What is the Vegan Chef Challenge (VCC)?
The Vegan Chef Challenge (VCC) is a month-long event showcasing new vegan menu items created by chefs at local restaurants. Typically, ten to thirty restaurants take part and the dining public is encouraged to vote for their favorite dishes. The majority of restaurants keep at least one popular vegan item on their regular menu after the challenge concludes.
The Vegan Chef Challenge began in 2010 when Eleni Vlachos sadly noted the limited vegan options in Durham, NC. Her omnivore friend, Chef Shirle, suggested, “Chefs love a contest. Make it a challenge.” The Vegan Chef Challenge was born. To read more about the first VCC in Durham, visit “How the “Bull City” Vegan Chef Challenge began.”
On the west coast, Bethany Davis was so impressed with Eleni’s work in Durham that she brought the VCC to Sacramento, CA in 2011. Her yearly Sacramento VCCs caught the attention of Vegan Outreach, who saw the huge value of adding more vegan options to restaurants. Vegan Outreach now supports Vegan Chef Challenges across the nation. With the interest from other countries, we hope to soon have VCCs across the globe!
Where do I find participating restaurants and when are they serving vegan food?
This is a community event and it takes place at each participating restaurant throughout each city. There is no central event location. Visit the National Vegan Chef Challenge website and click on the links to visit the VCCin your town.
Don’t see your town on the list and want to organize your own Vegan Chef Challenge? Please visit Start a Challenge to find out how to be a VCC organizer.
How much does the event ticket cost?
You do not need to purchase a special event ticket to enjoy the VCC. Just go to participating VCC restaurants and ask for their Vegan Chef Challenge menu. After you enjoy it, vote!
Where do I vote?
Visit the national Vegan Chef Challenge website and scroll to the city you’re visiting. The link to vote will be on their website.
Why am I being asked to vote?
The VCC is a community event and the diners are the judges! These chefs have worked hard to develop new dishes specifically for this Challenge and, for some of them, outside their normal style of cooking. Let’s show them our appreciation by letting them know how awesome they are!
How many times can I vote?
People don’t have to eat at every restaurant or wait until the end to vote. Please vote for every dish you try during the Vegan Chef Challenge. Comments are welcome and they help us determine the winners.
What categories are there and what do the chefs win?
Award categories will be announced once all restaurants have submitted their entries. Feel free to check out the national Vegan Chef Challenge website for past award categories. Prizes may include cookbooks, aprons, and items donated by local community businesses and sponsors.
What about me? I’m doing a lot of work here. Can I win anything?
Funny you should ask! Some cities reward diners who visit over 10 different restaurants by having a drawing for special prizes. Other cities offer a Selfie Contest each week where you can win prizes. Visit the national Vegan Chef Challenge website and scroll to the city you’re visiting and visit their social media.
What is 10 Weeks to Vegan?
10 Weeks to Vegan is a guided challenge that gives you everything you need to know to get started with eating vegan. You’ll switch just one animal product a week to a vegan-friendly alternative, and receive weekly nutritional tips, product recommendations, and recipes that will make your transition a bit easier, and definitely more delicious.
How can I receive the latest updates about my local Vegan Chef Challenge?
Please follow the social media pages to stay connected. Local Facebook and Instagram pages can be found in your city’s Vegan Chef Challenge website located on the national Vegan Chef Challenge website. Also, visit the National Vegan Chef Challenge Facebook events page and find the event happening in your city. The event page will be up-to-date with new restaurants.
Who sponsors the Vegan Chef Challenge?
The Vegan Chef Challenge is sponsored by Vegan Outreach, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Davis, CA.
How can I host a Vegan Chef Challenge in my city?
Great question! To find more information about starting a VCC in your city, please visit the Start a Challenge page. Vegan Outreach will partner with you to help cover the costs of hosting your VCC and will provide support and resources for a successful event in your city.