Bakers compete in vegan bake-off at Bell House in Gowanus

Don’t call it a fake-off: Bakers compete in vegan bake-off

The Brooklyn Paper
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It may be a vegan contest, but expect the competition to be bloodthirsty.

Bakers will have to wrack their creative brains to please judges’ palates at what organizers say is the first butter-less bake-off of its kind in New York.

And the discerning tasters — vegan chocolatier Sarah Gross, chef Adam Sobel, and comedian Myq Kaplan — aren’t considering just any old cruelty-free chocolate chip cookie.

“One particular example: someone is making a vegan version of the Girl Scout Samoa cookie,” said Chris Willets, founder of New York frugal event guide the Skint, which is hosting the competition at the Bell House in Gowanus on Feb. 10. “That’s one that we’re like ‘ooh, we’re really interested.’ ”

Gross, who also organizes the annual NYC Vegetarian Food Festival, said she’ll be judging based on originality and unusual flavor combinations. And even though the desserts will be vegan, she won’t be grading on a curve.

“It goes against the classics of baking, which is always using eggs and butter and milk,” she said. “But there are a lot of ways to creatively get around animal products without missing anything.”

One tip she suggested is substituting eggs with applesauce, mashed bananas, or even cornstarch mixed with water.

Submissions for possible inclusion in the competition — only 20 amateur chefs will be chosen — are open through Feb. 1. But carnivorously competitive vegan chefs who miss the deadline shouldn’t fret: the Skint plans to host similar cook-offs every few months, Willets said. The next one will be in June.

“The First Vegan Bake-Off Dessert Competition” at Bell House [149 Seventh St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 643–6510,]. Feb. 10, 3 pm, $12, $15 door. Competitors can sign up through Feb. 1.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 5:39 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

diehipster from Brooklyn's better half says:
I'm quite sure 80% of everyone involved in this either became "vegan" within the last 6 months or will eat some bacon-infused (because hipsters invented bacon) zany hipster dish over the next 6 months. Like yaaaaaah!! I heart Brooklyn!!!!
Jan. 31, 2013, 7:39 am
ty from pps says:
Diehipster -- Why was it that you stopped your stupid blog? It certainly seems that you haven't gotten it out of your system. Why don't you go back there?
Jan. 31, 2013, 11:15 am
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
ty, is it really unnecessary for you to police the Brooklyn Paper comments? You seem to comment on every little thing. Who, precisely put you in charge? Oh, that would be no one . Just what we need, another self appointed moderator of whats prim and proper to post in any blog mentioning Brooklyn. why don't you go out and enforce red light etiquette in a bike lane somewhere?
Jan. 31, 2013, 12:04 pm
Northside Ned from GPT says: yankee%22 hipster brooklyn

Jan. 31, 2013, 12:16 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Ned, that was cute yesterday. So, what have we established. I don't like hipsters and you can use Google as well as a 5 year old. Whats your point? ned%22 brooklyn&oq=%22northside ned%22 brooklyn&gs_l=hp.3...1986.9036.0.9277.
Jan. 31, 2013, 12:36 pm
paul from Park Slope says:
Ty, he was probably too cheap to pay for the site upkeep. Or maybe he just got tired of responding to himself under different names.
Jan. 31, 2013, 12:37 pm
diehipster from non-gentrified Brooklyn says:
Tyler you nasally yup, I'm voicing my opinion on these articles that Brooklyn Paper loves to write about hipsters. Why can't I do that? Why don't you ever write supportive things about the childish and out-of-place hipsters do? Instead of just calling us basement dwelling vigins. Because you know I am right when I call hipsters out on their ——.

I stopped my site because it needs to be up kept on a regular basis and I don't feel like doing it anymore along with the aggravation of writing about hipsters. Comment sections like this and Twitter make it easy to take little stabs at the "vibrant creatives".


You only wish that my 3 million hits and thousands of comments a month were fake. You pray that THAT MANY people didn't actually share the same thoughts as me. But alas, they did and it kills you to know normal Brooklynites walk by you and want to strangle you.
Jan. 31, 2013, 1:51 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
@diehipster: This is Brooklyn. Most people that walk by any of us probably want to strangle us. Nothing new about that.
Jan. 31, 2013, 2:41 pm
Mickey Shea from Greenpoint says:
Veganism is such a drag. Why do people bother with these stupid food fetishes.
Jan. 31, 2013, 3:57 pm
kelly from park slope says:
"It may be a vegan contest, but expect the competition to be bloodthirsty."

Love it!!
Jan. 31, 2013, 4:10 pm
Jack From BK from Ditmas Park says:
@Mickey I think it might be to annoy judgmental twits like you, but that is just a guess. Your use of fetish is pretty spot off. You're affixing your assumptions and personal beliefs on others choices. The drag is wastes of space that are incapable of being self aware or have compassion for suffering animals, be they human or other, ie you.
Jan. 31, 2013, 9:07 pm

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