The Food stuff Community just made heritage with its very first vegan episode of Beat Bobby Flay. Released in 2013 and now in its 30th period, Beat Bobby Flay is a cooking levels of competition display where by two cooks deal with off for the probability to compete against movie star chef and host Bobby Flay. On this monumental episode, Tamearra Dyson (chef-owner of soul food items cafe Souley Vegan) and Adyre Mason (chef-owner of Alabama-primarily based The Veggie) confronted off for a probability to proclaim, “I beat Bobby Flay.”

In this superstar-studded episode, the two vegan cooks had been judged by Food Community individuality Sunny Anderson and billionaire, Shark Tank investor, and vegetarian Mark Cuban. In the initial round of the levels of competition, the vegan cooks each accomplished a dish utilizing a solution component selected by Flay: crimson potatoes. Dyson’s pink potato and coconut milk étouffée proved victorious from Mason’s German-motivated potato salad, which The Veggie chef concluded off with fried watercress and Calabrian chilies, a most loved of Flay’s. 

Just after profitable around the judges with her étouffée, Dyson confronted off against Flay in spherical two, where she selected the dish they would every be building: plant-centered burgers. In the long run, Flay’s smokehouse vegan burgers (topped with dairy-cost-free cheese and oatmilk onion rings) not only fell shorter of the gain but pretty practically fell aside. It was Dyson’s seitan-based mostly double decker burger, served with gooey cheese and contemporary pickles, that formally produced her the first vegan chef to win the cooking levels of competition exhibit.


“[The show] is more than just a level of competition,” Dyson advised VegNews. “I have so much regard and admiration for [Flay]. It was an honor to seem on his exhibit, and the competition by itself was further than what words can explain.”

Very first vegan chef on Conquer Bobby Flay: Souley Vegan’s Tamearra Dyson 

Dyson, who started Souley Vegan in 2009, is no stranger to the Meals Network. The plant-centered entrepreneur, who was elevated on vegetarian food items, has been featured in Diners, Generate-Ins, and Dives, where by host Man Fieri sampled her okra gumbo—a dish that’s also acquired Oprah’s stamp of acceptance. In the course of her occupation, Dyson has cooked for a roster of substantial-profile celeb clientele, amid them Stevie Marvel, Erykah Badu, and Eric Benét. 

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But right before Dyson rose to fame, she was a single mother with just $26 in the cash sign-up seeking to mature what would grow to be her plant-based empire. In spite of critics, she was undeterred, in the end walking absent from her nursing research to open 1 of the country’s premier vegan soul food items places to eat. 

More than a ten years just after the grand opening of Souley Vegan in Oakland, CA, Dyson released a few ghost kitchen outposts in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas—all through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Much more lately, Dyson announced her most current enterprise very last calendar year: The Again Porch. The Cajun bar, located driving the flagship location of Souley Vegan, will serve upscale bites and cocktails in its significant out of doors room. 

Vegan chef Adyre Mason is completely ready for fight

Dyson’s competitor was Mason, the engineer-turned-chef who helms The Veggie, a vegan catering and food supply enterprise that opened its to start with brick-and-mortar café past calendar year. 

Conquer Bobby Flay is one of my preferred exhibits,” Mason told VegNews. “It was practically a bucket listing item to consider to be on the display a single working day.” Soon after mastering the display was casting for its most recent year, the chef applied to contend but assumed considerable time would pass just before she listened to everything back again. “Being a vegan chef, I figured it would be a when, if ever, that I heard from the show. I was utterly shocked when I was contacted just four times soon after submitting my software. I’m even now so humbled and stunned.”

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Long prior to Mason stepped foot on established, she and her mom ended up admirers of the network and regularly tuned into a assortment of its primary exhibits, Flay’s bundled. But how did this previous engineer come to helm her have vegan café? Mason credits her late mom for encouraging her passion and remaining a resource of determination. 

Sad with her engineering career, Mason started operating on a business prepare for a food undertaking but under no circumstances completed it. Immediately after her mother experienced from numerous strokes, Mason experimented with to transform her to a plant-dependent diet but was unsuccessful. She died just four months later on, and Mason’s grief set a fire to the flame. 

Soon after working as a Weapon Devices engineer for an Military software for 10 years, Mason stop her occupation, cashed in her 401(k), and concentrated on launching The Veggie to assist increase people’s health—a matter she is personally acquainted with. Mason herself transitioned to a vegan diet plan in her early 20s to support address joint soreness, high cholesterol, digestive distress, and grownup acne. In 2018, The Veggie arrived to fruition, and two years afterwards, Mason opened The Veggie Fast Provider Café to assist make healthful vegan foods much more obtainable to her community. 

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The vegan chefs confront off on Defeat Bobby Flay 

Whilst Dyson and Mason didn’t know each individual other prior to filming, the two strike it off right away. “[Chef Mason] is terrific. We linked right away,” mentioned Dyson. “We experienced a large amount of factors in popular, and we inspired each individual other.” Mason, likewise, located inspiration in Dyson. “She does not know this, but [Dyson] claimed anything seemingly compact, but so smart, that was a massive shift for me, and I have kept it with me everyday considering that assembly her,” Mason stated. “I really feel honored to have cooked together with her. She is genuinely a vegan legend in my eyes.”

For the chefs, showing on Beat Bobby Flay is monumentous, and starring in the show’s very first vegan episode is the cherry on top. “When I realized this was a historic episode, I was speechless,” stated Mason. “All I wanted to do when I started off this small business was to find a way to hold pushing ahead in life right after the devastating decline of my mom and to honor her memory. I didn’t anticipate staying aspect of record.”

This episode, as well, serves as a big milestone for veganism, Mason notes. “We’ve witnessed vegan entrepreneurship highlighted more than the very last couple of several years as men and women have expanded alternatives at restaurants or as firms [create plant-based] merchandise, but we never constantly see precise vegan food designed by vegan chefs at the forefront. This is a good moment for vegan food stuff and vegan cooking.”

For more about these vegan cooks and corporations, read:
How Oakland’s Souley Vegan Turned a Soul Foods Empire
A New Black Lady-Owned Vegan Café Is Coming to Alabama
The VegNews Manual to Vegan Black-Owned Corporations

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By Taba