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Antioch College
Linguine with butternut ricotta sauce and mushroom bolognese; one of the menu items that will be featured at the pop-up dinner hosted by vegan chef Clara Polito on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Foundry Theater's experimental theater.

Linguine with butternut ricotta sauce and mushroom bolognese; one of the menu items that will be featured at the pop-up dinner hosted by vegan chef Clara Polito on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Foundry Theater's experimental theater.

Vegan chef Clara Polito to host pop-up dinner at Antioch

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Vegan chef and author Clara Polito will present a pop-up vegan dinner at Antioch College on Saturday, Dec. 9, 7–10 p.m., in the Foundry Theater’s experimental theater space.

Now 20 years old, the Los Angeles-based Polito has had nearly a decade to perfect her signature recipes; she began with baking at the age of 12 and started her own company, Clara Cakes, not long after. The company name also graces the cover of Polito’s first cookbook, “Clara Cakes: Delicious and Simple Vegan Desserts for Everyone,” published this year by powerHouse Books.

Vegan chef and author Clara Polito with her "Sexy Cake," a lime cake with spicy, tangy, salty blueberry sauce filling, lime frosting and a blueberry sauce swirl. The recipe for this cake is featured in her cookbook, which will be available at her pop-up dinner on Saturday.

Vegan chef and author Clara Polito with her “Sexy Cake,” a lime cake with spicy, tangy, salty blueberry sauce filling, lime frosting and a blueberry sauce swirl. The recipe for this cake is featured in her cookbook, which will be available at her pop-up dinner on Saturday.

Along with offering a large vegan baking menu, Clara Cakes has expanded into catering and pop-up dinners, like the one she’ll be offering in the village.

Polito is tied to Antioch College by her best friend, who’s a student and who tipped her off to the college’s commitment to pursuing sustainable, ethical food systems on its campus. 

“We thought bringing my cooking and ideas to a college like Antioch would be a great match,” said Polito via email this week. “I’ve done pop-ups in places like Detroit and Las Vegas, but never at a college. I think my being [college-aged] makes it especially exciting!”

Though 21st-century palates have grown more accustomed to meat-, egg- and dairy-free diets, Polito thinks it’s still important to offer good, vegan meals to those who might not have experienced them before.

“When I meet people who didn’t realize the dinner was vegan, or were a little hesitant at first, and they tell me how much they loved it, it makes me realize what an impact an impressive meal can have,” said Polito.
 
Villagers planning to attend can look forward to a menu of creamy miso leek soup, braised cabbage and pancetta, butternut mushroom bolognese linguine and tiramisu; the cost is $40. Wine will be served, and music will be provided by Antioch’s DJ spitegrl and Polito herself. An after-party will follow the dinner, where guests can talk with Polito and purchase a copy of her cookbook.

For those who are interested in learning about vegan cooking themselves, Polito will also host a workshop focusing on accessible vegan cooking on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2–4 p.m., at Antioch’s North Residence Hall. The workshop will also feature a brief discussion about Polito’s cookbook and what it’s like to be a young business person, as well as tea party-themed snacks and a vegan cooking zine made by Polito. Cost is $7 for community members and free for Antioch College students.  

Polito is looking forward to the event and the opportunity to mingle with townies. “I’ve never been to Ohio before,” she said. “[I’m] so excited to meet locals through this dinner!”

Click here to be taken to the dinner’s Eventbrite page, where tickets can be purchased.

 
 

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Vegan chef Clara Polito to host pop-up dinner at Antioch

by Lauren Shows