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‘Top Chef’ Goes Vegan

Written by PETA | July 30, 2009

Normally, I channel surf right through competitive food shows (nobody wants to eat trout ice cream, Iron Chef )—but ever since I found out that vegan Natalie Portman will be a guest judge in the upcoming season of Top Chef, I’ve been counting down the days until the premiere. Well, it looks like we vegans won’t have to wait as long as we thought for our moment in the food TV limelight! Top Chef Masters (a Top Chef spin off) has just announced that next week, its contestants will be preparing food for a dinner party hosted by vegan actor and musician Zooey Deschanel. Check out a sneak peek of the episode, which will air Wednesday at 10 p.m.:




Ah, Mr. Smith, it looks like this’ll be an especially good exercise for you if your specialty is greasy, unhealthy fried chicken and mac and cheese!

Big thanks to the folks over at Ecorazzi for shooting this our way.

Written by Liz Graffeo

Commenting is closed.
  • Doreen says:

    I believe vegan is a life style choice that includes a way of eating as well. We are alwasys asked about the distinction between vegan and vegetarian. We host a Vegetarian Exchange Pot Luck at out local community center and it has broadeded so many of our lives because we see an eclectic mix of personal food and life style choices. It’s been a very lovely way to bring like mind yet diverse people together over food. It’s best not to sit in judgement of others choices and to be open to diversity. We’ve learned so much. o

  • Chris says:

    Simara You seriously need a reality check. There is a huge difference between a carnivore and a vegetarian. The previous blogs explain the difference so I won’t even bother.

  • Ann says:

    I understand that vegan is the most crueltyfree way to eat but I don’t think promoting vegetarianism is promoting animal cruelty. At least it gets former carnivores like myself to start thinking about the consequences of what they eat. Many people start by just cutting out the meat and eventually they do go vegan. But not everyone can go “cold turkey” so to speak. I don’t think it helps anyone to create tension between vegetarians and vegans. I’m just making the transition myself. I’m not vegan yet but I’m proud to say I’m a vegetarian and I’m already starting to cut out most dairy and eggs.

  • Olivia says:

    I think thats a little harsh to say that vegetarians are no better than meat eaters Simara. I think choosing a vegetarian lifestyle is a step in the right direction and if someone can’t go all the way and be vegan than being vegetarian is not a bad second. You should not be so judgmental. PETA hasnt confused anyone about anything.

  • simara says:

    it is fantastic that they are featuring vegan cooking but very bizarre that a vegan would call herself a vegetarian there is a huge difference between vegan and vegetarian and little difference between vegetarian and flesh eaters just as many animals are tortured and forced to lead horrific lives and than are murdered for all dairy products.I wish Peta would stop confusing society about vegetarianism.promoting vegetarianism promotes and supports animal cruelty.

  • Abby says:

    Based on the promos I’ve seen the show presents it as something chefs hate. Maybe they will change by the end of the episode and I’m sure they will at least pretend so they don’t offend their guest judge. But the promos show chefs complain about how they hate cooking that way and are just aghast at being asked to cook with limits. That seems to be the prevalent attitude in the restaurant world as all of the books and shows I’ve read and seen about it describe how chefs have no respect for diners who ask for their food to be prepared without animal products.

  • MELISSA says:

    I agree it’s about time they started exposing viewers to new ways to eat not just the disgusting foie gras and pork they normally serve.

  • Tim Tillinghast says:

    I’ve been a chef for over ten years and one of my greatest challenges has been creating vegan dishes that were appealling and palletable to non vegetarian customers. It has been so much fun I converted my self and others and I don’t miss or desire animal products at all. As an example a great sub for riccota cheese take one pound package of extra firm tofu pulse in a food procceser drizzle in a 14 cup of olive oil add 4 cloves of garlic 1 tbsp of oregano s+p to taste and POW! you have a vegan filling for your lasagna and your cheese luvin’ friends will never know. More “Top Chefs” should utilize their talent by creating new vegan dishes so the audience will have a better understanding of how simple and truly delicious it is to go vegan.

  • victoria says:

    I was watching Top Chef Masters Champion and the female asian chef from New York cut into a live lobster while still moving!!! I started screaming at my television!! The chef said “Sorry sweetheart…” It literally made me sick to watch. How can she get away with that? Thanks for letting me vent!

  • Kathryn says:

    I recently read the book “Skinny Bitch” which is Vegan and have been Vegan for a little over a month. I will never go back. I’m so proud of myself for doing this. It’s so cool to see celebrities that have made the same decision as well. Anyone who thinks that vegan food is nasty has no clue. I have eaten some of the best tasting food in the past month that makes my former eating habits seem like garbage which it was.

  • Michele says:

    Wow Zooey is quite an inspiration. Most people who couldn’t eat soy or gluten would use that as an excuse for why they couldn’t be vegan. Go girl!

  • Jenny says:

    Looks like my love for the Deschanel sisters will just keep on growing! Too bad I can’t watch the vid though .. Anyways go Zooey Emily.. Talented and oh so compassionate

  • Tom says:

    I have had some vegetarian dishes occasionally that have been tasty. But they have had mayonnaise or butter or eggs in them. I don’t think I could go all vegan all the time. esp since vegan substitute meats may be “tasty and savory” but all of them I have seen are unappealing shades of gray

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Vegan food is so tasty savory and crueltyfree I can’t stop eating it !

  • CN says:

    I LOVE Top Chef but all of their foie gras Butterball turkey veal antics drive me crazy. I will definitely catch these episodes!

  • Angie says:

    It’s about time that there is a Vegan challenge on here. The closest that they have come before was on the regular season when the Foo Fighters had some vegansvegetarians in their entourage.