6/19/2013 05:53:00 PM

Rich Landau of Vedge Wins Chopped

Landau talks shishito peppers with Zagat's James Mulcahy
Congrats to Rich Landau of Vedge, who killed it on his first Chopped showing. The chef showed the Food Network crowd he knows his way around vegan ingredients. The judges enjoyed his appetizer of chia seeds and dandelion greens and pronounced his tempeh with golden beets “just like steak.”

The only bit of controversy came with dessert, when the producers presented the two finalists with local honey - the only animal product used in the whole show. Pointing out the tough time bees are having these days, Landau hesitated before including the honey with his berry dish. In the end, he decided to go for it, and won the day.

Landau enjoyed the experience, he tells us, and noted that the hour-long show was "[t]he end result of 20 hours of tape (14 on the day of the shoot, six at the restaurant and market)." He plans to donate some of his winnings - $10,000 - to an animal shelter.


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