May 26, 2022

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Meet up with the Chefs on Foods Network’s Initially Vegan Episode of ‘Beat Bobby Flay’

The Foodstuff Network just designed record with its 1st vegan episode of Beat Bobby Flay. Launched in 2013 and currently in its 30th period, Beat Bobby Flay is a cooking competition demonstrate exactly where two cooks deal with off for the opportunity to contend towards celebrity chef and host Bobby Flay. On this monumental episode, Tamearra Dyson (chef-operator of soul food stuff cafe Souley Vegan) and Adyre Mason (chef-proprietor of Alabama-based mostly The Veggie) faced off for a probability to proclaim, “I beat Bobby Flay.”

In this celeb-studded episode, the two vegan chefs were judged by Food stuff Network personality Sunny Anderson and billionaire, Shark Tank trader, and vegetarian Mark Cuban. In the very first round of the competition, the vegan chefs each and every finished a dish making use of a magic formula component chosen by Flay: purple potatoes. Dyson’s purple potato and coconut milk étouffée proved victorious from Mason’s German-influenced potato salad, which The Veggie chef finished off with fried watercress and Calabrian chilies, a favorite of Flay’s. 

Just after winning about the judges with her étouffée, Dyson faced off versus Flay in round two, exactly where she picked the dish they would each and every be earning: plant-based burgers. Ultimately, Flay’s smokehouse vegan burgers (topped with dairy-cost-free cheese and oatmilk onion rings) not only fell shorter of the get but extremely practically fell aside. It was Dyson’s seitan-dependent double decker burger, served with gooey cheese and fresh pickles, that formally built her the initial vegan chef to gain the cooking levels of competition exhibit.

“[The show] is a lot more than just a levels of competition,” Dyson advised VegNews. “I have so a great deal respect and admiration for [Flay]. It was an honor to surface on his clearly show, and the opposition alone was over and above what words can describe.”

1st vegan chef on Conquer Bobby Flay: Souley Vegan’s Tamearra Dyson 

Dyson, who started Souley Vegan in 2009, is no stranger to the Food Network. The plant-primarily based entrepreneur, who was raised on vegetarian meals, has been showcased in Diners, Travel-Ins, and Dives, where by host Male Fieri sampled her okra gumbo—a dish that’s also earned Oprah’s stamp of acceptance. In the course of her profession, Dyson has cooked for a roster of higher-profile superstar clientele, among the them Stevie Ponder, Erykah Badu, and Eric Benét. 

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But just before Dyson rose to fame, she was a solitary mother with just $26 in the income register wanting to develop what would turn out to be her plant-primarily based empire. In spite of critics, she was undeterred, eventually strolling absent from her nursing scientific tests to open up a single of the country’s leading vegan soul food items restaurants. 

Additional than a ten years after the grand opening of Souley Vegan in Oakland, CA, Dyson released three ghost kitchen area outposts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas—all all through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Additional lately, Dyson declared her most current enterprise past yr: The Back again Porch. The Cajun bar, found driving the flagship spot of Souley Vegan, will provide upscale bites and cocktails in its big outdoor room. 

Vegan chef Adyre Mason is completely ready for struggle

Dyson’s competitor was Mason, the engineer-turned-chef who helms The Veggie, a vegan catering and food supply corporation that opened its very first brick-and-mortar café last yr. 

Defeat Bobby Flay is a person of my favourite shows,” Mason informed VegNews. “It was basically a bucket list product to consider to be on the show a single working day.” Immediately after learning the demonstrate was casting for its newest season, the chef utilized to contend but assumed important time would move prior to she heard something back again. “Being a vegan chef, I figured it would be a whilst, if ever, that I heard from the exhibit. I was completely shocked when I was contacted just 4 days soon after submitting my application. I’m continue to so humbled and stunned.”

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Extended prior to Mason stepped foot on established, she and her mom ended up supporters of the network and regularly tuned into a wide range of its first shows, Flay’s incorporated. But how did this former engineer arrive to helm her own vegan café? Mason credits her late mother for encouraging her enthusiasm and getting a supply of commitment. 

Unhappy with her engineering profession, Mason began functioning on a organization plan for a foods undertaking but never finished it. Right after her mom suffered from numerous strokes, Mason tried using to change her to a plant-based mostly eating plan but was unsuccessful. She died just 4 months afterwards, and Mason’s grief established a fire to the flame. 

Soon after functioning as a Weapon Methods engineer for an Army application for 10 a long time, Mason stop her work, cashed in her 401(k), and focused on launching The Veggie to assist make improvements to people’s health—a topic she is personally common with. Mason herself transitioned to a vegan diet in her early 20s to aid treat joint ache, high cholesterol, digestive distress, and adult zits. In 2018, The Veggie arrived to fruition, and two yrs later on, Mason opened The Veggie Quick Services Café to support make balanced vegan foods a lot more obtainable to her group. 

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The vegan cooks encounter off on Beat Bobby Flay 

Despite the fact that Dyson and Mason didn’t know each other prior to filming, the two strike it off promptly. “[Chef Mason] is terrific. We linked quickly,” said Dyson. “We had a lot of issues in popular, and we inspired every single other.” Mason, similarly, discovered inspiration in Dyson. “She doesn’t know this, but [Dyson] explained something seemingly modest, but so smart, that was a huge change for me, and I have kept it with me everyday given that meeting her,” Mason mentioned. “I experience honored to have cooked together with her. She is genuinely a vegan legend in my eyes.”

For the cooks, showing on Beat Bobby Flay is monumentous, and starring in the show’s initially vegan episode is the cherry on best. “When I figured out this was a historic episode, I was speechless,” claimed Mason. “All I preferred to do when I started this company was to uncover a way to keep pushing ahead in daily life after the devastating decline of my mother and to honor her memory. I didn’t foresee staying aspect of heritage.”

This episode, as well, serves as a significant milestone for veganism, Mason notes. “We’ve noticed vegan entrepreneurship highlighted about the last handful of several years as people have expanded possibilities at dining places or as businesses [create plant-based] items, but we really don’t constantly see precise vegan food made by vegan cooks at the forefront. This is a excellent instant for vegan meals and vegan cooking.”

For much more about these vegan cooks and organizations, read through:
How Oakland’s Souley Vegan Became a Soul Food Empire
A New Black Woman-Owned Vegan Café Is Coming to Alabama
The VegNews Guidebook to Vegan Black-Owned Companies

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