Quick summary: the event was totally sold out with more than 210 people in attendance, all of the chili was killer, the cooks, attendees, and volunteers were HELLA dedicated, and we didn't run out of beer until the very end. Here here! In addition to getting to know our community even better, we raised $1000+ to help put on future events leading to a Seattle Vegan Iron Chef in 2012. Most importantly, we ate vegan chili!
- The 3rd place prize was won by the dynamic duo of Lindsey Douglas and Candice Cannedy (above left) with their SPICY "Not Yo Mama's Chili"!
- 2nd place was secured by local food blogger, Marti Miller-Hall (above right) and her "New Mexico Green and White 'Chickn' Chili."
- And the big Grand Prize, with more than twice as many votes as any other chili, went to Traci Wilson with her "No One Suffered for My Pleasure Chili." I hear it was truly special. (above center)
All of these winners won baskets packed to the gills with vegan goodies donated by more than 25 generous donors, including 2 tickets to the Vida Vegan Con Galarama and Auction in Portland in August. The voting was counted twice separately to make sure no voting shenanigans went on behind the scenes. Heh.
All of the other chilis were not far behind 3rd place, all gathering up tons of votes and big fan bases. The corn bread, homemade by local vegans, Julia McCracken, Emily Spahn, Mo Wyse, Amber TeGantvoort, Peter Keller, and Sara Russert, was completely devoured by the end of the evening, not even a crumb remained.
Same goes for the desserts donated by vegan friendly businesses, Mighty-O Donut, Baked in Seattle, Sage Organic Cafe, The Crue Cart, Sweet Betty Cakes, and Wheatless in Seattle. Folks donated hard earned cash to eat these treats until not a single pie was left to give to Food Not Bombs.
Basically, we ate, and ate, and ate, and ate. But that isn't all. DJ Pelvis kept true to his word with the best party music of all time and there was even a last minute raffle for 3 pairs of tickets to see Forks Over Knives. Many attendees checked out the sponsor tables to learn more about NARN, Green Vegans, Action for Animals, Earth Residents United, and Seattle Animal Defense League too. Learnin and eatin. Eatin' and learnin'.
Our guests from Vegan Iron Chef gave out pins and told us about their mission to celebrate creative culinary achievements, unite the ever-expanding vegan community, and encourage and support regional Vegan Iron Chef competitions in cities across the globe, including and especially Seattle!
This entire night was made possible by a team of totally amazing volunteers who worked for weeks before the event picking up materials, selling tickets, posting fliers, making rosettes and buttons, etc. And they worked at the event setting up, decorating, refilling water pitchers all night, serving beer and lemonade to a very thirsty crowd, keeping the compostables cleaned up, dealing with a big line of ticket holders at the door (and even some folks who, sadly, weren't ticket holders), taking photos and video, and then cleaning up all of the mess. I'd like to officially dedicate the event to them: Michelle Shannon, Tyler Shannon, Brittany Leimbach, Emily Spahn, Jeff Morrison, Shawn McClung (who took all these lovely photos), Erin McClung, Rebecca Bolte, Johanna Miller, Simar Tate, Dawn Quinn, Rick Gratzer, Derrick Hachey, Helen Pitlick, Kirby Johnson, and Maré Odomo.
All in all, I think it was the best time I've had a vegan cook-off ever. (See all the photos on Flickr.) OK, I've never been to a vegan cook-off before, but I know it still ruled even without a comparison. Did you go? What did you think?