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ThanksLiving X, 2015

Nov 15


This page describes our benefit last year in November, 2015. If you’re looking for our ThanksLiving Benefit in 2016, please click here:

Feeding the Turkeys!

ThanksLiving is a fun event where we honor our rescued turkeys and celebrate creative innovations in vegan cuisine.  It includes passed hors d’oeuvres, a multi-course gourmet vegan meal, wine and beer, a silent auction, live music and more–all to raise vital funds for the animals and our new sanctuary!

Cacioppo-TL14-103This will be our 10th ThanksLiving benefit and our first at our new sanctuary in High Falls, New York, in a beautiful 1960’s era dining hall that seats 250 people, complete with a massive commercial kitchen where all the evening’s culinary delights will be prepared.

See the menuWe’re thrilled to announce that our featured chef this year is none other than the hottest young chef in NYC who is all the rage — Jay Astafa! And we’re delighted as always to have the oh-so extraordinary Danielle Konya of Vegan Treats Bakery prepare a feast of desserts for your eyes and stomach!

As this is a benefit and funds are needed now more than ever with the purchase of our new sanctuary, there will be an increase in ticket price over 2014. Every seat equals dollars raised for our operations, so no discounted “kids” price will be offered if they occupy a seat. Thanks for your understanding!

Jay Astafa: Celebrity Vegan Chef, Caterer and Vegan Iron Chef Winner!

JA-94Jay Astafa is a 22 year old vegan chef.  He stumbled upon veganism as a teen, after witnessing the horrors of factory farming conveyed via an undercover investigation conducted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It was after this that Jay began experimenting around with food. Immersed in the restaurant business since he was wee, his father’s pizza joint provided the testing ground he needed to develop his kitchen skills.

When 3 Brothers Pizza Café expanded its offerings to include Jay’s vegan creations, The New York Times showed up. Thereafter it became a destination for animal lovers and lactose intolerants alike. Due to demand, the vegan options multiplied and, at 20, Jay hosted his first pop-up on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. A runaway success, that’s when the catering calls started flooding in.

Since May 2013 he’s been helming Jay Astafa Catering, which services clients from New York to Miami, baby showers to Bar Mitzvahs, weddings to movie sets, nonprofits to music moguls. Somewhere in there he managed also to attend both the Natural Gourmet Institute and the International Culinary Center. In 2014, Jay was the winner of San Francisco’s Vegan Iron Chef and also appeared on Food Network’s Rewrapped.

In April 2015 Jay executed his second pop-up dinner series, set at a Brooklyn townhouse, which garnered high praise and ample press exposure. And, this summer, Jay launched his latest pop-up series — PLANT by jay astafa — at a Chelsea art gallery. To top it all off, he likewise opened a 100% vegan eatery, 3 Brothers Vegan Café, the first of its kind on Long Island. He is currently working on writing a cookbook, launching his boutique plant based cheese company, and developing his NYC restaurant concept.

Danielle Konya – Vegan Treats Founder and Award-winning Vegan Baker

VeganTreatsHeadshotFor the last fifteen years, her desserts have won the hearts of pretty much everyone with functioning taste buds. In fact, the very lucky residents of NYC, Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia anxiously await her deliveries at area restaurants and cafes each week. (People have been known to plan their days around the arrival of her doughnuts. Taste one and you’ll see why.)

While her desserts have earned her a PETA Proggy Award for Best Bakery, a coveted Guest Chef spot at Google, and the champion of PBS’s Feast of Sweets, where, she not only won Best Overall, but did so competing against over fifty non-vegan bakers. (Take that, dairy!) As if that’s not impressive enough, in 2012 American Express Departures Magazine named Vegan Treats Bakery one of the top 10 bakeries in the entire world.

VeganTreatsDessertsAnd no, that doesn’t mean one of the best VEGAN bakeries in the world, that means one of the best BAKERIES. Period.


Thank you to our generous gift bag, raffle and silent auction sponsors:

Aloha Logo

blossom logo


Daiya Logo

Freedom of Animals Logo

logo-green cottage

Gunas Logo

HiBall Energy Logo

Holistic Holiday at Sea Logo


Le Creuset Logo

Massel Logo

Meow Meow Tweet Logo



Prairie Underground Logo

Rockin' Raw Logo




Waterfall Villas Logo

Well Vegan Logo

Will's Vegan Shoes Logo

100% Pure
Acure Organics
Alternative Baking Co.
Aroma Thyme Bistro
Beyond Skin
Bodhi Holistic Spa
Caryn King Studio
Chicago Vegan Foods
Chickpea & Olive
Cinnamon Snail
Citra Solv
Compassion Co.
Djuna Shay
Earth Science
Field Roast
Furface Pet Portraits
Genna Howard
Go Macro
Go Raw
Grayworks Design
Gristle Tattoo
Hungry Ghost Guesthouse
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Karen Segboer
Lagusta’s Luscious
Live & Let Live
Michelle Leon Vegan
Nature’s Path
obsessive compulsive cosmetics
Phoenicia Lodge
Planet Dog
Raw Revolution
So Delicious
Spider Ink Studio
Stephanie Schlegel
Sweet & Sara
The Vegan Collection
Vaute Couture
Vegan Essentials
Vital Alchemy Acupuncture

Thank you to our generous food and beverage sponsors:


Long Logo SM


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Ace Natural
The Apple Bin
Twisted Jeanne’s