1. Q: How do I participate in the Vegan Cook-off?
A: You must sign up at http://bit.ly/BHVF2019on or before Friday, Sept. 20, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST.
2. Q: May I submit an entry if I just show up on the date of the Vegan Cook-off, without pre-registering to participate in this event?
A: No. Only those who pre-register by the above date and time will be eligible to compete in the Cook-Off.
3. Q: Do I need to be a vegan in order to submit an entry in the Vegan Cook-off?
A: No. We would like this to be a fun, educational, and interactive experience for all! Everyone is welcome to submit an entry.
4. Q: Why does the sign-up form ask me to submit the ingredients in my recipe?
A: Because this is a vegan cook-off, we need to vet each recipe to ensure that there are no non-vegan ingredients that are included in a submission. If a recipe contains a non-vegan item, we will contact the person submitting the recipe and inform them that they must re-submit their recipe with an appropriate vegan substitute ingredient. Failure to make such a re-submission shall result in the disqualification of your recipe.
5. Q: Will you contact me to confirm that my entry is acceptable and has been approved?
A: We will endeavor to contact all persons who provide a valid e-mail address and phone number. Failure to provide such information means that we cannot contact you, which means that you will not be able to participate.
6. Q: What stores sell vegan foods, so that I can find substitute products for my currently non-vegan recipe?
A: Supermarkets such as Stop and Shop, Shop Rite, ACME, Whole Foods Market, and Trader Joe’s all carry various vegan products. Be aware that while certain stores carry the products for which you are looking, other stores – even different store locations of the same store chain – may not carry the particular plant-based, vegan product you seek.
7. Q: Is there a list of general guidelines I can use so that I know what foods are prohibited from being used in my Cook-off recipe?
A: Yes. The guidelines are provided at the very end of this FAQ. As a general rule, no animals or animal products are permitted to be used in a Vegan Cook-Off recipe.
8. Q: How many submission categories will there be?
A: There will be three (3) submission categories, as follows:
(2) Main Course
9. Q: Are prizes awarded for each category?
A: Yes. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second, and third place winners in each of the above three categories.
10. Q: Can I submit multiple entries in the same category?
A: Yes. As long as you complete a separate form at the link in Item #1 above for each entry you intend to submit, you can submit multiple entries in the same category.
11. Q: Can I submit entries in multiple categories?
A: Yes. As long as you complete a form at the link in Item #1 above for each entry you intend to submit, you can submit multiple entries in any combination of categories.
12. Q: How much of my entry should I bring for the judges?
A: At a minimum, you should bring at least enough for 3 – 5 judges to have individual samples of your dish.
13. Q: Can I bring extra samples of my entry to give to the general public?
A: Yes. Convince the general public to try vegan food - and root for your dish to win when the judges are sampling it - by giving them the opportunity to sample your entry!
14. Q: Where do I prepare my entry?
A: Due to the limited amount of covered table space at Lower Columbia Park, you should make and prepare your dish as much as possible prior to arriving at the venue, either at your home or elsewhere. We cannot guarantee that there will be space available for contestants to conduct “prep” for their entries on-site.
15. Q: Where, exactly, is the Vegan Cook-off being held?
A: The Vegan Cook-off is being held in Lower Columbia Park near the intersection of Hamilton Avenue and Plainfield Avenue, behind and down the hill from Columbia Middle School. The venue has a covered area under which there are picnic tables. That is where the contestants will place their entries, where the judges will judge the entries, and where prizes will be awarded.
16. Q: Can I bring young children and family pets?
A: Yes. Families with kids of all ages are encouraged to attend. Strollers and people-friendly dogs on leashes are welcome.
17. Q: If it rains, will the event be postponed?
A: No. The Vegan Cook-off will occur rain or shine. If it rains, the event will be held in Berkeley Heights Town Hall, 29 Park Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922. A determination regarding whether the event will be postponed to the rain date will be made on Friday morning or afternoon, and will be posted on the Berkeley Heights NJ Environmental Commission website (under the Vegan Fest tab) and Facebook page, as well as the Sustainable Berkeley Heights webpage:
18. Q: On Iron Chef, food presentation is worth 5 points. How many plates of my dish do I bring, and how will my entry be presented to the judges?
A: You only need to bring one plate of your dish. If your dish does not come in separate pieces already (such as individual cookies, one for each judge) or if you have not pre-cut it already (such as a pie sliced into pieces), we will divide up your entry for you and plate it for the judges. We are aware that presentation can elevate the eating experience, and so we will endeavor to plate your entry in a manner that showcases your dish as best as possible.
19. Q: Do I need to bring plates, forks, spoons, knives, or napkins?
A: No. We will supply these items for you. Uniformity among these items will allow for a more consistent backdrop, so that the judges can focus on the entry itself.
20. Q: Is there anything else I should bring?
A: We encourage you to bring a filled water cannister with water or other beverage of choice in it. This will help us reduce the number of single use cups, which will enable us to produce a more planet-friendly event.
21. Q: How do I get to this event if I’m traveling from outside of Berkeley Heights?
A: Here are directions if you’re traveling by car or by New Jersey Transit:
By Car, Driving East– Take Route I-78 East to Exit 41, Berkeley Heights/Scotch Plains. Turn left onto Drift Road. Continue on Drift Road to the traffic light. Turn left at the traffic light onto Plainfield Avenue. Continue on Plainfield Avenue for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Hamilton Avenue and then make a quick right turn into the driveway leading to the Lower Columbia Park parking lot. The venue is located in back of Columbia Middle School (if you pass the school on Plainfield Avenue, you’ve gone too far).
By Car, Driving – Take Route I-78 West to Exit 41, Berkeley Heights. Turn right onto Drift Road. Turn left at the traffic light onto Plainfield Avenue. Continue on Plainfield Avenue for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn left onto Hamilton Avenue and then make a quick right turn into the driveway leading to the Lower Columbia Park parking lot. The venue is located in back of Columbia Middle School (if you pass the school on Plainfield Avenue, you’ve gone too far).
By Train– Coming from New York City, take the Morris & Essex line (the green line) train to the Berkeley Heights Station. The Berkeley Heights Station platform is east of and perpendicular to Plainfield Avenue. Turn right on Plainfield Avenue and walk approximately half a mile. Pass Columbia Middle School, which will be on your right. Make a right on Hamilton Avenue, and then make a quick right turn into the long driveway leading to the Lower Columbia Park parking lot.
FOODS PROHIBITED FROM INCLUSION IN COOK-OFF ENTRIES
A. No Animal Parts or Things Made from Animals. Examples of prohibited items include:
• Chicken, turkey, or other fowl of any kind*
• Shellfish of any kind
• Broth/stock from any of the above
*Including no bacon, sausage, ground meat/burger, hot dogs, etc. made from these
B. No Products from Animals. Examples of prohibited items include:
• Dairy Products
• Cheese of any kind
• Non-vegan yogurt
• Cream of any kind (sour cream, heavy cream, etc.)
• Other Products Derived from Animals