July 31, 2011
On July 10, Vegan Iron Chef held its second competition, at Refuge PDX, in front of another capacity crowd, showing the world just how exciting vegan cuisine can be.
Chefs Piper Dixon (Kitchen Dances), Morgan Grundstein-Helvey (Dovetail Bakery), and Jeff Ridabock (Homegrown Smoker) wowed judges Julie Hasson (Native Bowl), Aaron Adams (Portobello Vegan Trattoria), Grant Butler (The Oregonian), and John Janulis (The Bye and Bye) with their use of the secret ingredient: ginger. The chefs masterfully exploited the bounty of fresh, local produce, playing the ginger off everything from garlic scapes to cherries.
At the end of the day, hosts Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Nicole J. Georges presented the Golden Whisk to Piper Dixon, whom we hope will return next year to defend his crown.
Two lucky couples were able to taste all the dishes from their VIP seats, benefiting Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary. Other attendees sampled and visited with exhibitors, including Heidi Ho Organics, Ovega-3, and Upton's Naturals.
The nonprofit, volunteer-run Vegan Iron Chef aims to bring awareness and respect for cruelty-free cuisine through competitions here in Portland and across the country. For more information, visit VeganIronChef.org.