by MPD
Categories: Eats, Events, Film/TV, People
Tags: , .

Just 3 weeks ago, I dined (shockingly for the very first time) at Dirt Candy – a NYC vegetarian hotspot. My meal was, well, for lack of better words…insanely delicious! If I had known then that owner Amanda Cohen was about to be a reality show rockstar, I would have insisted on an interview over my order of spicy hushpuppies.

Just today, I learned that Iron Chef America is having their first ever vegetarian battle and that Cohen will be facing off against Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

“Masaharu Morimoto is the only Iron Chef to make it from the Japanese version of Iron Chef (which I love) to the American version and so I jumped at the chance to go up against him,” said Amanda in an interview with Happy Healthy Life.

Was she discriminated for her veg background? Discriminated is probably the wrong word.

“I wouldn’t say I was discriminated against,” Cohen said. “But my brand of vegetable cooking is full fat, and it’s fun and colorful and plays a lot of games and I’m not scared of using butter or frying food. This ran against some prejudices and assumptions the judges had about what they considered ‘proper’ vegetarian cooking.”

The all-veg episode airs on Sunday, August 29th at 10:00 ET/PT, and we can’t wait to see what Amanda prepares! Check out the entire interview at

  • birdgherl

    As an animal advocate and vegan, I take issue with promoting this particular chef since she unapologetically uses dairy in her cooking. We all know what dairy animals suffer and further that dairy is inextricably linked to meat so there is nothing ecofriendly about this at all. Why applaud someone who takes the amazing bounty of vegetables this planet has to offer and smothers it in the mucus of tortured animals?

  • Elaine

    The way I look at it is at least the challenger is vegetarian. It is difficult to be vegan and I am a perfect example. I would call myself a pescatarian and my reasoning is a bit controversial. If I can kill it, I will eat it and I could not kill a land animal. I only by dairy that is organic and humanely raised, the same with eggs. I am fortunate to live in an area where I can buy directly from the farmer that raised the cows and goats which produced the milk and cheese I eat, the same with eggs. I challenge anyone to admit this and do the same. So, I think the fact that this chef is promoting a vegetarian lifestyle a huge plus.

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  • Mistyj

    Iron Chef America discrimates against women chefs