Comedian Jay Versace sampled vegan fried chicken made by catering company Atlas Monroe on Thanksgiving. In a video documenting the event, Versace—who gained his fame on now-defunct platform Vine and currently has 3.7 million Instagram followers—gets emotional about the flavor of the seitan-based chicken. “You’re lying,” Versace said as he took his first bite. “This is a lie,” he screamed, with a smile. “Oh my god. I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it. It’s not true. This is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Even, like, if I wasn’t vegan.” Atlas Monroe founder Deborah Torres explained that Versace had been in contact with the company since September after his friend sampled its vegan fried chicken at the Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice, CA. “He would check in to make sure we didn’t make other [holiday] plans the whole time,” Torres told VegNews. “We were so thrilled. Jay is so sweet and very, very genuine, and you can see that in his personality and brilliance as a comedian. It’s just an honor that he invited us for Thanksgiving just to try it.” In addition to vegan fried chicken, Atlas Monroe treated Versace and his friends to a variety of plant-based dishes, including Deep Fried & Stuffed Turkey, Bacon Truffle Mac & Cheese, and two cakes for dessert. “It’s one thing when people see the food in a photo but after building the anticipation of finally trying it, seeing their faces and astonishment is something that can only be described as magical.” In September, Atlas Monroe became the first vegan vendor at the long-running National Fried Chicken Festival in New Orleans, scoring top accolades from festival judge Ryan Grim, editor in chief of food media outlet Extra Crispy.
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