TV’s First Vegan Cooking Contest Airs This Month. Here’s Where to Watch
Vegan chefs are making history with the premiere of Peeled – America's first all-vegan cooking competition. This cooking competition sets out to prove that plant-based cooking is not a fad diet by showcasing innovative, Michelin-level vegan food. Hosted by Dr. Shabnam Islam and vegan health icon Chef Babette Davis, Peeled intends to give a platform to the growing number of impressive plant-based chefs in the United States.
The show can be watched on UnchainedTV's new streaming service on September 24. To usher in the first plant-based cooking show, the Directors Guild of America will host a red carpet premiere, inviting guests to engage with the competitors and showrunners. Vkind founder Star Simmons created Peeled to provide plant-based audiences with a relatable cooking competition.
“We are excited to make history as the first platform streaming Peeled,” Jane Velez-Mitchell, Founder and CEO of UnchainedTV, said. “The show advances an interest in compassionate, healthy, low-carbon-footprint lifestyle choices, which our audiences will appreciate.”
The cooking competition invites four contestants to prove their cooking chops to a panel of highly esteemed vegan chefs including Chef Chris Tucker and Chef Josie Clemens, the first vegan chef to compete in Hell's Kitchen. Only one contestant will take home the title of "Hottest Vegan Chef," walking away with a free stay at Mother Earth Vegan Hotel in Costa Rica. The winner's dessert dish will appear on the menu at select Copper Branch locations worldwide.
“Some of the best chefs I know happen to be vegan and, while they are every bit as talented as some of the most celebrated chefs in conventional culinary arts, they have fewer opportunities to advance in the industry," Clemens said. "With an estimated 40 percent of the population now embracing flexitarian diets, interest in vegan cuisine is at an all-time high."
The first fully vegan cast for a cooking competition will also include the CEO of Sophie's Kitchen, Dr. Miles Woodruff, and the producer of New Day, New Chef, Elysabeth Alfano.
Competition Heats Up on Hell’s Kitchen
Last May, chef Clemens joined the cast of Hell's Kitchens' "Young Guns" season, becoming the first vegan chef to be invited on the show. Her inclusion shocked audiences who are familiar with host Gordon Ramsay's opinions on vegan food. Until recently, that is. This year, Chef Gordon Ramsay revealed that he loves vegan food. With Ramsay's seal of approval, plant-based earned a table at Hell's Kitchen.
“Six million people who normally watch a meat cooking show are about to be exposed to veganism,” Clemens wrote on her Instagram announcing her place on the show. “Being the first vegan chef means that this is a golden opportunity to lead people compassionately. So they have an opportunity to discover their innate pure nature is connected to the Earth and all beings.”
Vegans Earn a Place at the Table
This August, the Food Network revealed its first vegan cooking show, It’s CompliPlated. Hosted by TikTok star Tabitha Brown, the show features four chefs participating in three rounds of cooking challenges, where a panel of judges will rank the dishes. The panel will include judges with a wide variety of dietary preferences and not just those who are plant-based.
The Great Food Truck Race aired its "Hottest Season Ever" this year, featuring its first vegan contestant. Los Angeles' beloved food truck Señoreata managed to win the $50,000 prize by impressing the judges with its plant-based Cuban cuisine. Señoreata founder Evanice Holz and her team snagged first place, proving that plant-based food can match up with animal-based counterparts.
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