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Richard Landau of Vedge on Chopped

I just watched the new episode of Chopped (Mix and Mache) that aired on Food TV this week. The Chef Owner of Vedge was one of the contestants, and the baskets were (mostly) vegan. they messed up in the dessert round, gave the cheftestants honey, not considering that a vegan might consider that an animal product.

He did a good job. (not going to say who won, don't want to spoil it.)

It was nice to see a local chef on the show. I've never been to Vedge, I've seen reviews of it here I think, but never really considered going... I'm intrigued, tho! too bad he doesn't do lunch, that's the only time I'm in the city.

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  1. It was a good show. Rich certainly is cocky. But that's the first time I've ever heard anyone express concern about all the bees that died to make our honey!

    3 Replies
    1. re: PhillyBestBYOB

      Interestingly I was very impressed with Rich's demeanor. I am no fan of Vedge for me it has been unimpressive, bland and over priced on both of my visits. However, I was intrigued by Rich's interactions with the judges and his explanations of his dishes. Cocky or just confident is in the eyes of the beholder, I suppose.

      1. re: Bacchus101

        Nothing wrong with being cocky, if you have the talent to back it up.

      2. re: PhillyBestBYOB

        I guess he made it all the way to the last round then.

      3. FYI.. the episode is called Wheatgrass Roots .. the Mache episode aired earlier in the week on Sunday.

        It was interesting that one of Rich's dishes was criticized for trying to look like meat.

        And Bacchus's criticism of blandness seems to have been echoed by one of the judges with regard to his first dish...

        2 Replies
        1. re: cwdonald

          oops! i watched both episodes on my DVR the other night.

          1. re: jujuthomas

            I did too Juju ... I started with the Mache episode, which is when I discovered that Richard wasn't on that one... both were good.

        2. Vedge is one of my favorite restaurants (and I'm generally a meat lover). It was fun to see Rich on Chopped, and his approach on the show was very characteristic of the things I love about it. All the things the judges mentioned--being impressed by the varying textures, richness of the food, depth of flavor given the lack of animal products, and elegant presentation--are the things I always mention when I talk about it.

          1. I saw the program and enjoyed it -- we've eaten at Vedge a couple of times and also at his previous restaurant, Horizons, although we're not vegetarians or vegans. Was glad to see how well he did although I don't agree about the bees. The honey is really just a byproduct of the necessity to have bees fertilize all the fruits as well as other crops and the bees are dying because of a mysterious disease rather than mistreatment!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Beulah

              I also find it interesting that vegans would decline to use honey as an acceptable food. However, Beulah your definition of" honey being a byproduct of the necessity to have bees fertilize corps" is a bit convoluted. "Honey bees use their stores of energy-rich honey to get them through lean times, including winter. Worker bees gather nectar from flowers and convert it into enough honey to keep the colony alive." While the bee colony disease is responsible for massive losses of bees in recent years; we are taking the fruit of their labors and what is their stores for the winter.

              1. re: Bacchus101

                One of my daughters, who is vegan, refers to vegans who eat honey (unlike her) as "beegans". Because we need more terms for people who avoid animal products!!