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BY MICHAEL BARKER

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Oliver Kay opens vegan competition

Initiative aims to encourage chefs to come up with new and tasty vegan dishes and tap into fast-growing trend

Oliver Kay opens vegan competition

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Oliver Kay Produce is challenging chefs to create a new dish to appeal to the growing number of vegan customers eating out.

Online entries are now open for the Oliver Kay National Vegan Dish of the Year 2020 competition, with chefs from across the hospitality sector invited to submit recipes. The launch of the competition coincides with a new range of premium vegan ingredients available from Oliver Kay under the name the Plant Based Collection.

The company said the aim of the contest is to create recipes with a strong appeal to customers looking for enticing vegan dishes, as well as to inspire hospitality businesses to create profitable vegan menus.  

Shortlisted finalists will be invited to prepare, cook and serve their recipe for a panel of industry judges at the cook-off final, to be held at Oliver Kay Produce’s development kitchen in Bolton on 30 March. The final will also include a short Mystery Box challenge, inviting entrants to prepare and serve a starter or dessert from a selection of fresh produce provided by Oliver Kay. 

The prize on offer to the overall winner incudes a UK city break for two, including a dinner booking at a leading vegan restaurant. Finalists will receive a hamper of products from the Plant Based Collection, and the shortlisted recipes, credited to their creators, will be featured in a national marketing campaign.

Jane Aukim, marketing manager for Oliver Kay Produce, said: “Sales of vegan food served out of home are forecast to significantly increase further during 2020. We believe the range and choice of vegan dishes on offer to consumers often lags behind their high expectations. With such a wonderful choice of vegan ingredients now available, we’re asking chefs to step up and show the industry what they can do.”

Dishes entered must be the chef’s original creation and should include an element of protein. Beyond that, chefs have free rein to use all their creativity and skills, to create a new vegan menu classic. 

Participants can enter at https://www.oliverkayproduce.co.uk/food-info/vegan. The closing date for entries is Friday 28 February 2020.

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