Benefits of Plant-Based Nutrition Above and Below the Belt

Jane Esselstyn RN is a fresh, charismatic voice who brings her perspective and passion as a nurse, researcher, mother, and teacher to the forefront of the plant-based movement. She presents her work, research, and high energy demos around the world- and on her new YouTube channel with her firecracker mom, Ann Esselstyn. Jane’s annual conference, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease for Women, focuses on the power of the plant-based approach to eliminate this #1 killer of women and other preventable, lifestyle related diseases. Jane claims, “Prevention is the New Cure!”

Jane is an avid and inventive designer of plant-strong recipes and the co-author of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. She created the recipe sections of #1 NYTimes bestseller, Plant-Strong and The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue, by Rip Esselstyn. And she is co-author of The Engine 2 Cookbook. Jane brings her infectious energy and straight forward message to her presentations, cooking demonstrations, and cookbooks with clarity, hilarity, and a can-do attitude.

​​Hog Haven Farm is a Colorado-based 501C3 nonprofit for potbellied pigs (also called mini pigs) and standard breeds of pigs. Founded in 2014, HHF has rescued more than 180 pigs from situations of abandonment, abuse, neglect, and from slaughter. We help potbellied pigs find forever homes; offer sanctuary to both potbellied and standard pigs; and provide educational support to current & future pig owners as well as the general public. 
Hog Haven Farm is a vegan sanctuary that promotes a compassionate, plant-based diet. Potbellied pigs are commonly referred to as mini pigs, given their small size in comparison to their cousins--Duroc, Hampshire, Yorkshire and others. We are currently home to 99 pigs, 7 equine, 1 dog, and 4 cats (all rescued!).

Saturday 4:00 PM


2:00 PM


1:00 PM

Sunday 12:00 PM

Rooster Sanctuary at Danzig's Roost provides safe and forever homes for misplaced, abandoned or abused farmed birds with a focus on roosters, while we advocate strongly for a vegan lifestyle as the ultimate solution to ending the atrocities committed against all farmed animals.

Carla Boyd
​Food Presentation
TOPIC: Cooking with Hemp 

In 2014, Carla founded Hemp Way Foods, a hemp based food production company.  Today she continues as president & operations manager.  Carla struggled personally with various food intolerances, hemp foods assisted her on the road to sustainable health.  This inspired the creation of Hemp Way foods and fuels the company’s visionary food products.  Hemp Way Foods education is shared alongside brand awareness and is a central focus of the business’s outreach.  In 2015, her company received “Best Hemp Product/Facility “ by the Cannabis Business Awards and was voted in 2016 for “Best Colorado Hemp Food” by the Industrial Hemp Awards as well as winner of 2018 Indo Expo Hemp Foods competition. Recent highlights include articles featuring Hemp Way Foods in various regional publications, most notably the Denver Post & The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine.  Carla is also a featured contributor to the “Vegfest Cookbook” published in 2017.  In November 2018 Carla was appointed to the Leadership Council for the NSBA.  2019 brings more opportunities for sharing her message of hemp nutrition & sustainable food development; starting with catering at this years’ Indo Expo Hemp Hallway and panel member/speaker for The Industrial Hemp Summit held in Virginia at the Institute for Advanced Learning & Research.

VegFest Colorado logo


Alphabetical by first name

Megan Alexander (Chocolateria Isla Bella)

​Food Presentation
​TOPIC:  Bean to Bar chocolate Workshop

​We are a mother and daughter team of chocolate makers on the caribbean island of Cozumel.  We own and operate Chocolateria Isla Bella and are dedicated to making people happy through chocolate.  We are very enthusiastic about all things Mexican and feel honoured to represent such a beautiful and charming country with warm people and extraordinary cuisine.  The sacred cacao originated in this part of Mexico and we craft all of our chocolate with cacao from a small family farm.  We roast, crack, winnow, conch and age our chocolate in small batches using local, sustainable ingredients. The result is some of the best chocolate in the world.  We are always creating new, fun and bold bonbon flavours whilst still recreating and honouring the traditional chocolate of the region.  We make everything by hand with lots of love. Our small chocolate shop has taken us big places over the last few years. We  hosted a chocolate tasting for Sir Richard Branson on his private island, we  catered to Oprah and her O team here in Cozumel, made chocolate sardines for the country of Portugal and most recently have been asked to represent Mexico for a culinary exposition in Turkey. We are very passionate about chocolate and love to share our chocolate stories and knowledge. The cultural and historical importance of cacao in Mexico and the world is quite exciting.  The ancient emperors  consumed as much as 40 cups of chocolate a day and cacao was used as currency.  We are an adventurous team and like to dive into the chocolate making from all angles, from climbing in the mountains through wild cacao in south america, to attending formal festivals celebrating the flavours of chocolate . We love to do it all! Side note about our vegan milk chocolates: All of our dark chocolate is naturally vegan, but our white chocolate, milk chocolate and truffles are made vegan by using local nuts, seeds, coconuts and tropical fruits instead of dairy to create decadent fillings and lush white and milk chocolates. All of our cacao is fair trade, harvested using traditional methods with no chemicals or pesticides.