Equinox Restaurant Brings the Heat With Its Vegan Smackdown Challenge

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Chef Todd Gray will transform signature meat-centric recipes from other well-known chefs into vegan-friendly dishes.

Vegan food has never been hotter. Beyonce just launched a vegan food delivery service, Ikea will soon offer vegan meatballs, and from 2005 to 2014, Google trends reported a threefold increase in vegan interest. Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray have been offering vegan dishes at Equinox for many years and are well known for their Vegan Brunch, so it seemed fitting to take it to the next level with a Vegan Smackdown Challenge, kicking off in April.

Chef Todd Gray has invited select chefs to participate in the challenge by providing him with one of their signature meaty dishes. Using his expert culinary skills, creativity, and an abundance of locally sourced ingredients, Chef Gray will created inspired, vegan versions of their signature recipes. The only parameters that the chefs were given was that the dish couldn’t be vegan. Other than that, anything goes.

“Vegetables have gone from the sidelines to become the main event,” says Chef Gray. “What better way to showcase the incredible versatility of plant-based dishes than with non-vegan recipes from my esteemed colleagues. With this friendly challenge, we’ll show that vegan dishes can easily stand side by side with their meatier counterparts.”

Currently, Carla Hall, José Andrés, Cat Cora, Spike Mendelsohn, and Jamie Leeds are participating in the challenge, and more will be added to the lineup. Each new “vegan-ized” dish will be featured at Equinox Restaurant for a month starting in April, and the challenger chefs will be highlighted as the inspiration for the special dish.

Equinox Restaurant is located at 818 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington DC. For more information, visit http://www.equinoxrestaurant.com

About Equinox Restaurant
Guests at the award-winning Equinox Restaurant have been enjoying innovative, regionally inspired cuisine for nearly two decades. Elegant and sophisticated yet comfortable and unpretentious – the dining rooms at Equinox match the cuisine in its mission for purity and integrity.

About Chef Todd Gray
Chef Todd Gray, one of the frontrunners of the sustainable and seasonal food movement, offers sophisticated, pure American cuisine well established in European technique. Chef Gray stays true to his mission of using community-sourced, organic ingredients grown within 100 miles of the restaurant, whenever possible. He has received five nominations for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic Award, and in 2011, after eight nominations, he was named the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s 2011 RAMMY Chef of the Year. Raised in Virginia, Chef Gray studied at the University of Richmond and graduated with honors from the Culinary Institute of America. After the CIA, he worked at a number of fine dining restaurants, where he was able hone his craft, refine his technique, and develop his kitchen philosophy prior to launching Equinox.

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