Vegan Iron Chef winner Kevin Schuder will open an experimental all-vegan café in Chicago this month after a successful crowdfunding campaign. Fancy Plants Café will serve as a comfort-food eatery during the day, when Schuder and his team (vegan chef Yuri Basho Lane and baker Tiffany Lowder) will offer a rotating menu of items such as breakfast sandwiches featuring Just Egg, smoked seitan bacon, and Chao Creamery cheese; bacon-and-egg scones; and cinnamon rolls with cashew cream cheese frosting. In the evenings, Schuder plans to experiment with new concepts, such as themed dinners, and inviting guest chefs to host their own pop-up events. Dinner options will feature a fine-dining atmosphere with dishes such as baked cauliflower with blood orange, chives, and red curry oil; and seared polenta cake with fresh corn, Maitake mushrooms, tomato, and black-eyed peas. “I constantly experiment with food,” Schuder told VegNews. “How I see this as experimental is in seeing where the demand lies in Chicago, while having the café segment anchor the business.” Schuder has hosted more than 160 pop-up dinners through his Fancy Plants Catering company, as well as vegan weddings and fundraising events. Previously, Schuder was a chef at celebrated vegan restaurant Millennium in San Francisco.
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