I have never seen an iron chef competition on TV so I was excited my first experience would be with Portland’s first Vegan Iron Chef competition organized by friends with Try Vegan PDX. Liz did an amazing job with the art direction and all the posters and everything was top notch. I was impressed with Jess’ directing abilities shouting for action to the runners to make sure everything got done. Who knew she could be so authoritative. I liked it! Of course there were tons of other volunteers for the pantry and donations and the venue and other things that Deanna, Tina, Cindy, Val and people I did not know got done. Personally, I enjoyed just being able to take a seat and enjoy. It was quite the show!
The competitors included Aaron Adams from Portobello who is opening at his new location this month. This is where I have found the best lasagna I have ever eaten and his friendliness and culinary knowledge is impressive.
Wes from Blossoming Lotus excels at raw foods in my opinion and has unique vegan options to choose from.
I have never eaten at Quasu’s Asaase Ital Palace food cart by PSU, but somehow I found myself routing for her. Maybe it was her mystery or the fact she was the closest to me on the stage with no formal training or maybe it was that I found her poster to be the most compelling.
The competition was fun to witness and the stage was hectic with chefs and their assistants trying to get everything done in the 75 minutes allotted and volunteer runners were busy trying to help and not be in the way. I think they did a great job. I was so jealous I did not get to taste anything since everything looked so tasty.
I especially appreciated Joanna from Yellow Rose Recipes since she explained more what she tasted rather than stating the obvious one judge did. In the end, Quasu was announced the winner, but I think the whole Portland vegan community were the winners that night.