2022 Boston Veg Food Fest Speakers

Saturday, October 1, 2022

12:00 — The Future of Business: Plant-Based Entrepreneur Panel
Moderated by Harvard Business School Professor Max Bazerman
with Panelists from PlantPub, NoPigNeva, Tender Foods, Brown Foods

A plant-based diet reduces greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation, can improve one’s health, and prevents animal suffering. These benefits have led to a boom in the plant-based food industry, which is expected to grow to $1+ trillion in the near future. Harvard Business School Professor Max Bazerman will moderate a panel of successful entrepreneurs in the plant-based food space who will discuss the plant-based food industry, their businesses and products, how they got started, and what’s coming next. This is your chance to hear directly from the movers and shakers who are charting a path toward a plant-forward future.


Max BazermanMax H. Bazerman, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School

In January 2022, Professor Bazerman taught a short intensive course at Harvard Business School called “Opportunities in the Plant-based Economy,” where he took participants on a deep dive into the ethics, products, investments, and environment of the global food supply chain, with an immersive look at the role of plant-based foods. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of twenty books, most recently Complicit (forthcoming), Decision Leadership (with Don A. Moore), and Better, Not Perfect: A Realist’s Guide to Maximum Goodness.

Professor Bazerman is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and earned a PhD from Carnegie-Mellon University. He has received honorary degrees from Harvard and the London Business School of the University of London. He has been honored with the Life Achievement Award from the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management. In addition, Max was named as Ethisphere’s 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics. His external work involves teaching and consulting in 30 countries.


Stephania BernardStephania Bernard, Co-Founder and CEO of NoPigNeva, has been a vegan for seven years and grew up in Boston. She founded NoPigNeva, a vegan online store, in 2020 and currently serves as its CEO. Stephania has a background in Human Resources and entrepreneurship. She is a self-proclaimed vegan food critic. She also has an 8-year-old Terripoo named Oreo! 

Christophe ChantreChristophe Chantre is the co-founder and CEO of Tender Food, a food technology startup originating from Harvard University and focused on bringing to market an entirely new category of alternative meats: whole muscle cuts. He was previously a program lead at the Wyss Institute to develop and validate functionality of regenerative heart valve bioprosthetics in preclinical studies. Christophe holds a PhD in bioengineering carried out between Harvard University and the University of Zurich, and engineering degrees from the Swiss Institutes of Technology (EPFL, ETH).

Pat McAuleyPat McAuley, Co-Founder, PlantPub, is a Boston-based serial entrepreneur, author, TEDx speaker, and wellness advocate. He has started and successfully run companies in the tech space and food and beverage industries. After a plant-based diet changed his life, Pat shifted his focus to building and supporting businesses in the plant-based space. He is the host of the popular Eat Green Make Green Podcast and founder of PlantPub, a plant-based restaurant brand that is “redefining the pub,” with a location in Kendall Square, and the newly-opened 250+ seat pub just steps from Fenway Park Stadium.

Bhavna TandonBhavna Tandon is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Brown Foods, a food technology start-up with the goal of making real milk in the lab without any cows. Their UnReal Milk will be exactly similar to cow’s milk in terms of nutritional profile, taste, and texture, and will reduce the carbon footprint of milk by over 90% while being completely cruelty-free. This sustainable milk start-up was recently funded by Y Combinator. Bhavna holds a Masters in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology from IIT Delhi in India and PhD in Molecular Biology from Rice University. She previously worked on studying cell behavior during early development before co-founding Brown Foods in 2021.

1:00 — Egyptian Dishes You Can Make Yourself

Chef Sawsan Galal brings her family’s love of cooking and Egyptian roots to her more than 25 years of culinary experience. In Culinary School she learned many cuisines, and loves sharing cultures and their cuisines with her students. She was a member of the adjunct faculty of The National Institute for Culinary Arts at Mountain State University in West Virginia, and offers vegan cooking classes at Koshari Mama, the Egyptian vegan street food restaurant in Somerville, where she is head baker.

Chef Sawsan mixes fresh ingredients, international flavors, and a bit of food history with her love of teaching. She will demonstrate two recipes, rich in nutrients and flavor, that you can easily make at home.

Recipes and tasting samples of the finished dishes will be distributed to class attendees.

​2:00 — Interrelated Injustices Rooted in Animal Agriculture​

Nirva Kapasi Patel is the Global Policy Fellow in the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School, and Chair of the Board of Farm Sanctuary. She is a registered patent attorney, biomedical engineer, and executive producer for several plant-based films, including The Game Changers, The End of Medicine, and Meat Me Halfway. Nirva has a Masters in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University. For close to a decade, Nirva worked in animal advocacy in Mumbai, India. In the U.S., she has individually sparked many animal advocacy campaigns.

At Harvard Law, Nirva works on research and litigation to benefit the lives of animals farmed for food, animals used in biomedical research, animals affected by climate change, and those suffering a multitude of other harms. She also works on regulatory aspects of alternatives to animal products, and works to achieve justice for families affected by noxious factory farms. As Board Chair of Farm Sanctuary, Nirva is dedicated to furthering their commitment to addressing the full scope of interrelated injustices rooted in animal agriculture.

3:00 — Eating for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Maryam Salehpour, MD, is a plant-based doctor and a certified professional plant-based cook. She grew up in England and attended St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London. After completing her medical degree, she worked for the National Health Service in the UK before immigrating to the US. She completed her family medicine residency at New York Medical College at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center, and was awarded the Resident Teacher Award by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Upon graduating, she joined Charles River Community Health in Waltham, Mass, affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and provided care to a vibrant and culturally diverse community.

In her private practice at Clarity Health & Wellness in Burlington, Mass, she teaches gradual implementation of healthy habits and good lifestyle practices, and how a whole-food plant-based diet can reverse heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes, and lower risk of cancer. Dr. Salehpour is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Massachusetts Medical Society, Obesity Medicine Association, Iranian-American Medical Association, and American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

4:00 — Healthy Haitian Cooking at Home

Sabrina Vixama is the creative talent and entrepreneur who launched Discover Vegans, the catering and popup business offering 100% plant-based dishes inspired by Haitian cuisine and fresh, health-promoting ingredients.

Sabrina’s plant-based journey began in 2017 when she viewed the documentary What the Health, then went on to read How Not to Die and other books that solidified her knowledge base. Finding significant personal health benefits from her switch to eating plant-based, and with a  family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, Sabrina became passionate about educating people on how much food affects our everyday lives. Through extensive recipe testing and personal inspiration, Sabrina is using her foods to delight the taste buds while making a positive impact on the health of her community and the world.

Recipes and tasting samples of the finished dishes will be distributed to class attendees.

Saturday at 2:00 and Sunday at 1:00 — Storybook Reading in Kids Room

Kids of all ages, with their guardians, are invited to hear artist and author Christen Mailler, co-founder of Vegan Publishers, and her daughter Lena read stories from the childrens’ books that they publish. Christen has a BFA from the Tufts School of The Museum of Fine Arts. In the Kids Activity Room, 2nd floor.

Sunday our focus will be on food and visiting our wonderful exhibitors, no speakers.


Food Fest Speaker Archive
See a complete list of speakers going back to 2005.