This weekend was the Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown. All proceeds from this event went to Mercy For Animals life-saving work to help promote veganism and reduce the suffering of farmed animals in the United States. Each team or contestant had to use Upton's Naturals seitan (any one of their varieties) in their dish as they were hosting this event. The event was held at the Funky Buddha Lounge here in Chicago on July 23rd. The turnout was incredible! Over 200 people showed up to support the competitors, MFA, and Upton's Naturals. Vegan Miss competed with one of my favorites, my deep dish vegan pizza. My friends and I spent the whole day before making pizza after pizza; in total, fourteen! So much pizza! We had quite the assembly line after a while going on in the kitchen. ;]
Though Vegan Miss did not place, two of MFA's great volunteers, Meagen and Blythe, won third with their cheeze and seitan ravioli's. A company called the Rootsy Vegan won first place with their jerk seitan which was really good. Dishes of the day were a "beef" curry with raita and rice, seitan tacos with a mango salsa, empanadas (won second, very tasty - indeed!), corn bread muffins with seitan and a glaze, seitan and pasta, and others. Kelly Peloza of the Vegan Cookie Connoisseur and Seitan Beats Your Meat was competing too - right next to VM! Congratulations to all the winners and great job to all contestants! We all worked really hard.
I very much enjoyed this event and the preparations I had to make ahead of time. We made business cards, a sign, a new blog layout, and did a little antique shopping to decorate the table. Alas, there was to be a flier with the recipe instructions, but time became an issue and it was never printed.
Many, many thanks to Chicago Soydairy for helping this blog doll out with a massive amount of Teese mozzarella. Could not have done it without them!
Photo Credit: Louis McGill