Chef Mama T’s vegan chili won a Honolulu chili cook-off against two meat-based chilis. Her secret? She didn’t tell the judges that her chili was vegan until after the votes were in.
I can tell you from experience that people who don’t have a lot of exposure to vegan food tend to have preconceived notions about what it’s like. There’s an idea that vegan baked goods taste like sand, that vegan cheese can’t be creamy and satisfying and that vegan main dishes can’t rival ones with meat and dairy.
Mama T’s win proves that when you take the V-word out of the equation, vegan food can even win over the staunchest meat eater.
She isn’t ready to reveal the complete recipe just yet, but Mama T did say that she used a few vegan meat alternatives, like wheat-based Field Roast sausage. She also spilled the beans about the most unusual ingredient in her recipe: roasted eggplant. Mama T told Vibrant Wellness Journal, “The eggplant added a sweet, creamy consistency that was indescribable.”
Mama T’s win isn’t the first time that vegan food has ousted animal-based dishes in food competitions. There have been a couple of winning vegan chefs on the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Chef Chloe Coscarelli and Doron Petersan both won the competition in different seasons against omnivore bakers. On Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, vegan chef Kristina Addington beat out three omnivores and took home $18,500 in prize money.
I know that not everyone is ready to go vegan right this minute, but I think wins like Mama T’s and those Food Network competitors’ prove that vegan food can be just as satisfying as its animal-based counterparts.
If you’re ready to give plant-based eating a shot, even if it’s just for one day or even one meal, here are some Care2 resources to get you started:
- 5 Surprising Foods that Vegans Can Eat
- 11 Grain Free Vegan Food Ideas
- 5 Delicious Vegan Food Discoveries Everyone Should Try
- 16 Vegan Recipes with 3 Ingredients or Less
- 4 Drought-Friendly Vegan Recipes You Should Try
Photo Credit: Pearlridge Farmer's Market Facebook Page