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The Food stuff Community just built historical past with its initial vegan episode of Defeat Bobby Flay. Released in 2013 and at this time in its 30th time, Defeat Bobby Flay is a cooking competitiveness exhibit the place two chefs face off for the prospect to contend towards celeb chef and host Bobby Flay. On this monumental episode, Tamearra Dyson (chef-owner of soul food stuff restaurant Souley Vegan) and Adyre Mason (chef-operator of Alabama-centered The Veggie) confronted off for a likelihood to proclaim, “I defeat Bobby Flay.”
In this movie star-studded episode, the two vegan chefs have been judged by Foods Community persona Sunny Anderson and billionaire, Shark Tank investor, and vegetarian Mark Cuban. In the 1st spherical of the level of competition, the vegan cooks each individual finished a dish employing a top secret ingredient picked by Flay: crimson potatoes. Dyson’s red potato and coconut milk étouffée proved victorious from Mason’s German-motivated potato salad, which The Veggie chef finished off with fried watercress and Calabrian chilies, a preferred of Flay’s.
After profitable more than the judges with her étouffée, Dyson faced off from Flay in round two, in which she picked the dish they would every single be earning: plant-based mostly burgers. Ultimately, Flay’s smokehouse vegan burgers (topped with dairy-cost-free cheese and oatmilk onion rings) not only fell limited of the win but pretty pretty much fell aside. It was Dyson’s seitan-based mostly double decker burger, served with gooey cheese and new pickles, that formally designed her the first vegan chef to win the cooking level of competition clearly show.
“[The show] is a lot more than just a levels of competition,” Dyson advised VegNews. “I have so substantially respect and admiration for [Flay]. It was an honor to appear on his exhibit, and the competition itself was further than what text can describe.”
Very first vegan chef on Defeat Bobby Flay: Souley Vegan’s Tamearra Dyson
Dyson, who founded Souley Vegan in 2009, is no stranger to the Meals Network. The plant-based mostly entrepreneur, who was elevated on vegetarian meals, has been showcased in Diners, Push-Ins, and Dives, exactly where host Man Fieri sampled her okra gumbo—a dish which is also attained Oprah’s stamp of approval. In the course of her career, Dyson has cooked for a roster of large-profile celebrity clientele, among the them Stevie Ponder, Erykah Badu, and Eric Benét.
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But before Dyson rose to fame, she was a solitary mom with just $26 in the hard cash register wanting to expand what would develop into her plant-based empire. Despite critics, she was undeterred, eventually strolling absent from her nursing research to open 1 of the country’s premier vegan soul food dining places.
Additional than a ten years after the grand opening of Souley Vegan in Oakland, CA, Dyson released a few ghost kitchen outposts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas—all during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Additional just lately, Dyson introduced her hottest enterprise past 12 months: The Again Porch. The Cajun bar, positioned guiding the flagship place of Souley Vegan, will serve upscale bites and cocktails in its massive outside house.
Vegan chef Adyre Mason is prepared for struggle
Dyson’s competitor was Mason, the engineer-turned-chef who helms The Veggie, a vegan catering and meal supply corporation that opened its initially brick-and-mortar café previous 12 months.
“Conquer Bobby Flay is a single of my preferred exhibits,” Mason instructed VegNews. “It was actually a bucket record product to attempt to be on the display one particular day.” Following discovering the display was casting for its newest time, the chef used to compete but assumed considerable time would go just before she heard nearly anything again. “Being a vegan chef, I figured it would be a while, if ever, that I heard from the display. I was completely stunned when I was contacted just four days after publishing my software. I’m however so humbled and surprised.”
Very long before Mason stepped foot on established, she and her mom were being followers of the network and routinely tuned into a wide variety of its first reveals, Flay’s bundled. But how did this former engineer appear to helm her individual vegan café? Mason credits her late mother for encouraging her enthusiasm and currently being a resource of enthusiasm.
Sad with her engineering vocation, Mason began performing on a business enterprise program for a foodstuff venture but never concluded it. After her mother experienced from many strokes, Mason attempted to change her to a plant-based mostly diet but was unsuccessful. She died just 4 months afterwards, and Mason’s grief established a hearth to the flame.
Soon after functioning as a Weapon Programs engineer for an Military system for 10 a long time, Mason give up her position, cashed in her 401(k), and targeted on launching The Veggie to help increase people’s health—a topic she is personally acquainted with. Mason herself transitioned to a vegan diet plan in her early 20s to aid treat joint agony, substantial cholesterol, digestive distress, and adult pimples. In 2018, The Veggie arrived to fruition, and two years afterwards, Mason opened The Veggie Speedy Assistance Café to enable make healthier vegan meals far more available to her local community.
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The vegan chefs deal with off on Defeat Bobby Flay
Though Dyson and Mason didn’t know every single other prior to filming, the two hit it off quickly. “[Chef Mason] is wonderful. We linked promptly,” said Dyson. “We experienced a lot of things in frequent, and we inspired each other.” Mason, in the same way, uncovered inspiration in Dyson. “She does not know this, but [Dyson] claimed one thing seemingly smaller, but so wise, that was a enormous shift for me, and I’ve held it with me everyday considering that conference her,” Mason explained. “I experience honored to have cooked alongside her. She is definitely a vegan legend in my eyes.”
For the chefs, showing on Defeat Bobby Flay is monumentous, and starring in the show’s first vegan episode is the cherry on top rated. “When I figured out this was a historic episode, I was speechless,” reported Mason. “All I needed to do when I begun this business was to come across a way to keep pushing ahead in life right after the devastating reduction of my mom and to honor her memory. I didn’t foresee becoming aspect of record.”
This episode, way too, serves as a key milestone for veganism, Mason notes. “We’ve viewed vegan entrepreneurship highlighted over the very last number of several years as individuals have expanded selections at restaurants or as firms [create plant-based] products and solutions, but we don’t generally see genuine vegan food items designed by vegan chefs at the forefront. This is a fantastic second for vegan meals and vegan cooking.”
For far more about these vegan cooks and companies, go through:
How Oakland’s Souley Vegan Became a Soul Food stuff Empire
A New Black Woman-Owned Vegan Café Is Coming to Alabama
The VegNews Guide to Vegan Black-Owned Companies
JUST Launched! Vote for your most loved vegan items in the 2022 VegNews Veggie Awards.
JUST Launched! Vote for your favourite vegan products in the 2022 VegNews Veggie Awards.