The Food Network just created background with its initial vegan episode of Beat Bobby Flay. Introduced in 2013 and at present in its 30th time, Conquer Bobby Flay is a cooking competitors present where two chefs experience off for the prospect to contend against celeb chef and host Bobby Flay. On this monumental episode, Tamearra Dyson (chef-owner of soul food stuff cafe Souley Vegan) and Adyre Mason (chef-proprietor of Alabama-dependent The Veggie) faced off for a chance to proclaim, “I beat Bobby Flay.”
In this movie star-studded episode, the two vegan cooks had been judged by Foodstuff Community persona Sunny Anderson and billionaire, Shark Tank investor, and vegetarian Mark Cuban. In the first round of the competitors, the vegan cooks just about every completed a dish working with a mystery ingredient picked by Flay: red potatoes. Dyson’s crimson potato and coconut milk étouffée proved victorious towards Mason’s German-inspired potato salad, which The Veggie chef completed off with fried watercress and Calabrian chilies, a beloved of Flay’s.
Soon after winning more than the judges with her étouffée, Dyson faced off from Flay in spherical two, the place she chosen the dish they would just about every be earning: plant-dependent burgers. In the end, Flay’s smokehouse vegan burgers (topped with dairy-absolutely free cheese and oatmilk onion rings) not only fell shorter of the win but pretty pretty much fell aside. It was Dyson’s seitan-based mostly double decker burger, served with gooey cheese and fresh pickles, that officially made her the initial vegan chef to gain the cooking competitors demonstrate.
“[The show] is a lot more than just a competitors,” Dyson informed VegNews. “I have so much regard and admiration for [Flay]. It was an honor to show up on his exhibit, and the competitiveness alone was over and above what terms can describe.”
Initially vegan chef on Defeat Bobby Flay: Souley Vegan’s Tamearra Dyson
Dyson, who established Souley Vegan in 2009, is no stranger to the Foodstuff Community. The plant-based mostly entrepreneur, who was raised on vegetarian food, has been showcased in Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, where by host Guy Fieri sampled her okra gumbo—a dish that is also earned Oprah’s stamp of acceptance. All over her job, Dyson has cooked for a roster of superior-profile celebrity clientele, amid them Stevie Surprise, Erykah Badu, and Eric Benét.
But just before Dyson rose to fame, she was a one mom with just $26 in the hard cash sign-up seeking to grow what would come to be her plant-based empire. In spite of critics, she was undeterred, in the end walking away from her nursing scientific studies to open one of the country’s premier vegan soul foods places to eat.
Additional than a decade right after the grand opening of Souley Vegan in Oakland, CA, Dyson released three ghost kitchen outposts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas—all throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. More just lately, Dyson announced her newest venture previous calendar year: The Back again Porch. The Cajun bar, positioned behind the flagship area of Souley Vegan, will provide upscale bites and cocktails in its significant out of doors place.
Vegan chef Adyre Mason is ready for struggle
Dyson’s competitor was Mason, the engineer-turned-chef who helms The Veggie, a vegan catering and food supply company that opened its initial brick-and-mortar café final 12 months.
“Defeat Bobby Flay is 1 of my preferred exhibits,” Mason advised VegNews. “It was practically a bucket record merchandise to try out to be on the clearly show 1 day.” Right after discovering the display was casting for its newest time, the chef applied to compete but assumed important time would pass before she read just about anything back. “Being a vegan chef, I figured it would be a while, if ever, that I heard from the present. I was completely stunned when I was contacted just four days right after distributing my application. I’m however so humbled and stunned.”
Extensive ahead of Mason stepped foot on set, she and her mom were being supporters of the network and routinely tuned into a variety of its first demonstrates, Flay’s included. But how did this previous engineer occur to helm her have vegan café? Mason credits her late mom for encouraging her enthusiasm and remaining a source of determination.
Sad with her engineering vocation, Mason began performing on a organization approach for a meals undertaking but hardly ever accomplished it. Immediately after her mother experienced from many strokes, Mason tried out to transform her to a plant-primarily based diet regime but was unsuccessful. She died just 4 months later, and Mason’s grief set a fireplace to the flame.
Right after working as a Weapon Systems engineer for an Military plan for 10 years, Mason stop her task, cashed in her 401(k), and focused on launching The Veggie to enable increase people’s health—a subject matter she is individually familiar with. Mason herself transitioned to a vegan eating plan in her early 20s to support address joint soreness, higher cholesterol, digestive distress, and adult pimples. In 2018, The Veggie arrived to fruition, and two several years later, Mason opened The Veggie Swift Assistance Café to assist make healthier vegan foods much more accessible to her local community.
The vegan cooks experience off on Defeat Bobby Flay
Despite the fact that Dyson and Mason did not know each other prior to filming, the two strike it off instantly. “[Chef Mason] is excellent. We related right away,” mentioned Dyson. “We experienced a lot of things in typical, and we encouraged just about every other.” Mason, similarly, uncovered inspiration in Dyson. “She does not know this, but [Dyson] explained one thing seemingly modest, but so smart, that was a large change for me, and I’ve held it with me day-to-day because meeting her,” Mason stated. “I truly feel honored to have cooked alongside her. She is really a vegan legend in my eyes.”
For the cooks, showing up on Defeat Bobby Flay is monumentous, and starring in the show’s initial vegan episode is the cherry on best. “When I realized this was a historic episode, I was speechless,” said Mason. “All I needed to do when I began this organization was to discover a way to keep pushing ahead in lifestyle soon after the devastating reduction of my mother and to honor her memory. I didn’t anticipate staying portion of record.”
This episode, far too, serves as a key milestone for veganism, Mason notes. “We’ve found vegan entrepreneurship highlighted in excess of the last couple of yrs as folks have expanded solutions at places to eat or as corporations [create plant-based] products and solutions, but we really don’t normally see true vegan food stuff created by vegan chefs at the forefront. This is a fantastic minute for vegan food and vegan cooking.”
For much more about these vegan chefs and companies, examine:
How Oakland’s Souley Vegan Turned a Soul Foodstuff Empire
A New Black Lady-Owned Vegan Café Is Coming to Alabama
The VegNews Guide to Vegan Black-Owned Businesses
JUST Released! Vote for your favorite vegan goods in the 2022 VegNews Veggie Awards.
JUST Launched! Vote for your favourite vegan products in the 2022 VegNews Veggie Awards.