I had the pleasure of being the photographer for the July Dinner for Food Simply. Founder Camille McArdle-Hankin shares her love of plant based food and community with her vegan menus alongside her family, friends and neighbors who support her and her mission.
She began hosting dinners November of last year. She felt called to teach people about plant based foods for health and environmental reasons. We talked about what being vegan means to her, her passion for meeting and connecting with people through conversations, and embracing community.
Interview with Camille
What made you start your business?
Camille: I felt called and drawn to it. It’s honestly all the things I really enjoy – feeding people, sitting down and having a good conversation with someone, going out and meeting people. We live in a time where we are very technologically connected through communication (She found my food photography through Instagram!) , but socially disconnected. Being vegan also has become a stigmatized word.
What do you think other people think of when they hear that someone is a vegan?
That they are a hippie, feminist, and only eat salads. That they’re difficult to socialize with because of their diet. Being Vegan now is more than just salads, and it’s much easier than it used to be. Stores and restaurants offer Vegan options because it’s growing.
What do you want to teach people about food?
How to add more plants into their diets, and that you don’t have to change your whole diet and eating habits overnight. There’s small changes you can make and build on those over time.
What’s the biggest lessons you’ve learned in business?
To ask for help when you need it, not to compare yourself to others, and accepting that you’re a work in progress.
What are some of your next projects you’re working on?
Food demonstrations at the Farm to Fork festival, being an assistant chef to a kid’s empowerment camp, helping more people transition to a plant based diet, and to continue running the monthly vegan dinners.
If you attended this event check out more photos here!