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Vegan Rumble & Shake: Vegetarian Restaurants Throwdown at the Drugstore

Posted by Amie / June 10, 2013

Vegan-rumble-and-shake"Those vegans are at it again," said one high and mighty carnivore about the upcoming Vegan Rumble and Shake at Le Drugstore on June 15th at 8:30pm.

The schtick: ChuChai, Crudessence and Green Panther get a little bit of time, a boxing match style atmosphere, and some awesome DJ music at a new cool spot in the Village to come up with 300 appetizers for the crowd of soon-to-be-dancing vegetarians and omnivores. Attendees sign-up for to support of the three teams. Then the chefs will recruit assistants to help them assemble the dish.

Prizes: All fifteen recruited helpers (five per team) receive a prize - Twelve prizes with a value of two hundred dollars will be given including extravagant dinners, free sports and dance training, organic vegetable baskets and food tours as well as three prizes of a value of $75: food, food and more food.

After the 'Rumble' comes the tasting and the 'Shake' (dancing).

The event is being put on by Nutrisco and 'Round Table Tours." Each restaurant is backed by an urban farm: Lufa, D-Trois Pierres, Zephyr and Carya, and by a food supplier: Prana, Les Douceurs du Marché and Truffe Import. They're also associated with a blogger (full disclosure - I'm with Crudessence, 4 Corners of the Table is with ChuChai, and Marie-Ève Savaria of Brutalimentation is with Green Panther) and an exercise activity: hip-hop dancing with Ethel Bruneau's descendents, a work-out activity with Sportera and pilates with Goa.

I talked to the chefs before the event to get an idea of their dishes and their motivation to win. Competitive these people are not...worst boxers ever. Fortunately they can cook (or un-cook, in Crudessence's case).

From Crudessence: Chef Stéphanie, a gourmet chef since 2007 specialized in vegan, gluten free and raw cuisine. She's been a pillar in building Crudessence over the past 5 years. Lately she's been teaching cooking around the globe, and sharing her latest creations through Pop Up restaurants.

From La Panthere Verte: Chef Luis Romero, falafel-maker extraordinaire. Roasted sweet potato guru. Quinoa king.

From ChuChai: Chef Lily, a vegetable lover with an affinity for pan-Asian flavours.

What are you going to make?
La Panthere Verte: We plan to gather what is given to us by our partners combine it with what we do best and then hunt for ideas to make it a real treat for the buds, one thing we can revile is : it is going to be "WILD"!!! We hope our cat reflexes will give us the edge as they did in the "santropol iron chef challenge" which we brought home in 2011.

ChuChai: We're not sure what's available yet, but for sure it's going to be different [from the other teams]. We're aiming for a Thai taste for our canapés. We're going for big taste. It's all about the sauce.

Crudessence: I am right now in the planning of the perfect plate. I often have last minute changes...

Crudessence has also won these competitions before. Is your confidence justified?
Crudessence: It's one of my favorite things to participate in contests. I have done quite a few representing Crudessence and think with all of them I was in it for two reasons: to win and to not win! I like the mental challenge of the competition as it makes me raise the bar to deliver something even better then I could imagine. And mainly I love to play, so participating is the greatest occasion to get excited for a good cause.

Ever done a vegetarian cooking competition in a club before?
La Panthere Verte (though I talked to Haim, not Luis): Nope, pretty much a virgin in the club cooking competition... [mp - the sexual undertone is all Haim's]

How are you preparing? Chin-ups? Leg-lifts?
Crudessence: I will make sure I have everything planned in my head so I can plan for everything on the spot. Also, I will relax, sleep well before to have my complete focus for the event to come up with the best solutions on all the surprise circumstances.

Who's coming to support you?

La Panthere Verte: We hope to have all kind of jungle creatures routing for us, herbivores and canivores alike.....and of course our beloved staff members.

Crudessence: I hope lots of people! My students, friends, family...! We are spreading the word at the restaurants and juice bars so we can get the appropriate support.

Are you expecting a lot of competition?
Crudessence: Of course. Knowing how my friend Haim, Chef of the Green Panther, I have to be ready to see and taste something good! We have performed beside each other in other competitions and it has always been really close. About ChuChai, I am not very familiar with their cuisine, but it was one of the first veggie meals I had back in 1997 in Montreal. I'm sure they have the experience to make this competition solid.

Where will your advantage come from? Do you think you can win?
La Panthere Verte: The Green Panther's natural habitat is the urban jungle, It feels very comfortable here and knows all the nooks and crannies, a fact that might prove crucial for staying on top of any challenges thrown its way!

Think you can handle Crudessence and La Panthère Verte's bunny-loving guns?
ChuChai: Cooking is fun. I don't think of it as a competition. It doesn't matter who wins. It's the first time we're doing this kind of thing!

What: Vegan Rumble and Shake
How much:Tickets available for pre-sale at or in the participating businesses. The event cost is $20 per person.
When: Saturday, June 15. Doors open at 8:30pm. The Drugstore: 1366 Ste-Catherine East.



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Great article Amie! Can't wait to get down to it!
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