The inaugural Philly Vegan Awards debuted Friday night, November 10th, as part of Philly Vegan Day 2017, and it was very tasty indeed. The awards were the brainchild of American Vegan Society’s Anne Dinshah and Vance Lehmkuhl. Over 175 guests mingled and munched for the first hour, while guessing which of the finalists in the 12 categories would be announced as the winners in the 12 categories later in the evening.
The Philly Vegan Awards Winners:
Best Breakfast or Brunch:
Best Smoothies or Milkshakes:
Best Sandwich / Burger:
Royal Tavern – Tempeh Club
Best Non-Food Vegan Business:
Best Frozen Treats:
Best Cheap Meal:
Best Airport/ Bus Station Food:
Mi Lah 30th Streeet Station
The Foods Sampled
Fifteen chefs sampled savory foods and sweet treats. Among the offerings were veggie wraps and sushi, koshari (the national dish of Egypt), boli balls, sandwiches, cookies, donuts, ganache glazed brownie bites, orange sesame truffles, and two frozen desserts. Urban Cabin Soap company provided vegan soap samples, and MOM’s Organic Market donated serving items and iced tea. Charlene Nolan donated the water and kombucha. Juliette Pennay provided the room décor, and my table décor was by Barbara Jo Saler. Events don’t happen without volunteers and PVA volunteers went over and beyond.
About 8pm, the guests were asked to move into the beautiful Race Street room for the awards ceremony. Our MC for the evening, Vance Lemkutal, read the impressive Mayoral Proclamation of Philly Vegan Day 2017, and then it was time for the winners of the Philly.com public vote in 12 categories to be announced.
The awards presenters, Christina Pirello, Jenice Armstrong, Dynise Balcavage, and Fran Costigan – that’s me, handled the award-giving with style, wit and just the right amount of drum roll please.
A special Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby – chefs, owners, and partners in life of Vedge, V Street, and WizKid. Kate and Rich’s creative dedication to animal-free cuisine has been a primary force behind Philly’s ever-more robust vegan dining scene. Many of their cooks have gone on to open very successful and popular vegan restaurants. Kate and Rich spoke with heart and sincerity, saying that while they were honored to be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award, they are not done. They also took home the award for the Best Appetizer for Vedge Restaurant’s rutabaga fondue. As I live near Vedge, I admit to eating that meant-to-be-shared appetizer all by myself while sitting at the bar. I was very happy to be part of the committee of three for this event. We took notes and will be back with the Philly Vegan Awards again next year, so sign up here for alerts.
True, Philly has great (vegan) cheesesteaks but we are so much more than that. Do you have a favorite restaurant that you’d like to see represented next year, or a favorite dish? You sure don’t have to live in Philly to have an opinion!!