Denver’s possess The Uncomplicated Vegan won the 16th season of the Food items Network’s “The Good Food items Truck Race” besting eight other groups in excess of a sequence of issues on the well-liked clearly show. Co-founders Taylor Herbert and Alexi Mandolini are arranging to use their $50,000 show winnings towards a brick-and-mortar location.
The Straightforward Vegan team, fresh off their victory, continue to sets up as a seasonal popup tent at the City Park Farmer’s Market place every single Saturday and the South Pearl Avenue Farmer’s Industry every Sunday. Even though The Easy Vegan group operated out of a food items truck for the exhibit, you can come across them: “Under the tent, not a truck! We have had a whole lot of persons seem for us in the truck,” Herbert explained.
The pair have not had a lot time to system their victory, subsequent the summary of the 8-episode clearly show that includes much more than a dozen problems — all filmed in Los Angeles.
“Maybe up coming calendar year [we’ll take a vacation],” Mandolini joked with a regular.
“This is the encounter of a life span, it still seriously has not even sunk in that we won,” Herbert explained.
For the pair, the victory represents the fruits of years of tough do the job, beginning from action one for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the shutdowns, [Alexi] was working in catering and misplaced her work. I was bartending and I dropped work. The bar that I was performing at basically shut down two times a 7 days for the reason that they were gradual and enable us just take above the house and commence kind of figuring our thought out. That’s where The Simple Vegan was born,” Herbert mentioned.
Herbert calls The Simple Vegan’s thought, “plant-ahead street food stuff.”
It was there, all through the two times a week Herbert’s bar, which had closed due to gradual business, that the duo started to experiment with taste combos, plating and more in socially distanced pop-up dinners and takeout configurations. Soon after a casting team achieved out to Mandolini and Herbert to contend on the clearly show, they introduced on govt sous chef of Area Jones, Matt Heikkila, to spherical out their a few-person team.
“This was actually humbling. I really feel like the groups that they had this 12 months, there was just so much culinary expertise. We certainly had a tiny little bit of imposter syndrome to offer with and kind of just put our heads down and worked as difficult as we could to make the connections we essential to make to be capable to acquire property the earn,” Herbert mentioned.
Denverites have taken recognize as well.
“One of the items we say we like about having a tent in its place of a food stuff truck, I truly feel it is more of an intimate knowledge. We get to converse to the people today who occur to see us. We get to know our regulars who swiftly come to be buddies and because we’ve been on the clearly show, we have experienced so lots of extra persons we get to fulfill for the to start with time who appear out to see us.” Herbert claimed.
The pair plan to journey their momentum into a brick-and-mortar location, which will be a different name and strategy.
“[We’re] seriously open up to any part of Denver. We’ll maintain the Uncomplicated Vegan as a seasonal popup at the farmers markets… We’re seriously excited to share far more about that as soon as we have some information,” Herbert reported.
The brick and mortar may assist fill a gap in Denver’s vegan food stuff scene, which Herbert famous is predominantly cellular, possibly as vehicles, tents or other solutions.
“Our target is to get into a cafe brick and mortar area and that is what I come to feel like Denver undoubtedly does not have adequate of,” Herbert said.