A TV cooking competition where all the food will be vegan will air on US TV in the summer of 2022. The programme, titled Peeled, was created by vegan digital platform vKind, and is being recorded at the Vegas Vegan Culinary School and Eatery, the first US all-vegan cooking school based in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The series will feature professional chefs competing against each other for the title of “Hottest Vegan Chef”. Raw chef Babette Davis and TV personality Dr Shabnam Islam would be the hosts, and Sophie’s Kitchen CEO Dr Miles Woodruff, celebrity chef Chris Tucker and former Hell’s Kitchen contestant Chef Josie Clemens would form the team of judges.
Star Simmons, the founder of vKind and creator of the show, said: “As a vegan and a foodie, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with cooking shows…Peeled allows vegans and vegetarians to enjoy cooking shows again and gives plant-based culinary arts a platform to be taken seriously.”
Chef Josie Clemens, one of the judges, said: “Competing in Hell’s Kitchen was a great experience, but not at all hospitable for a vegan chef like me who would otherwise never opt to cook anything that wasn’t entirely plant-based…I was thrilled to learn that vKind would be producing an all-vegan cooking competition. Signing on as co-creator was a no-brainer for me.”
The issue of vegan contestants in TV cooking shows has been problematic. In 2021 producers of the Great British Bake Off come under fire after Freya Cox, a 19-year-old vegan contestant, was forced to use animal products during a technical challenge. In 2022 Alex Lenghel quit the Romanian MasterChef because he was told he had to cook meat. However, Teresa Colaco, a plant-based contestant, recently won the MasterChef Portugal. The best way to avoid all these ethical dilemmas is to have a fully vegan competition where all the food, contestants, and judges are vegan. Now that we have one of these in the US, hopefully other countries will follow suit.