Sunday, June 19, 2011

Vegan Iron Chef: Overview of Fabulousness

Saturday, Bryan Park in Richmond hosted its 9th Annual Vegetarian Festival. I had the honor of participating in the event's first annual Meatless Gourmet... er, Vegan Iron Chef.
Photo by Otway 

Fabulous Chefs:

Nick Bergheimer, Richmond area restaurant chef extraordinaire, and guitarist for punk band, Landmines. I am beyond thrilled to have met Nick through this event. He is a talented, chill and totally down to Earth dude (I can only assume it is because of his healthy and ethical life style choices). After the food prep was finished, and we were all waiting for the judges to taste our plating's, I was so glad Nick sat down next to me. We chatted about the experience, greatly alleviating the nervous tension we were all feeling while waiting for the judges to dissect our food (Thanks a bunch, Nick)! He and his brother made some beautifully plated food. You have no idea, I wish I had a picture! And dude made his own toastadas... from scratch! Wow!

Maat Free, Owner of Vegi-Luv kiosk on the corner of Adams and Broad Street. She also owns Vegan Valet, a personal chef service. For everyone who didn't get a chance to see this lovely lady, and all the support that surrounded her, well, you missed out. She practically had a procession of fans, family and friends. I can see the reason why, too! She puts her heart into each dish she makes. When she described the dishes she prepared, she spoke of how they were part of her ancestry, her soul, and how they were almost an ingrained instinctual creation. Cooking, for this fabulous lady, is a spiritual experience!

And me, of course!

Secret Ingredient: Tomatoes!!!!!
It makes sense when you think about it, tomatoes are just coming into season, like this week. So of course the Meatless Gourmet/ Vegan Iron Chef would showcase interesting uses for a food that is just now coming into season.
Kayla and I having a blast!

And the winner was...... MAAT FREE!!!!!!
I couldn't be happier for Maat. She not only cooked with the entire essence of her being, but she had so much support from friends and family. Her sous chef, Carol Brown, of HausFrau Cakes is also one of the coolest people I have met.

I also can't forget to mention the awesome MC, Jason Guard, who operates THE premier Richmond food site, He generously placed my blog on his site, THANKS, JASON!!!

And then there were our fabulous judges, Brittany Mullins, who runs the site,, and who imparted a wealth of knowledge on how to run a successful blog to me during her time not being a judge.

Deveron Timberlake of Style Weekly was a fabulous judge, as well as your young audience judge, twelve year old Miles, who was our quintessential Simon Cowell.

As a participant in the first Meatless Gourmet/ Vegan Iron Chef  in Richmond, I am beyond proud of our community, the thousands of vegetarians and meat eaters who ventured out to support a healthier, more ethical, and eco-friendly lifestyle, even if just for the day!



  1. Grace under pressure. Congrats on being a contestant!

  2. We were at the Vegan Iron Chef competition and loved watching you and Kayla cooking! Your food looked fabulous!! In fact, I know it was really good because my son is Miles, AKA Simon Cowell, and he told me that the food was great!! Will you be posting the recipes for any of the dishes that you made in the competition? I know that we would love to eat some of those foods in our household. I am the only vegetarian in my house, but everyone else does eat veggie foods. Congratulations on the wonderful job you did in the contest!!!

  3. Lisa, Thanks so much for your encouraging words, and especially thanks to Miles for making us all laugh after the cooking was finished! As you already noticed, the tempeh bacon and the Green Earth soup recipes are posted... So enjoy! And thanks again!