There are good vibes to be had at the 17th annual Monterey Bay Reggaefest this weekend. There is also a lot of food. While a lot of it is typical fairgrounds fare, we found a very special Jamaican cook named Leonie McDonald whose food is strictly vegan and very delicious. She also has music cred, as her husband, Lloyd “Bread” McDonald was a friend of Bob Marley growing up together in Jamaica, and he is in the band Wailing Souls. We got a combo plate with fried plantains, rice, mango, avocado, tofu, and other good things. My favorite were the black beans. I can’t remember having any this good in a long time, and I asked Leonie how she made them. She said: “They are not from the can! They are black beans that we soak, wash, and cook with garlic, onions, ginger, thyme, coconut milk, and a little bit of ginger. They’re good for you.” Look for the stand that says Strictly Vegan.
Rob Fisher is rector of St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Carmel Valley and co-publisher and associate editor of this magazine.