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Vegan Iron Chef: March 23rd

March 05, 2014 | Wildlife Law Program

The San Francisco Vegetarian Society is once again cooking up an event that will combine the culinary drama, competition and mystery that unfolds between Iron Chefs in Kitchen Stadium every week, but with plant-based ingredients.

For the second year, SFVS will host the Vegan Iron Chef on March 23 in San Francisco and Friends of Animals is sponsoring the event. 


“We’re thrilled to be sending a correspondent to the event and to sponsor the competition,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals. “It shows excellence in creative food preparation, and inspires an audience to champion the best in vegan cooking.”


This year’s theme will be “Impromptu Sunday Dinner Party for 10.”


Competitors will get 60 minutes to prepare a three-course meal consisting of an appetizer, main course and dessert. They will also need to incorporate the secret ingredient, which will be revealed just before they start.


The chefs will have access to the same ingredients and equipment, and will have two sous-chefs helping them.


And the competitors are…

Jay Astafa is a 21-year-old vegan chef who started his culinary journey when he became vegan in 2007. Going vegan inspired him to become a vegan chef. In 2009, he created a full vegan Italian-inspired menu for his dad’s restaurant 3 Brothers Pizza Cafe on Long Island. In 2011, he graduated from New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute.


Astafa is the chef/owner of Jay Astafa Catering, a NYC upscale vegan catering company. He’s also planning to open his vegan restaurant concept ortaggio in 2014.


Jillian Love is a talented raw vegan chef, accomplished workshops leader, international raw educator, community organizer and event planner, and inspiring presenter with extensive training in assisting people in personal transformation.


She is founder of Bay Area Raw, an organization providing social networking opportunities to bring together local businesses, entrepreneurs, visionaries, activists, community leaders and the greater Bay Area community members to share information, celebrate healthy lifestyle and support the growth of the Bay Area Raw Food Movement.  Love also runs the Revolutionary Raw Conscious Cuisine Meet Up Group, a community hub for individuals interested in exploring raw food cuisine and optimal nourishment and engaging in lifestyle choices that sustain the planet. 


She completed her certification as associate raw food chef from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in October 2003. 


Chef AJ has followed a plant-based diet for more than 36 years.  The author of “Unprocessed,” she was the former executive vegan pastry chef at Sante Restaurant in Los Angeles.

As a culinary instructor for the past 14 years, she teaches people how to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets in ways that are easy, delicious and fun. She is a frequent guest chef and True North Health in Santa Rosa.


Last year’s Vegan Iron Chef winner, chef Lisa Books-Williams, will return as one of the judges this year, along with Jesse Miner, Sascha Weiss and Collen Patrick-Goudreau. Vegan restaurateur Miyoko Schinner will emcee the event.


To download a copy of the e-cookbook that includes recipes from last year’s contestants, visit this site, and click on “About.” 




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