An upcoming new series on The Food Network ought to give vegan viewers something to look forward to: It’s CompliPlated, a plant-based competition show, premieres this Thursday, August 11, hosted by Tabitha Brown, a vegan food influencer, actress, and best-selling author. It’s the network’s first show dedicated to vegan cooking in its 28-year history.
It’s CompliPlated will consist of four chefs competing in three rounds of cooking challenges, but each dish will have to satisfy a rotating panel of judges with a variety of dietary preferences and/or restrictions.
“From a taste of Southern hospitality using only plant-based ingredients and a comfort food gluten-free noodle dish to an Instagram-worthy dinner party without fruits or vegetables, these unique cooking battles showcase how to make delicious food under any circumstance,” reads the Food Network website’s description of the upcoming series.
The show is meant to reflect what it’s like to cook one meal for an entire family. Sometimes allergies, pickiness, or other stipulations can make it challenging to create a dish that everyone can enjoy, but it’s not impossible.
Choosing Tabitha Brown as the face of this new vegan-centric cooking show makes all the sense in the world. An already popular media personality and influencer, her 4.1 million Instagram followers, 4.9 million TikTok followers, and new Target collection make her the smart and easy choice to lead the Food Network in its new plant-based direction.
Although Brown has been acting for years, it wasn’t until 2017 that her role as a vegan food influencer really took off. Brown had just transitioned to a vegan lifestyle and filmed herself tasting a vegan sandwich from Whole Foods containing tempeh bacon, tomato, lettuce, avocado, and a pickle. Her rave review has racked up over 5 million views in the years since.
What’s most surprising about the It’s CompliPlated announcement is that it took the Food Network this long to feature a vegan-focused cooking show. It’s a concept that serves to contrast shows like Carnivorous and SEARious Meats, both of which have run on Food Network as recently as 2019 and quite obviously cater to a meat-eating audience. This new cooking competition is the perfect complement, one that emphasizes how delicious meals free of animal products can be when they’re done right. Plus, with so many vegan recipes already published on the network’s official website, it’s clear that plant-based cooking is an area of interest for Food Network audiences.
Hopefully, this new series helps bring more plant-based food to the forefront of The Food Network’s future slate of programming. Whether you are a strict vegan or someone like me who enjoys swapping out actual meat for plant-based alternatives every now and then, watching shows like It’s CompliPlated is an engaging experience. When the options are more visible, it just inspires people to do more cooking with plant-based ingredients.