Alaska chefs compete in Vegan Chef Challenge

Alaska chefs compete in Vegan Chef Challenge
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 9:59 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Vegan Chef Challenge is introducing brand-new vegan options for the entire month of February.

The month-long event challenges chefs at local restaurants to compete for votes with different creative plant-based menu options. With veganism currently on the rise, it’s also a way for vegans to get more food options and for restaurants to have more customers.

Customers sample vegan dishes offered by local restaurants and can vote for their favorite items at the restaurant or online.

Preference is just one of the many local restaurants involved in the challenge.

Dan Brown is the chef and owner of Preference, and said the restaurant has a background of flavor profiles for a lot of meats. Brown says he enjoys providing a plant-based version of those backgrounds to the vegan community.

“Animal welfare was definitely one of the main and foremost reasons why I became vegan and seeing that there were no other vegan restaurants in the entire state, opening this up — I like to think that I can make it a lot easier and comfortable for people to take that step into veganism,” Brown said.

Chef Dan whipped up one of the burgers on his menu for the challenge, the jalapeno popper burger.

All of the restaurants participating in the Vegan Chef Challenge will also feature special vegan menu items.

Alex Bury is the organizer for the inaugural challenge in Anchorage. She’s also the Vice President of Development for Vegan Outreach.

“Our number one goal is to make veganism easy, and so that’s what we hope, is that the Vegan Chef Challenge helps people considering it to take that first step and dip their toe in the water of going vegan,” Bury said.

Many restaurants in Anchorage are struggling because it’s a slow time of year, Bury said.

COVID-19 doesn’t make things any better, she said, but hopes the event will help boost their business, as well as turn people on to a different eating lifestyle.

“This really shows people that they can go to the restaurants right here in Anchorage that they know and love and try some incredible vegan dishes,” Bury said.

Anyone can sample vegan dishes offered by local restaurants and vote for their favorite items at the restaraunt or online.

Voting for the Vegan Chef Challenge continues until the end of February. Results will be announced in early March.