Thank you to all of our Official Judges (2015 to 2017) who graciously donated their time and talents to our Competitions (hover over each pic for their bio)!

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   Vegan Black Metal Chef   is a  YouTube personality , chef, musician, and advocate for compassionate vegan living. His YouTube videos showing him preparing vegan dishes while singing the recipe have been viewed millions of times. His  Vegan Pad Thai video  alone has over 3 million views. VBMC is also author of  The Seitanic Spellbook – Recipes and Rantings of the Vegan Black Metal Chef . The introduction to his cookbook contains the words, “I will not stop showing the world how good, easy, cheap, and wise the vegan path is, for as long as I live. Until every cage is empty.”

Vegan Black Metal Chef is a YouTube personality, chef, musician, and advocate for compassionate vegan living. His YouTube videos showing him preparing vegan dishes while singing the recipe have been viewed millions of times. His Vegan Pad Thai video alone has over 3 million views. VBMC is also author of The Seitanic Spellbook – Recipes and Rantings of the Vegan Black Metal Chef. The introduction to his cookbook contains the words, “I will not stop showing the world how good, easy, cheap, and wise the vegan path is, for as long as I live. Until every cage is empty.”

  TARA PUNZONE  is chef and owner of  PURA VITA  ,  A Plant-Based Italian restaurant and wine bar in west hollywood, ca, usa. She was the Culinary Director of  Real Food Daily , with locations in West Hollywood, Pasadena, and Terminal 4 at LAX. In May of 2017 under her direction, RFD took the #1 spot in a listing of the Best Vegan Brunches in the United States by VegNews Magazine. She has been vegan since the age of 10. Tara is also the former Executive Chef of Pure Food and Wine, a fine dining raw vegan restaurant in New York City. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Long Island University in New York, as well as a BFA in Photography from The School of Visual Arts New York.

TARA PUNZONE is chef and owner of PURA VITA, A Plant-Based Italian restaurant and wine bar in west hollywood, ca, usa. She was the Culinary Director of Real Food Daily, with locations in West Hollywood, Pasadena, and Terminal 4 at LAX. In May of 2017 under her direction, RFD took the #1 spot in a listing of the Best Vegan Brunches in the United States by VegNews Magazine. She has been vegan since the age of 10. Tara is also the former Executive Chef of Pure Food and Wine, a fine dining raw vegan restaurant in New York City. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Long Island University in New York, as well as a BFA in Photography from The School of Visual Arts New York.

  IAN BEACH  is Executive Chef and Chef Instructor at  Exhibit  (Santa Ana, CA, USA), the student-run restaurant at The Art Institutes of California Orange County. Ian grew up in Scotland, UK, and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He has worked in 4-star and Michelin-rated restaurants across the country. In addition to his impressive culinary background, Ian was bass guitarist for the 80’s & 90’s alternative rock band  The Buck Pets , who toured with artists such as The Ramones, Jane’s Addiction, and Neil Young.

IAN BEACH is Executive Chef and Chef Instructor at Exhibit (Santa Ana, CA, USA), the student-run restaurant at The Art Institutes of California Orange County. Ian grew up in Scotland, UK, and
graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He has worked in 4-star and Michelin-rated restaurants across the country. In addition to his impressive culinary
background, Ian was bass guitarist for the 80’s & 90’s alternative rock band The Buck Pets, who toured with artists such as The Ramones, Jane’s Addiction, and Neil Young.

  KRYSTEN LITTLES  is the Chef Owner of  Baby Love Sweetery , a 100% vegan mobile bakery based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. She is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Drexel University. Her first lessons in baking came from her mother. BLS made their debut at the 2016 LA Vegan Street Fair with their unique “Cuppy Cake Kabob”, a skewer of frosted mini-cupcakes with flavors such as Churros n’ Cream, Chocolate Salted Caramel, and Strawberry Lemonade.

KRYSTEN LITTLES is the Chef Owner of Baby Love Sweetery, a 100% vegan mobile bakery based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. She is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Drexel University. Her first lessons in baking came from her mother. BLS made their debut at the 2016 LA Vegan Street Fair with their unique “Cuppy Cake Kabob”, a skewer of frosted mini-cupcakes with flavors such as Churros n’ Cream, Chocolate Salted Caramel, and Strawberry Lemonade.

  DANIEL MATTOS  is Chef Director of Culinary Arts & Hospitality at  Orange County School of the Arts  in Santa Ana, CA, USA. He previously taught health-supportive vegetarian cooking courses integrating classical cooking techniques at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. He holds degrees in both Culinary Arts and Food Service Entrepreneurship from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and has served as Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef in prestigious restaurants and hotels across the country.

DANIEL MATTOS is Chef Director of Culinary Arts & Hospitality at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, CA, USA. He previously taught health-supportive vegetarian cooking courses integrating classical cooking techniques at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. He holds degrees in both Culinary Arts and Food Service Entrepreneurship from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, and has served as Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef in
prestigious restaurants and hotels across the country.

  JARA FONSECA  is Pastry Chef at the 100% vegan restaurant  Seabirds Kitchen  in Costa Mesa, CA, USA. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at KCC in Honolulu, Hawaii with a degree in Culinary and Patisserie. She worked as a Baker for Down To Earth Organic & Natural, a well-known all-vegetarian chain of markets in Hawaii. Jara is currently in the beginning stages of starting her own business. She was the Best of Show Winner at the 2015 SoCal VegFest Vegan Cupcake Competition with her Lemon Cupcakes with Lavender Frosting.

JARA FONSECA is Pastry Chef at the 100% vegan restaurant Seabirds Kitchen in Costa Mesa, CA, USA. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at KCC in Honolulu, Hawaii with a degree in
Culinary and Patisserie. She worked as a Baker for Down To Earth Organic & Natural, a well-known all-vegetarian chain of markets in Hawaii. Jara is currently in the beginning stages of starting her own business. She was the Best of Show Winner at the 2015 SoCal VegFest Vegan Cupcake Competition with her Lemon Cupcakes with Lavender Frosting.

  Tanya Petrovna  is the Chef Owner of  Chef Tanya’s Kitchen,  an all-vegan deli in Palm Springs, CA, USA. CTK also offers menu consulting, catering for private events, cooking classes, and other customized culinary services. Tanya was the visionary Founder, Chef, and CEO of the vegan chain restaurant, Native Foods Café (she is no longer associated with NFC). She is also author of  The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook , and has appeared on Food Network, and been featured in numerous publications.

Tanya Petrovna is the Chef Owner of Chef Tanya’s Kitchen, an all-vegan deli in Palm Springs, CA, USA. CTK also offers menu consulting, catering for private events, cooking classes, and other customized culinary services. Tanya was the visionary Founder, Chef, and CEO of the vegan chain restaurant, Native Foods Café (she is no longer associated with NFC). She is also author of The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook, and has appeared on Food Network, and been featured in numerous publications.

  Jackie Sobon  is the author of two cookbooks,  Vegan Yack Attack On the Go  and  Vegan Bowl Attack . She is also a food photographer and recipe writer for  VegNews  Magazine. Jackie is the force behind the highly acclaimed vegan blog  Vegan Yack Attack , known for its original vegan recipes and gorgeous photography. In addition to VegNews, her work has been featured in ChickPea Magazine, One Green Planet, and numerous other publications. She is also credited with coining the food bloggers mantra, “Camera Eats First”.

Jackie Sobon is the author of two cookbooks, Vegan Yack Attack On the Go and Vegan Bowl Attack. She is also a food photographer and recipe writer for VegNews Magazine. Jackie is the force behind the highly acclaimed vegan blog Vegan Yack Attack, known for its original vegan recipes and gorgeous photography. In addition to VegNews, her work has been featured in ChickPea Magazine, One Green Planet, and numerous other publications. She is also credited with coining the food bloggers mantra, “Camera Eats First”.

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