NGI Graduate Amanda Cohen, Chef/Owner of Dirt Candy in East Village, has boldly joined the media fray to put vegetarian, plant-based food on the culinary map (see also NGI Graduate Chloe Coscarelli’s coup with vegan cupcakes on Cupcake Wars). On August 29 at 10 pm, Amanda goes up against none other than Japanese fusion legend Masaharu Morimoto on The Food Network’s Iron Chef America.
Amanda has her own legendary “cred” in vegetarian cuisine, having held chef positions in such highly regarded vegan and vegetarian venues as Teany, Pure Food and Wine, and Heirloom before opening her own critically acclaimed vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant in 2008.
By the way, you may notice on her website that Amanda won $10,000 from PETA in a competition to create a vegetarian, cruelty-free foie gras (“faux gras” as the contest called it). Her winning entry, a mushroom mousse, is on her menu.
Let’s support Amanda by watching the episode on Sunday, the 29th. It’s a great opportunity to root for one our own doing what we do. On Thursday, September 2, Amanda will re-create her 5-course Iron Chef America meal for diners at Dirt Candy. Fortunately for Amanda, but unfortunately for the rest of us who weren’t quick, that event sold out almost immediately.
Stay tuned for a Blanched and Shocked interview with Amanda Cohen about her career as a chef and what it’s like to build own a vegetarian restaurant in New York City.