Toronto, Canada celebrated a decade of decadence last week at the 10th Annual Vegan Bake-Off, where approximately 65 amateur and professional bakers competed in the city’s largest bake-off. Created by local vegan activist Lisa Pitman and hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association, the competition was judged by Canadian YouTube star Candice Hutchings, cookbook author Sam Turnbull, and award-winning chef Doug McNish. Winners included Mindful Macaron’s Salted Caramel French Macaron (Best Pro in Show), Alli Diskin’s Raspberry Vanilla Macarons (Best in Show non-profession), Mariangela Dimatteo’s Tiramisu (Best Presentation), and Sigourney Bailey’s Chocolate n’ Cream Dream Bar (Best Brownies and Bars). The event sold approximately 700 advance tickets, and Pitman says the growth of the event hasn’t changed her original goal. “We wanted to create a vegan event that was a community celebration of joyful veganism and one you could invite anyone to—your veg-friendly aunt, omni boyfriend, critical coworker—that would shift the stereotype of veganism as deprivation in a non-threatening, topped-with-sugar-and-a-smear-of-chocolate kind of way,” Pitman said.
Nicole Axworthy is a writer and editor who loves a good baking competition, especially if it involves taste-testing.