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Entertainment » Food Fight

Food Fight 2014

WHEN: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Speakers' Tent

Three of the Richmond area's up-and-coming chefs will battle it out to see who will reign as the Food Fight Champion 2014! They will be given 60 minutes to prepare 3 dishes each to be judged by our esteemed judging panel. With help from their sous chefs, the competitors will live up to their expectations and the taste-buds of the judges in an outdoor kitchen with limited equipment. But there's an even bigger catch: their dishes must highlight the Secret Ingredient which no one will know until the moment the clock starts ticking.

This is sure to be a fast-paced and exciting event. A perfect complement to your day at the Festival.


Check out previous fights...

Food Fight 2013

Food Fight 2012

Food Fight 2011

2014 Competitors



Kate Koyiades

Website: 821CafeRVA.com
Twitter: @821cafe #katesplates

Kate Koyiades is the creator of the tapas-style ‘Kate’s Plates’ menus offered every Friday at vegetarian staple 821 cafe, where she currently manages the kitchen and has worked since 2008. Kate also builds the custom menus for 821’s pairing events, creating plates to accompany beer from featured breweries selected from 821’s eclectic craft beer selection.

Her food reflects the influences of her parents and grandmother, all excellent home cooks who taught her an appreciation for the simple elegance that can be found in Greek and southern cooking techniques.

She was recently featured on the cooking segment of “Virginia this Morning” on CBS6.*

Sous Chef: Mackenzie Monday, 821 Cafe


Christine Newell

Website: TheTravelersCollective.com
Twitter: @YearoftheFox
Instagram: @YearoftheFox

Holistic Nutritionist, Raw Food Expert and Alternative Medicine Consultant specializing in disease treatment and prevention, pre-natal detox, and post-natal nutrition.


Brittany Mullins

Website: Eating Bird Food
Twitter: @EatingBirdFood
Instagram: @EatingBirdFood

Brittany Mullins is a health coach, certified NASM personal trainer and has been blogging about healthy living since 2008. She is a lover of all things food, nutrition and fitness. Through her blog, eatingbirdfood.com, she proves that maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a challenge by sharing recipes, fitness activities and tips. On a daily basis she focuses on inspiring and motivating others by showing that small changes can create long lasting health and happiness.

Sous Chef: Lauren Downey is a vegetarian home cook who has been writing the food blog Vegology since 2010. Vegology is a blog about trying new things, and in her posts, Lauren describes her adventures with new ingredients and new cooking methods. She believes in using fresh, local ingredients and aims to show readers the power of the produce section in home cooking. Her goal is to inspire others to get out of their comfort zones and try new things.
VegologyBlog.com   Twitter: @Vegology


The Judges


Joe Yonan

Website: JoeYonan.com and Washington Post Food Editor
Twitter: @JoeYonan
Instagram: @JoeYonan
Facebook: facebook.com/JoeYonan

Joe Yonan is the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Travel editor of The Washington Post and the author of “Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook” (Ten Speed Press, 2013), which was named among the best cookbooks of 2013 by The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and NPR's "Here and Now.” In 2011, he wrote “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One,” which Serious Eats, David Lebovitz, and the San Francisco Chronicle named to their best-of-the-year lists.

Joe was a food writer and Travel section editor at The Boston Globe before moving to Washington in 2006 to edit the Post’s Food section. He writes the Post’s Weeknight Vegetarian column and for five years wrote the Cooking for One column, both of which have won honors from the Association of Food Journalists. He also writes regularly about his efforts to grow food on his 150-square-foot urban front yard. His work from the Globe and Post has appeared in three editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology.

In addition to his writing and editing, Joe frequently speaks about his work at conferences, book festivals and other events, and has taught hundreds of cooking classes through such venues as Central Market, Stonewall Kitchen, Culinaerie, L’Academie de Cuisine and SideTour.

Joe, who grew up in West Texas, spent 2012 in North Berwick, Maine, on leave from the Post to learn about growing and homesteading from his sister and brother-in-law and to work on “Eat Your Vegetables.” He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Cambridge (MA) School of Culinary Arts.


Nicole Lang

Twitter: @NicoleLang

Nicole Lang moved to Richmond from NYC in 2010 and could not be more enthused about her adopted hometown's food scene. When not eating or drinking she is thinking about cheese or making movies about food and people. She is an avid food writer for her own blog, and contributor at Richmond.com, and Southernfoodways.org. Lang is also a filmmaker who collaborated with Christophile Konstas, on the 2011 documentary film, Pimento Cheese, Please!


Josh Epperson

Website: FeastRVA.com
Twitter: @Josh_Epperson and @FeastRVA
Instagram: @FeastRVA
Facebook: facebook.com/FeastRVA

Josh Epperson does creative concepting and copywriting at Prophet, a brand and marketing strategy firm. He is also the co-founder of Feast RVA, a local non-profit that raises money for creative projects through community style dinners. Additionally he works as a freelance writer and team leader for the local music series Sundown at Scuffletown. Josh loves the connection that's possible when you combine creativity with a great meal.

The Host

Our host/moderator fills a very important role - bringing the audience along as we watch the chefs transform the secret ingredient into their masterful creations. She will be guiding you and us through the ingredients, the preparation, and the judges' and audience's reactions.


Karri Peifer

Website: Richmond.com
Twitter: @KarriPeifer
Instagram: @KarriPeifer

Karri Peifer is the editor of Richmond.com and the site’s senior food writer. She’s been covering restaurant news in Richmond since 2005 for Richmond.com and since 2013 for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Karri likes to say she fell into food writing, growing up with a mother who didn’t cook as much as she beat food into submission. It was a chance assignment as an intern that brought her into the field.

Karri worked her through Virginia Commonwealth University, where she studied English literature with a minor in Writing, by working in variety of Richmond restaurants. When an assignment came up during her internship at Richmond.com for some to cover restaurant news, she jumped at the chance, relying on former coworkers and managers to help get her the scoop.

And then she never stopped.

A decade of restaurant previews and chef interviews brought with an intense passion for the local restaurant scene and the food and people that help shape it.

She still cannot cook and entirely blames her mother for this.

The Rules


Basic Structure:

  • 3 Chef Competitors
  • 3 Industry Judges
  • 1 Judge Chosen from Audience
  • 60 minutes for cooking

Cooking Guidelines:

  • Each chef will work with a sous chef of their choosing
  • Each chef must prepare 3 dishes
  • Each dish should incorporate and highlight the Secret Ingredient
  • The 60 minute clock starts at the moment that the Secret Ingredient is revealed to the competitors, judges, and audience.
  • Only food that is plated at the end of 60 minutes will be judged.


Each judge gives a score to each dish with the following scoring ranges:

  Category   Maximum Score
  Taste   8
  Presentation   4
  Innovation / Uniqueness   4
  Use of Secret Ingredient   4

Therefore each competitor will have a final score between 0 and 240.

Food Fight is a cooking competition run by the Richmond Vegetarian Festival and is an Affiliate of the Vegan Iron Chef network.

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