Top Chef Challenge Features Vegan Food!
Veganism has become so popular, that you can no longer talk about delicious food without at least some mention of plant-based options! Not only was a vegan burger named GQ’s Best Burger of the Year, but reality shows centered around cooking are making sure to incorporate veganism into their programs as well!
Chopped Teen Tournament featured an episode dedicated to plant-based cooking, requiring contestants to use vegan chicken in the appetizer round, followed by butternut squash and okra. Now, Top Chef has featured veganism on their show as well!
In episode two of season 13, contestants were challenged by host and judge Padma Lakshmi to create and open four different “pop-up” restaurants that would accurately portray the various cultures and tastes in Los Angeles, based on neighborhood. The contestants were split into four teams and had to cook the preferred food in their respective pop-ups based on the preferences of the different communities.
The result? Judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Emeril Lagasse, as well as former Top Chef winner Richard Blais sampled Mexican, Persian, Korean, and vegan food!
The vegan pop-up restaurant came as a result of the Los Angeles neighborhood of Venice, where those surveyed expressed that vegan food was their top choice in terms of cuisine. The episode featured French chef, Ludo Lefebvre, who warned the contestants about the challenge:
“It’s going to be a nightmare. It’s going to be a nightmare, guys. Trust me. Trust me. People ask me, ‘Ludo, you want to do some more pop-up?’ No! I’m done with that!”
While a member of the vegan team was sent home at the end of the episode for failing to impress the judges with her stuffed beets, it was still impressive that veganism was a popular enough choice that it held a place among Korean, Persian, and Mexican food!