Where to Eat Vegan in Central Florida: Orlando TUME

©: Igot_theshot

A lot of Florida’s magic rests in being able to eat from all over the world and especially the Caribbean. Most places in America don’t have a Colombian, Peruvian, Jamaican, Guatemalan, Haitian, Puerto Rican, or Cuban restaurant within hundreds of miles. Here in Florida, and in Orlando/ Orange County, this is generally all around the corner. This peninsula is amazing!

So much of the world comes to Orlando, FL; home of Disney, Universal, Sea World, and many more attractions. Food here is abundant and from all over the world. While many visit for the attractions, many visit for a journey with food. Coming here is visiting the world by way of plate.

One, more than unique vegan dining experience can be had at TUME, a woman founded owned mobile pop up that makes some of the prettiest plates I’ve ever seen. Almost too pretty to eat, but I had to for this feature. 

On spring day in Orlando, I visited TUME at a market that had an open space full of vendors, serving and selling all kinds of food, desserts, snacks, breads, and more. I was able to watch my meal being prepared while having a bit of conversation with the chef which was a beautiful experience. I feasted on:

©: igot_theshot

  • Taco, La Flor
  • Taco, El Papa
  • Mini Alfajores (cookie)
  • Black Cherry Hibiscus Juice

The meal was organically grown, soy free, and gluten free. The tortillas were handmade and homemade. It was the first time I experienced hibiscus ‘meat’. The best and prettiest tacos I’ve had to date, have been here.

The 15th < Where to Eat Vegan with the Traveling Cannabis Writer features TUME! Get to know them through founder, owner, and chef: Alli Sagastume. 

Q & A with the Founder and Chef of TUME: Alli Sagastume

©: TUME

Where you’re from/ where your family is from/ where you were raised/

“I was born in New Jersey. My dad is Guatemalan & mother is Peruvian. I grew up in South Florida, Broward County.” 

What did you do for work or other businesses owned and worked prior to TUME?

“I worked a corporate job for 10 years. Before that I was a head chef at a café and owned a small baked good catering business, Cookie Mei. I was also blessed with the opportunity to travel to several countries where I worked in kitchens.” 

Give readers a little insight into the 10 year old you- what were your hopes and dreams?

“To be able to help animals. I always rescued animals as a kid, whether it was birds, turtles, squirrels or even lizards.” 

When did cooking and meal creation start for you? 

“I remember baking with my caretaker at a young age, baking cookies like alfajores. But it wasn’t until I was about 13 when I started to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle that I started to cook for myself more. My parents refused to cook vegetarian so it was up to me to do my own research and create food, read a lot of books, and even traveled to Peru often to seek out vegetarian restaurants to learn more about tofu and other wheat and soy mock meat alternatives.” 

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When did you know you wanted to feed others?

“Closer to 17. I was graduating high school and was deciding what education I wanted to have afterwards. I used to cook a lot for my boyfriend at the time and my friends and everyone always enjoyed it and never once thought the food was vegetarian. That gave me the push to further get into the culinary field and then pursue traveling around the world to learn how to cook in other kitchens.” 

What’s your favorite thing to create and feed others?

“I love to be able to recreate comfort latino food and raw desserts. Love being able to hit people with the nostalgia of flavors, flavors they haven’t had in years because of their new adapted lifestyle.” 

When was the concept of TUME born and what was/were the reason(s)?

“Around 2018. I had been living in Portland for about a year and was just missing my mom’s Peruvian food. I started messing around in the kitchen and just had that aha moment for the next business idea. Tying in my Heritage but also using local seasonal ingredients that were so abundant in PDX.” 

What was the official birthdate of TUME?

“November 2019.”

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What inspired the menu and offerings?

The seasons! Our menu has always been rotational, and changes with the seasons. We love to use ingredients that are in season to provide the best quality tasting dishes.”

What kinds of plant proteins do you all use?

“Variety of mushrooms, hibiscus flowers, beans, soy-free tempeh (when available) any other plants & legumes I can create with. We never use processed lab made mock meats. We make everything from scratch.”

Are any of your products locally sourced?

“Yes, about 90% are locally sourced or grown by us.” 

What is the mission and core values of TUME?

“Food Sovereignty. Food accessibility of conscious plant-based food for all; no human deserves to go hungry. We offer our donation based program for all plant starts, seeds & produce/plant medicine from our organic garden. 

Fostering a symbiotic relationship with Pachamama. Adapting a zero-waste kitchen as much as possible. Offering programs like Bring Your Own Containers, using compostable to-go containers and composting or re-using ingredients. 

Directly supporting our local community. Using as much local produce & ingredients as possible by creating close relationships with our local farmers & makers. We believe in transparency and always post who we supply our produce every week as well as having a Community list on our website. 

Never compromising ingredients. We strive to use 100% organic ingredients.  We are mindful of what ingredients we use and Never use any processed ingredients, toxic seed oils, & any unnatural flavors/dyes.” 

©: igot_theshot

What are 3 things people should know about TUME?

“1. Everything we make is 100% plant-based vegan meaning we only use whole foods and never anything processed. 2. We do our best to offer many allergen friendly dishes and desserts. We really mean it when we say that we want food access for all. 3. We are small-batch and aim for slow mindful eating. We make everything from scratch so each of our dishes and desserts take a while to create. Our menu is always small so we can truly focus on each ingredient.” 

Please tell me about your no waste foundation.

“Coming from Portland, zero-waste was just a part of everyday life. We wanted to bring that awareness out here in Florida by offering the Bring Your Own Container program, hopefully getting everyone to start being more mindful when they go out to eat & also to inspire other businesses to adapt the program. 

We also lead by example by trying to be zero-waste in our kitchen by composting our produce scraps for our garden,  repurposing ingredients, re-filling our soaps and cleaning supplies from our local refillery, and using easy kitchen swaps like reusable ziplock bags, paper towels & cling wraps.” 

Tell me about the flower placed on each meal

“We love using nature and allowing her to speak for herself. Flowers are just one of those ingredients we love to sprinkle everywhere. We eat with our eyes first, so we treat every dish like a work of art. We also are able to open up the conversation about flowers, and how each is beneficial for not only our bodies but also in our garden’s ecosystem.” 

Final Words

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I asked Alli to close us out with her thoughts on cannabis/hemp and what she shared makes the perfect closing to this feature: 

“We are all about the use of cannabis for wellness for both mind and body. The same ideology I have for food can be applied for plant medicine; what I put into my body is based on our biological requirement, knowing that we as humans have an endogenous cannabinoid system and this plant produces the same healing compounds which fit our receptors. You can’t spell Healthcare without THC. 

We used to offer medicated maca bars in Portland. But as of now we do use hemp seeds in both baked goods or to make our “cheezes” and sauces.

Florida cannabis needs to do better. Corporate cannabis “farms” far outweigh any, if at all local farmers. Legalization of cannabis is not always a good thing and I believe education in this is key. If our government controls our supply it will always side with their greed instead of the consumer’s needs, (helping to medicate folks who need it to survive or live comfortably) . It gives them the opportunity to create genetically modified flower or rush the process of growing it so that nothing gets checked, causing moldy weed to pass through to the consumers.”

Make sure ya’ll visit <TUME> and <follow on IG>!

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Veronica Castillo is a published writer known as the Traveling Cannabis Writer. She was born and raised in Miami, and recently retired from road life after 5 years of traveling the United States and the Caribbean on a mission to learn and educate on all things plant medicine. Though her body of published work is mainly in cannabis, Veronica is passionate about plant based lifestyles. She lost 95 pounds, began her healing journey, and treated her migraines with a plant based lifestyle. 

Her Where to Eat Vegan Series explores vegan menus and plates, helping travelers navigate their plant based lifestyles on the road.  Follow her on IG at @vee_travelingvegcannawriter and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vee-traveling-veg-canna-writer/ 

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