Home|Exhibitors|Entertainment|Sponsors|More Info|News|Contact Us
Music|Speakers|Performance Artists|Food Fight!

Entertainment » Food Fight

Don't miss the 3rd annual Food Fight! cooking competition. This "Iron Chef" style competition will be an exciting part of the 2013 Richmond Vegetarian Festival - don't miss it!

The competition was previously known as Meatless Gourmet, but we think Food Fight! is a better fit. It's fast-paced, head-to-head, and the food is flying.

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 2013! 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 2012

Food Fight 2011

Food Fight 2013

The Competitors


Whitney Trent

Website: Edible Education

Whitney is a gradute of the Baltimore Culinary School. She is currently one of the Executive Chefs at Edible Education and a Sous Chef at The Virginia Retirement Home. Whitney loves teaching children the importance of mastering basic culinary skills so they can grow up confident in a kitchen. The Vegetarian Festival falls on the heels of Chef Whitney's Broad Appetit debut where she grilled watermelon and tempeh for 800 patrons.


Yeshi Demisse

Website: www.YesharegDemisse.com

Training and Certification:
Macrobiotics diet and Lifestyle, intensive training at the Kushi Institute, Beket, Massachusettes
Living Foods, trained under the direct guidance of the late Dr. Ann Wigmore, Boston, Massachuesettes.
Certified Health Coach, Institute for Integrative Nutrition New York
Member of American Association of Drugless Practioners.

My services include, coounseling/coaching, workshops, cooking instructions and catering.
Also, Head Chef and co-owner of Nile Restaurant


Michelle Johnson

Website: Vegan Cooking With Love

Michelle is a home cook who has been vegan for about 3 1/2 years. Her love for cooking has grown exponentially since making that switch and she has discovered a world of vegetables that she didn't realize existed. Last year she decided to share her love for cooking and inspire others to cook delicious vegan food on her YouTube cooking channel, Vegan Cooking with Love (www.youtube.com/user/VeganCookingWithLove). Michelle hopes that through her channel, she can teach people that veganism is not about deprivation. She believes that with a little creativity, a strong desire and Google you can make a vegan version of just about anything.


The Judges


Joe Yonan

Washington Post Food Editor


Joe Yonan is the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Travel editor of The Washington Post and the author of “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One,” which Serious Eats called “a truly thoughtful, useful, and incredibly delicious book.” He 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, for which he also writes the monthly Cooking for One column and occasional feature stories. His work from the Globe and Post has appeared in three editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology. Joe 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 more book projects, including the upcoming “Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook” (Ten Speed Press, August 2013).


Jason Guard

Jason Guard is a retired food blogger (previously known as RVAfoodie), but still a lifelong food enthusiast. He's spent the better part of two decades as a vegetarian and sometimes vegan with a real passion for raw and sprouted foods. Jason learned his vegan cooking skills cooking a free meal for the public with Food Not Bombs in Richmond for over six years. Today, he grapples with the prospect of incorporating food nutrition and creativity into his parenting and his career in adult basic education. Some of you may recognize Jason from the Emcee role the past two years here at Food Fight.


Maya Vincelli

University of Richmond - Dining Services

Maya is a born and bred Richmonder who has had a focus on food since her earliest days of backyard gardens and birthday cakes. Her working life has been entirely in food service, holding more than 25 jobs doing everything from making ice cream to roasting coffee to being a sous chef and more. She is passionate about good food, local food, and supports local growers and food preparers in her own kitchen as well as in her professional life. She is the Assistant Director of Retail Operations for University of Richmond Dining Services, overseeing five busy campus cafes and upscale convenience stores. In her spare time, she continues work on her history degree, blogs about food, cooks for friends and family, and responds to the daily needs of her rescued border collie mix Pepper and her black cat Flapjack.

The Food Moderator

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


John Haddad

Website: RVAfoodie.com

John Haddad is a food writer in Richmond and Vice Chair of Slow Food RVA. Find him at Epicuriousity.net, @Epicuriousity on Twitter, or slowfoodrva.org. John is obsessed with food. He is tormented, transfixed, seduced, beguiled and smitten by it. Savory more than sweet, spicy more than hot and local and seasonal more than not. When he is not eating, he is reading about food, shopping for food, watching television shows about it, photographing it or writing about it.

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.

Home|Exhibitors|Entertainment|Sponsors|More Info|News|Contact Us|
Theme artwork by Erin Hall. Site design by on enterFrame | new media solutions, llc.