Calling all fans of cooking competition drama à la Hell’s Kitchen and Chopped: There’s an all-new competitive vegan cooking series coming to YouTube, and it’s being filmed right here in Ohio. Not only that, but a Cincinnati home chef will be part of its first season.
Top Vegan features eight contestants cooking all-vegan dishes in an effort to be named the top vegan chef. The show was filmed at Mitchell Hall, Columbus State Community College’s state-of-the-art culinary facility, and hosted by Columbus vegan restaurateur and actor Chad Goodwin.
In Top Vegan, the chefs’ skills will be tested and pushed to the limit as they try not to be the one eliminated at the end of each episode. To really test their mettle, the chefs had to run a hectic service at 4th & State, one of Goodwin’s restaurants.
“We’re trying to make something that I think is severely lacking in the competitive cooking reality series as a whole,” Top Vegan director Logan Solana said in a press release. “We want to show the world that going vegan is possible in 2023, and you don’t have to give up the things you love on an all-vegan diet.”
Cincinnati area home chef and vegan recipe developer Teresa Stone will be one of the eight contestants. She says she learned the value of from-scratch cooking from her grandmothers and mother and to this day prefers to make her own breads, nut milks, cheeses, jams and chutneys and uses produce from her garden when possible.
Stone says she became a vegetarian in college in the ‘80s before going full vegan with her husband in the ‘90s. She says traveling and collecting cookbooks has broadened her culinary horizons beyond the Midwestern meals of her childhood, and she really enjoys “veganizing” international dishes.
Stone’s claims to fame include winning the People’s Choice Award at the former vegan general store Park + Vine’s annual chili cookoff one year and having a recipe featured in the cookbook Rust Belt Vegan Kitchen.
“Competing in a reality TV cooking show was definitely a bucket list item for me, but something I never actually thought I would be able to do as a vegan,” Stone said in the release. “I am grateful for this experience! It really stretched me, and I was so inspired by the other competitors.”
Stone is in the process of creating a cookbook of family-favorite recipes for her two vegan, college-aged children. She also recently joined Instagram where she showcases her culinary creations.
Top Vegan premieres on their YouTube channel on April 20.
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