And the winner is…

Between September 20 and October 20, sixteen Twin Cities restaurants created vegan appetizers and main dish specials for the first Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge. You tried them and voted, and now the results are in!

Second Place Tie: Parkway Pizza with The V-Card Pizza

This saucy pizza featured Parkway’s signature red sauce, fresh basil, green pepper, sauerkraut, red onion, Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheese, and Vegan Sausage from the Herbivorous Butcher!

Second Place Tie: Barley John’s Brew Pub, who created their Vegan Laura Pizza, Tofu Wrap, Thai Basil Cream Pasta, and Lettuce Wraps

Barley John’s Green loaded lettuce leaves with onions, cilantro, carrots, cucumber, and slivered almonds, peanut sauce, and tofu!

Second Place Tie: Hard Times Cafe with their Vegan Nacho Cheese Quesadilla

Nacho cheese, beans, and fresh salsa made this quesadilla one to remember.

and…

The Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge Champion is Book Club!

Book Club’s Green Curry Rice Bowl excited and delighted with tangy, fresh, savory, mellow, and spicy flavors—and they left it on the menu after the challenge!

We want to extend a final huge thanks to all participating restaurants this year—Barbette Restaurant, Book Club, Pat’s Tap, Red Stag Supperclub, Tiny Diner, Al’s Place, Pub 819, The Howe Daily Kitchen & Bar, Twin Cities 400 Tavern, Barley John’s Brew Pub, BRIM, Tongue in Cheek, Fig + Farro, Black Dog Cafe, Hard Times Cafe, and Parkway Pizza. We were blown away by the variety of dishes and flavors created for this challenge and hope you were too.

Book Club, Pat’s Tap, and Twin Cities 400 Tavern are keeping their specials, and the Twin Cities 400 Tavern shared that their vegan dishes created for the challenge have become bestsellers!

Comments we received in response to the challenge included:

  • “I love this vegan chef challenge and appreciate all who participate!”
  • “The Vegan Chef Challenge dish was the only vegan item on the menu. We live in the neighborhood but always have to drive to a vegan destination. We’d frequent this restaurant if they added a few vegan options.” 
  • “It’s the best thing I ever had there. Very satisfying and balanced and colorful and just great.” 
  • “Might have been the best thing I’ve eaten all year. Amazing.”
  • “By far the best vegan food I have ever put in my mouth!”

Times are changing. The interest and demand for plant-based foods are growing as people are seeking to reduce their meat intake or completely stop consuming animal products for ethical, environmental, and health reasons.

Many thanks to Vegan Outreach for their support and to the CAA staff and volunteer team who made this year’s Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge possible: Dustin Cahill, Jodi Miller Gruhn, Phil Martens, Laura Matanah, Emily Nyberg, and Lucia Skinner DeGregorio .

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