Meet the first vegan winner of the Food Network’s big food truck race

Last night, Los Angeles-based Cuban pop-up Señoreata made history after winning the 15th season of Food Network’s Big food truck race. The Señoreata team, managed by founder Evanice Holz, consists of Chely Saludado and Adri Law. Titled ‘Hottest Season Ever’, Season 15 saw the trio compete against Amawele’s South African Kitchen; iso literal pasta; Food Journey sandwich concept; Girl’s Got Balls, which fling arancini balls with funky flavors; Mexican fusion truck Salsa Queen; soul food purveyor Sauté Kingz; Southern Pride Asian Fusion Restaurant, which brings together Southern and Asian cuisines; And a loaded macaroni and cheese truck, cheese was probably born with it.

Señoreata – The first vegan food concept to earn a spot in the epilogue Big Food Truck Racing– I went head-to-head with Maybe Cheese Born With It as the last two teams raced outdoor cooking and outplayed each other in San Diego for a chance to win the $50,000 jackpot. The two teams faced off in a series of three challenges over two days. First, Señoreata was tasked with creating a unique interpretation of perhaps the classic macaroni and cheese, a dairy-based dish and one of the concept’s best-selling items. Likewise, the cheese born with it may have had to put its own botanically based role in Senoriata ceviche A traditional South American seafood dish. While their competitor opted for macaroni and cheese topped with shrimp, Señoreata wowed customers with a three-cheese vegan chicken cutlet featuring provolone, cream cheese, and cheddar, fresh cheese, Onion, vegetable fried chicken, and garlic cream drizzle.

food web

After launching their new creations outside their local brewery, both teams surprised host Tyler Florence with a second challenge. This time, they were tasked with creating a new menu item that would be paired with a handcrafted beer of their choice. While both teams opted for a light and refreshing IPA with notes of lime, Señoreata tacos are stuffed with pinto beans, their signature Cuban. fried Meatballs, and a drizzle of cilantro-garlic sauce proved to beat perhaps the cheese bred with macaroni and cheese drizzled with lime sauce and a tagine.

But neither team was tested until the second day of the finale with another challenge. And this time, they’re tasked with creating a next-level spicy dish with one of three chiles: the habanero, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, or the world’s most chili, the Carolina Reaper. Although stuffed Señoreata chubby girl With Carolina Reaper salsa, it impressed the judges, it was deemed too spicy to finish eating and perhaps cheese born with it corn Macaroni and cheese containing habanero came to the fore.

Despite the setback, Signoriata was eventually chosen as the winner, with hostess Florence declaring, “I won one for vegetarians!” The Cuban pop-up not only became the first vegan concept to win the competition, but it also won the highest margin in show history, earning $9,911 in San Diego and beating its rival by $4,222.

“This show has been airing for 12 years, being the first plant-based concept to make it to the end, while also offering a huge specialty kitchen with Cuban food, unspeakable,” Holz told VegNews. “When I was in high school watching Food Network, I wish I saw a Latina-owned company and a team of three women of color that I could relate to by smashing glass ceilings. I was really touched by it and my company made that kind of impact on food.”

The prize money, Holz shares, will be divided equally. “[Law] And the [Saludado] “They deferred their lives and their labors to help me chase my dream and they deserved to spend it as they please,” said Holz. “For me […] It was a dream to get this far on the Food Network, and I plan to return the money directly to the company.”

Cuban Vegetarian Cuisine at Señoreata

Founded in 2017 in East Los Angeles, Señoreata got its start when Halls packed her Prius to the brim with ingredients and a mobile kitchen, ready to sample her plant-based Cuban food at events across town. Today, the pop-up has gained a lot of admiration for dishes like jackfruit cubano sandwiches lichun (jackfruit pork in a marinade with citrus and pepper); pastries stuffed with butter, guava and cheese; And stir-fried cassava stuffed with pickled onions, avocado, cilantro-garlic sauce, dairy-free queso and lemon.

“I’m rewriting my own experience as a first generation, modern, Cuban-Brazilian American, making food my own way.”
– beech wood

Although Señoreata first appeared five years ago, the roots of the pop-up can be traced back to Holz’s botanical journey. After three years on a vegan diet in high school when a friend asked, “Hey, do you want to become a vegetarian?” Food Network Magazine A column highlighting a vegan chef and his vegan dog. Holes’ curiosity took hold, and she made a New Year’s resolution to become a vegan for a couple of months, eventually sticking to changing the lifestyle forever.

Soon after adopting a meat-free diet, Halls found herself craving the Cuban food she had grown up eating. The entrepreneur, a first-generation Cuban-Brazilian American, began asking her father and grandmother about their traditional recipes. Holes noted that making it vegan was easier than she imagined.

“When I started working with plants, I had to start learning how to cook because my dad definitely didn’t know what to cook for me. He didn’t understand the concept of veganism,” Holz said. [veganizing] fragmentation And the rice with chicken. I went from there, developing recipes at the age of 19. Señoreata is an extension of that whole experience.”

Vegetarian NewsSenorita

Ultimately, this culinary journey helped Hols forge a stronger connection to her Latin American heritage. “I’m rewriting my own experience as a first generation, modern, Cuban-Brazilian American, making food my own way. It’s all about discovering it—that’s the first generation motto,” Holz said. “Señoreata I come up with a solution, and that’s what I have.” [learned]. I feel more connected [to my culture] than when I was eating these dishes as a kid.”

vegetarian for The the culture

with her appearance big food truck race, Holz hopes to inspire viewers with entrepreneurial ambitions to take the first step toward launching their own business. It also aims to show how delicious vegetarian cuisine can be and prove that it can withstand cravings.

“I think we might inspire others to put more vegan dishes on their menu because they see, ‘Oh, maybe there’s something to this,'” said Halls. From the stigma behind vegetarian food, [we can] Unpack it, bring it back to basics, and serve it up in a culturally appropriate manner.”

It is this desire for a plant food closely related to culture that fuels Holes. In addition to her work on the Food Network, Halls is still in the early stages of opening a restaurant on Joshua Tree. The entrepreneur, who splits her time between Los Angeles and the high desert, dreams of bringing more vegan options to Joshua Tree, where vegan restaurants are few and far between. Outside of her food businesses, Hols plans to launch meal planning and classroom services that teach low-income families how to cook plants on a budget.

For a taste of Señoreata’s vegan food, visit the Instagram popup to see where they’re headed next.

For more on the Vegetarian Food Network, read:Meet the chefs in the vegan episode Beat Bobby Flay on the Food Network13 vegan-friendly food web moments
The first vegan baker to appear in Food Network’s ‘Holiday Wars’

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