The First Annual EcoPel Cooking Contest will be held on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 7:00pm in Pelham Manor. State Senator Alessandra Biaggi will be a judge along with Chance Mullen, Mayor of the Village of Pelham, and Clayton Bushong, President of the Pelham Chamber of Commerce, for the celebration of plant-based foods even carnivores can love.

Ticket sales close Monday, Nov. 4.

Cooks are submitting dishes in one (or more) of four categories: appetizer, side, main course, or dessert. Submissions include Black Bean Sweet Potato Sliders, Mac ‘N “Cheese,” Mushroom Stroganoff, and Pecan Pie. Tickets to eat the submitted recipes are available at two price points, $75 and $50, or people can come enjoy the evening for free, by bringing their own vegan pot luck offering.

“As the climate crisis literally heats up, people are looking for ways to help,” said event organizer Marin Zielinski. “Eating plants instead of animals is one of the most impactful things we can do to make a difference, and more and more people are doing it. So we thought, Why not bring the community together to showcase some of the best recipes?”

With an unprecedented range of vegan ingredients crowding grocery shelves, it’s never been easier to make great meals without using animal products, Ms. Zielinski noted. And with meat-substitutes now so mainstream they’re routinely available at fast food restaurants, even dedicated meat-eaters are finding they can skip the flesh and spare the earth without sacrificing taste.

“In addition to the environmental benefits, plant-based dishes are often healthier and cheaper than meat,” said EcoPel Board Member Melissa Eustace. “We’re delighted to find local cooks who are taking the time to create delicious meatless and dairy-free recipes at home eager to share them with neighbors.”

“Our judges aren’t vegan, and that’s the point,” explained Ms. Zielinski. “Your diet doesn’t have to be all or nothing--just eating fewer animals is something we can all do to help the earth. Plus, it’s going to be fun!”

For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to:

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