The upcoming Vegan X pop-up collaboration is part degustation, part banquet. It will pair the cooking of Black Star Pastry’s Eddie Stewart with drinks from Archie Rose small-batch distillery in Rosebery.

Vegan X Founder, Morgan Fiebig, says the idea of the event is to change people’s perception of vegan food. “The whole point is for it not to be an exclusive vegan thing, we're just getting together over good food that happens to be vegan.” That’s why she got Eddie Stewart on board. “I'm the total opposite of a vegan. I love my beef and pork so it was a challenge at first,” says Stewart. The Black Star chef has been toying with different vegetarian dishes since Fiebig first met at a vegan food and yoga event.

He’s particularly impressed with the meatiness of some of the dishes he and Fiebig have come up with. “I love ragu, we're doing a vegan ragu made from lentils. I'm really excited about that because you can get a really meaty flavour by using lots of stock and reducing it down.” Stewart, who spent a lot of time in Japan, uses kombu, mushroom and soy to replicate the umami taste that’s usually associated with meat. Another example is the celeriac soup with mushroom duxelle croute (like a mini mushroom pastie) and fresh celery leaf. Stewart and Archie Rose founder, Will Edwards, are joking about having the soup pour out of a fountain-like dispenser (this may still happen).

The feast features eight dishes with four matching drinks from the cellars of Archie Rose. “Morgan and Eddie worked on the food side of things and then passed the menu on to us and we matched the drinks to the food,” Edwards says. On arrival each guest will receive seasonal crudites and dips with a glass of Archie Rose’s signature dry gin mixed with Pop Soda’s exclusively made bush tonic.

Edwards, also a meat eater like Stewart, says events like this can break down the negative stereotypes around veganism. “It's got a weird stigma about being not tasty, but I reckon if you hosted this dinner and didn't tell anyone it was vegan people would just say that was just god damn delicious.”

The Vegan X dinner will take place at Archie Rose Distilling Co. on Wednesday July 15, from 6.30pm–9.30pm. The cost is $125pp.