The tofu scramble sure has come far in recent years. Vegans no longer have to shudder and cross their fingers when ordering it somewhere new. More and more often, it will be cooked well and more than decent! We no longer have to fear turmeric overload or soggy blandness — at least not most of the time.
Bird’s Nests + Hollandaise from A.N.D Cafe
Here in Portland, Oregon, chefs have been ahead of the curve, as usual. There are at least forty scrambled vegan breakfasts available at joints around town, including variations such as tempeh scramble and tofu hash.
Our chefs at Scrambletown showcased this uber vegan-friendly cityâ€™s creative scramblings. Professional chefs, passionate home chefs, bloggers, food cart owners and restaurant gurus alike participated. They scrambled tofu, tempeh, fruit, nuts, and chickpeas with sauces, dips, sides, tator tots, and more.
Stuffed Peppers with seitan, herbs and scramble + home fries by Piper Dixon (Kitchen Dances)
The competition was hosted by local personality Maeve Connor, who told stories of scrambles, hosted trivia, and even held a black salt-eating contest. Surprisingly, only one brave contestant entered.
Fun fact: Black salt, available at speciality stores such as The Meadow and Indian markets, lends an eggy-flavor and aroma to â€śeggyâ€ť dishes. Mmmm, sulfur.
Our judges, Morgan Grundstein-Helvey of Dovetail Bakery and Josh and Ruby Hooten of Herbivore Clothing Company, tasted mini portions of each and every eligible scramble. They were warned to arrive hungry, and literally had entire muffin trays of vegan scramble ahead of each of them. As the judges sampled, our eager audience began to line up in front of chefs to get started. Everyone was urged to sample as many chefs as they could, and with 13 to choose from (including special scrambles not eligible for voting) they sure had beautiful plates of food to try! Each audience member received gemstones to place in their favorite chefâ€™s mason jar after tasting everything they wanted to. This meant you could give all of your gemstones for one chef, or spread them out amongst several top picks.
Sadie from Intrepid Herbivores discussing her Thai Larb with a guest
At the end of the afternoon, the gemstones were tallied, the judges compared live notes and the winners were chosen! The Audience Favorite award went to Jeff Ridabok of HomeGrown Smoker Vegan BBQ, and the Judgesâ€™ Choice went to Heidi K. Lovig of Heidi Ho Organics. Jeffâ€™s scramble featured smoked scrambled tempeh, peppers and onions, and paired perfectly with his handmade hot sauces. Heidiâ€™s scramble featured beautiful fresh vegetables and a creamy cheese sauce.
Congrats to our big winners, Judges’ Choice: Heidi of Heidi Ho Veganics and Audience Favorite: Jeff of Homegrown Smoker!
What a day, what a brunch!
The Vegan Iron Chef organization would like to thank each and every one of our chefs, judges, host, attendees and volunteers at this past weekend’s Scrambletown event. This community competition celebrated vegan community pride with delicious contributions from all of our chefs. It was a huge success and we helped raise funds for both our small non-profit organization and local, vegan Red & Black Cafe.
If you’d like to be involved some way with future events and planning, simply let us know.
Stay tuned to our website and Facebook for more — and support our chefs and growing community!
Photos taken and provided courtesy of Rachel Stein of Evil Media Photography