The Feast of the Seven Fishes, a seafood meal served on Christmas Eve, is a centuries-old custom brought to South Philly by southern Italians. For those who want to try a new, unexpected take on this feast, The Passyunk Post is proud to sponsor a special event with the Vegan Commissary, the beloved South Philly vegan market, caterer, and cafe. The Commissary’s Feast of the Seven Fishes will take place on Sunday, December 16th at DuJour Cafe, 20th and Market Streets. Doors open at 5pm, meal served at 6pm. A portion of the proceeds raised benefit the East Passyunk Community Center.
Vegan Commissary chef Steve Laurence started preparing, cooking, and savoring vegan food in 2010 in the midst of the recession. He founded a wholesale business at 11th and Morris Streets. Ultimately, Steve wanted a space that could hold catering and a cafe and moved the Vegan Commissary to 1429 Wolf Street.
The cafe does business all week long. Popular items include melt-in-your-mouth pesto gnocchi and the savory ‘meatball’ sub. The neighborhood has embraced this eatery and about 45% of the customers aren’t vegan, but continue to come back for the delicious, healthy food, friendly service, and laid back atmosphere. Steve, along with his team and head chef Damian Patterson, see food as a bridge to cross cultures and communities. You’ve may have also seen Vegan Commissary’s tasty treats at coffee shops all over the city.
Crab cake with zucchini, horseradish cream, basil oil and caramelized cabbage. Photo by Daryl Peveto.
The Commissary’s take on the Feast of the Seven Fishes will capture the inherent spirit of each traditional dish and translate it to a different medium. Diners will taste the ocean and brine in some dishes, and their tastebuds will resonate with sweetness and certain textures in others. This imaginative meal will leave vegans and non-vegans alike satisfied and enriched. The incredibly talented Damian Patterson has planned the dazzling menu below.
Vegan Feast of the Seven Fishes
pumpernickel toast l herbed almond cheese l candied radish
Watermelon Tuna Poke
carrot caviar l seaweed chip l mache l daikon l serrano relish
Hearts of Palm & Chayote Ceviche
coconut-sunflower seed broth l lemongrass l Aleppo pepper l tomato seeds
Trumpet Mushroom Calamari
fresh herb & cucumber salad l smoked avocado mousse
black sesame sauce l beurre blanc l crispy lentils l swiss chard dumplings
bucatini l ocean butter l smoked tomato sauce l oysters l clams l scallops
Italian Rainbow Cake l Pistachio Cannoli
To accommodate a larger crowd, the meal will take place at Du Jour Cafe, 2001 Market Street.
Can’t make the event? Each year, Vegan Commissary features a unique holiday sandwich with proceeds going back to the community. This season’s Moist Maker (yes, that is an old-school Friends reference) is vegan turkey, sweet potato mash, stuffing, gravy, shaved brussels sprouts, and cranberry marmalade piled on thick cut whole grain toast. The sandwich benefits farmers who have been negatively impacted by the Fair Food Farmstand’s closure.
1429 Wolf Street
- Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Friday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.