Meet the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge Committee!

Meet some of the team members who are making the 2021 Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge happen.

Mitch Bermel

What is your role on the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge committee?

My role is restaurant outreach, Instagram, and press-related assistance.

What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

I am most looking forward to new restaurants joining the world of plant-based food (or becoming more visible to the plant-based community), and to seeing non plant-based diners explore plant-based dining.

What do you like to do when you’re not working on the challenge?

I am working on my startup, Hawthorn Clothing, and also enjoy running, camping/hiking, reading, writing, and drinking a nice cold craft beer.

What are two tips you have for eating out while vegan?

1) Just because something seems free of animal products, doesn’t mean it is. Example: Veggie burgers that contain dairy, bread that contains dairy. Speak up and ask the waiter!

2) If there aren’t any plant-based options on the menu, ask the waiter if they plan on adding any options in the future. Maybe they will bring it up to the manager and get the ball rolling!

Lauren Robinson

What is your role on the committee?

I am one of the people who reaches out to restaurants, asking them if they would like to participate in the challenge.

What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

I am looking forward to seeing the list of restaurants and thinking about how many non-vegans this will reach, even if it’s just them seeing the table tents. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working on the challenge?

I am a mom, step mom and wife outside of working on the challenge. 

What are two tips you have for eating out while vegan?

Definitely use the Happy Cow website! Especially when traveling. And also just communication with the staff. I always clearly state I want everything to be vegan and make sure they understand what that means. 

Allie Siskoff

What is your role on the committee?

My role is doing outreach to get restaurants around the Twin Cities to participate. I went to numerous restaurants in person to tell them about the challenge, let them know how it works and provide information about registration. After telling them about the challenge, I follow-up to see if there’s questions, gauge interest and remind them of registration dates.

What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

There’s a lot to be excited about with this challenge, and I’m most looking forward to trying as many of the vegan entrees as I can at the participating restaurants. I’m excited to see what the restaurants will make and vote for my favorite dish. It will also be neat to see all the diners going out to try the dishes and bringing people together over vegan food.

What do you like to do when you’re not working on the challenge?

I’m active in various communities connected to my interests and passions of meditation, yoga, self-development, education on racial equity issues and advocating for animals and the environment. I enjoy going for walks in nature and cooking tasty new vegan recipes. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends and going out to eat at my favorite restaurants, especially the ones that are fully vegan or have vegan options on their menu.

What are two tips you have for eating out while vegan?

Going out to eat while being vegan can be a little tricky at times if there aren’t vegan options are on the menu. If that’s the case, the two tips I have are:

1. Find something that could be made vegan if you just subtracted an ingredient or two, like if a salad had cheese on it, just get it without the cheese. The same thing goes if there’s a veggie burger that had cheese that could just be omitted.

2. If you know where you’ll be eating, check out the menu online and call the restaurant to see what options they have and if a dish could be modified to be made vegan.

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Upcoming Events

Sunday, August 1, 2021 - Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge 2021

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Rooster Redemption Sanctuary Tour

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Vegan Potluck Picnic – St. Cloud

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Poster for Twin Cities Veg Fest

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Vegan Recipe Club via Zoom