• Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown with Upton’s Naturals!

    July 28th, 2011quarrygirlvegan events

    hey everyone! today we have a guest post from the makers of one of our favorite vegan products, upton’s naturals seitan. they hosted a “vegan chef showdown” over the weekend in chicago and they sent us a rundown and pictures from the event. i think we definitely need to organize something like this in los angeles. enjoy!

    This past weekend Chicago was the proud home of the first ever Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown hosted by animal heroes, Mercy for Animals and local seitan producers, Upton’s Naturals. The event worked like this: 12 teams of chefs cooked their butts off in advance of the Saturday afternoon competition, arriving with food prepared and ready to be served to the hungry line of vegans waiting outside. The only rules were that the food had to be vegan and had to use one of the four available types of Upton’s Naturals seitan (Traditional, Ground, Italian, or Chorizo). Beyond that, the chefs, a mix of professionals, culinary students, and amateurs, were allowed to be completely creative with their dishes.

    Your hosts: Rene of the Funky Buddha Lounge, Kenny from Mercy for Animals, Upton, and Nicole and Dan from Upton’s Naturals…

    The event was held at the Funky Buddha Lounge on Grand Ave, who kindly donated the space and had the bar open to attendees. As folks filed in, they were able to purchase tickets for $1 each, with each ticket buying them a sample of one of the 12 mouth-watering dishes available from the participating chefs. In the end, over 2,000 samples were sold! All of the money raised from food sales was donated to Mercy for Animals.

    Each attendee was also granted a blue “voting” ticket which allowed them, after taste-testing to their heart’s content, the ability to vote for their favorite Vegan Chef team. The top three teams each received an awesome assortment of gift certificates from local vegan-friendly restaurants and businesses.

    Raffle prizes were drawn before the top three teams were announced to an anxious crowd.

    In first place was The Rootsty Vegan team with their amazingly delicious Jerk Corn Muffin dish.

    Other entries included: Second place team Josh, Greg, and Kate delighted the crowd with two kinds of calzones.

    Third place winners Blythe and Meagen brought hand-made ravioli (over 800 for the event!).

    Chicago-style deep dish from Alexis of Vegan Miss.

    Tacos from Kelly Peloza, the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur and her teammate, Gopal.

    Delicious savory chorizo cupcakes from Sandi and Brian of Canary Confectionary.

    All photos courtesy of Lee Iovino.

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6 responses to “Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown with Upton’s Naturals!” RSS icon

  • Thanks for sharing! This event was a BLAST! We’d be happy to come out for another one in LA.

    Also, the last photo is of a savory chorizo cupcake from Sandi and Brian of Canary Confectionary!

  • I can’t believe I tried everything but the winning dish!!
    This was a great event. I hope they do it again and you should definitely have one in LA.

  • Hey Nicole! Great meeting you and Dan at Vegan Iron Chef in PDX. This event looks rad too! I love Upton’s 🙂

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    This is very cool

  • good to see this kind of movement in the land of fat fucks

  • If you lived in a place as ungodly frigid as Chicago, you’d consider growing a layer of fat, too.

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