Vegan food seems to be taking the world by storm after numerous vegan dishes won awards at professional cooking and baking competitions around the world. Just last year, Chef Mama T’s vegan chili won at a cook-off in Honolulu hosted by the Aloha Farm Lovers Market. She went up against two meat-based chilis. Mama T didn’t tell the judges that her chili was in fact vegan, until after they had made their decision.
The vegan community's victory doesn't end there though. Many other vegan foods have also won in contests this year!
Vegan pie wins at one of Australia's biggest baking competitions
In the land Down Under, a vegan pie beat more than 1,700 other entries across the country to take the crown of Australia’s Best Pie in the Baking Association of Australia’s competition. Ka Pies, which bakes savory hand pies, won with their lemongrass and chili-infused Thai Vegetable Curry pie. Originally, the pie was vegetarian, with ten percent butter in the pie pastry. The creators then decided to remove the butter so that they could market it to a larger audience.
It thus became the first meat-free pie that won, in the five-year history of the contest. Judging was done on the basis of color, how evenly the pies were baked, thickness of the pastry and how puffed the top was.
New Zealander Doug Meijer and Adrian Apswoude started Ka Pies in 2014. Apswoude said that when they first started, he had never made a pie in his life. The duo now sells gourmet pies across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Vegan win at annual food industry contest
At the 29th Annual Southern California Food Industry and Conference held in Anaheim, Cal State LA’s Food Science and Technology program won first place for their vegan dolma along with a $1,000 cash prize. It was made with grilled red peppers studded with brown basmati rice, red quinoa, a few selected vegetables and spices.
The team went up against nine other college teams from Southern California to secure their second win - they won last year for a vegan protein bar. The students who participated were Hayak Harutyunyan, who is the team captain, Ruby Mendoza, Yesenia Gonzalez, and Arturo Jordan. They were advised by Professor Sunil Mangalassary.
“The competition was sponsored by a company who was very interested in a vegan dish,” professor Mangalassary said. “The main ingredient was brown rice, so the students decided to go with a gluten free, allergen free and vegan dish to combine with brown rice.”
With 2016 only half-way through, here's hoping that many more vegan food creations win big!
Lead image credit - Pengo/Wikimedia Commons