April 28, 2010
Tina Lamanna, Contributing Writer
This spring, Try Vegan PDX will be kicking off what they hope will become a longstanding tradition in Portland's vegan community: the inaugural Vegan Iron Chef competition. The competition takes place on June 6 at the Ecotrust Building, and stars three of our city's top vegan chefs, as well as celebrity judges and hosts. It will be a great way to showcase Portland's incredible vegan restaurant scene!
Aaron Adams of Portobello Restaurant, Qausu AsaaseYaa of the Asaase Ital food cart, and Wes Hannah of Blossoming Lotus will each be whipping up an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert, all based around a secret ingredient, in one hour and in front of a live audience. Their efforts will be judged by Brian Heck of the Sip juice cart; Jesse Ives from Sweetpea Baking Co.; Emiko Badillo from Food Fight! Grocery; and cookbook author Joanna Vaught. The final spot on the judging panel will go to one lucky attendee - everyone who buys a ticket online in advance has a chance to win. Michelle Schwegmann of Herbivore Clothing Co. will host the event, and cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz will be acting in the "Alton Brown" role of explaining to the audience what chefs are doing as they work.
Entertainment will also be provided by DJ Survival Skilz and Jet Boat Adventure, of the band Camping Party.
David Agranoff, a co-founder of Try Vegan PDX, says he was inspired by watching the original version of Iron Chef on TV. Creating a vegan version of the competition "just seemed like a great way to get the idea out there how awesome vegan food is," says Agranoff.
More information is available on Try Vegan PDX's website at www.TryVeganPDX.com, as well as on Twitter (@veganironchef) and on Facebook (Vegan Iron Chef). Tickets to the event have already sold out, but keep an eye on the website to find out how to watch the competition online. Everyone is also welcome to join the contestants, judges, audience, and the Try Vegan PDX crew for an after-party at Backspace Cafe the evening of the event.