Asheville, NC – already wellknown for its veganfriendliness, is taking the plant-based culinary experience in the city to the next level.
Epicurean Note: While I like the idea behind this competition, I find the name “FaceOff” a little humorous. Perhaps it was intentional, done with a wry sense of humor, as in don’t eat anything with a face? Anyway, we should be in for some deliciously creative dishes.
The 1st Annual Asheville PlantBased FaceOff, presented by Asheville Vegan Outreach and No Evil Foods and sponsored by VegFund, challenges Asheville restaurants and chefs to put their creativity to the test by offering innovative new vegan dishes. Up to 15 Asheville restaurants are participating, each creating a new menu item free of animal products and offering it to guests for the month of October 2016. Guests will spend the month in a delightful food coma after visiting participating restaurants and trying all the different dishes, and will then vote for their favorites in three categories: Best Overall, Most Creative, and Best Interpretation of a Traditional Dish. Winners (both chefs & participants) will receive prizes and recognition at an awards ceremony following the FaceOff.
Interest in vegan dining is growing, with more and more Americans reducing their consumption of animal products and increasingly turning to plantbased meals, according to food industry website Food Navigator USA. Restauranteurs are finding that there is a demand for plantbased options not only from people who have fully embraced a vegan lifestyle, but also from those who seek to reduce their intake of animal products due to concerns about health, the environment and animal welfare. As part of its Asheville Vegan Outreach campaign, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is encouraging plantbased eating by partnering with the Asheville ‘Plant Meat’ purveyor No Evil Foods to present the firstever Asheville PlantBased FaceOff.
Similar competitions have enjoyed great success in many other cities, including Durham, NC and Sacramento, CA. Participating restaurants have experienced increased business, favorable publicity and rave reviews for their vegan offerings, with many reporting that they often sold out of the featured vegan menu items. In many cases, the restaurants have added the vegan items to their menus permanently. Some restaurants have also started offering additional veganthemed dinners and specials to meet the growing demand for plantbased meals.
The roster of participating restaurants in the Asheville PlantBased FaceOff so far includes: Gan Shan Station, Dobra West, Corner Kitchen, Chestnut, Strada, Social Lounge, Plant, Mellow Mushroom, Rezaz, The West Village Market, Green Sage Cafe (all 3 locations), Zia Taqueria and Posana. No Evil Foods will extend a 20 percent discount to any participating restaurant that features the company’s plantbased “meats” in a FaceOff dish. No Evils Foods’ products include The Prepper (vegan chicken), The Stallion (Italian sausage) and El Zapatista (Mexican chorizo). Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will promote the FaceOff and help steer guests to the participating eateries, giving the participating restaurants great exposure and increased business.
As part of its ethic of “uncompromised compassion,” Brother Wolf Animal Rescue encourages everyone to consider the impacts of their food choices. The organization’s very successful annual VeganFest event, recently held in downtown Asheville, drew an estimated 8,000 attendees, with many traveling from out of town to attend the twoday festival. The Asheville PlantBased FaceOff will build on this record of success, offering area residents and outoftowners the chance to experience some tasty new dishes while also giving participating chefs the opportunity to let their creative juices flow. It’s a winwin for everyone!
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, located in Asheville, North Carolina, was founded in 2007 to provide the resources and lifesaving programs to build a NoKill community. As a grass roots organization, BWAR operates an adoption center that is open to the public 365 days a year making it easy to adopt, volunteer, and become involved in our NoKill mission. Learn more at www.bwar.org.