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Vegan Iron Chef!

Posted Mar 22 2013 4:42pm
I had the absolute pleasure of attending last night's Vegan Iron Chef competition and, because we were fortunate to snag tasting table tickets, I am still full!  I'm a bit short on time, but here's a run down of the evening in pictures.


For me, the highlight of the reception before the show was all the cheese from Miyoko Schinner.  She was a judge and not a contestant, but as far as I'm concerned her cheeses stole the show.  I have to get her book !


I also loved all the cookies, like these orange chocolate delights, from Picnic Bakery .

Ice cream sandwiches from Green Girl Bake Shop , especially this one in chocolate coffee, were amazing.  Gluten free, soy-free, dairy-free, and full of flavor, you guys.  I hope to see these puppies in stores soon but you can order them online now.

After the reception we got a little break from eating while the competition actually happened.  Here, the chefs are hard at work.   I loved watching them infuse the secret ingredient, tea, into all their dishes.  It was also sweet to see the camaraderie between them and their obvious love for food and cooking.  There was a lot of heart and soul in the food they created.  Speaking of which
Chef Eric Tucker of Millennium Restaurant gave us this savory lentil burger with smoked mushrooms and green garlic green tea aioli as well as green tea gnocchi with yuba.  The aioli was one of the best things I tasted all evening.  Judge Colleen Holland of VegNews suggested he bottle it and I, for one, support that wholeheartedly.   I totally thought he has this contest in the bag until...

Chef Philip Gelb of In the Mood for Food presented a deeply flavored broth and homemade soba noodles.  He also made a green tea waffle that was my single favorite item of the evening, but I didn't get a good picture because I ate it too fast.  :)

Lastly, Chef Lisa Books-Williams of Thrive Holistic , was  the surprise winner of the evening with her all raw preparation. Hooray Lisa!  It was incredibly tasty to be sure, but I'm pretty sure she beat the boys with presentation points.  I'm also not sure how fair it was that so many of her items were made before the competition (those ice cream cones alone must have taken hours to dehydrate, but then again Eric Tucker baked his buns prior to competing as well, so...) but I enjoyed her plate - the umeboshi plum and green tea ice cream in particular.

All in all, my vote would have gone to Chef Phil, but this was basically a vegan love fest and I am so happy I attended.  With any luck, this will become an annual event and I can stuff myself silly again next year!
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