Sanctuary Brewing Company, Hendersonville’s downtown brewpub that promotes animal advocacy, will hold the 2nd Annual Vegan Chili Cookoff at their facility on First Avenue. The contest welcomes only meat- and dairy-free recipes. “Last year’s cook-off was held at Whole Foods and was a big success,” remarks brewery co-owner Lisa McDonald. But having it at the brewery means that her husband and business partner, master brewer Joe Dinan, can create beers to complement the various chilis. Proceeds from the event will benefit a simpatico org, Full Circle Farm Sanctuary in Yancey County, a refuge for 60 rescued farm animals.
“We look forward to partnering with our good friends at Sanctuary Brewing Company for this awesome, upbeat event,” says Full Circle Founder and Executive Director Kayla Worden. The cook-off coincides with the annual international event Meatout (meatout.org), held the first day of spring to encourage people to try out the vegan lifestyle for a day and consider adopting a plant-based diet.
At heart, though, it’s a community event. “We welcome anyone and everyone who wishes to participate in or attend the cook-off,” says Full Circle Outreach Director Anne Landry. Chefs will vie in five categories: Grand Champion, People’s Choice Professional, People’s Choice Amateur, Best Traditional, and Most Creative.
Landry even offers some helpful tips for budding vegan chefs. For chili, she says, “choose a basic approach — white, red, or green. [Last year’s grand champion was a white chili.] Next, choose a flavor profile — sweet and fresh, mild, hot, smoky, rich and fruity. Then, choose components, [including] beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, seitan, barley, potatoes, peppers, chilis, and prepared vegan meats.” Finally, she advises, “choose ways to kick it up or add a unique twist: wine/beer, unusual spices, cocoa, liquid smoke, etc.”
Worden mentions something else crucial cooking in Full Circle’s world: the nonprofit just received a whopping $50,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor, facilitated by the hunger-relief/animal-advocacy organization A Well-Fed World. The money will enhance Full Circle’s crowdfunding campaign to find a bigger farm property next year for its animals. And it’s jump-started by a match of the chili cook-off proceeds.
2nd Annual Vegan Chili Cookoff, March 20, 2pm, Sanctuary Brewing Company, 147 First Avenue East. 828-595-9956. $15 to enter your chili recipe and $15 general admission. $10 for kids 12 and under, and $5 for each additional child. Visit fullcirclefarmsanctuary.org.