Woodend’s Paysanne wins the Edgy Veg Awards

Paysanne Cafe's Sue and Thierry Bertalmio, Macedon Ranges mayor Jennifer Anderson and Veg Action Group's Annaleis Norland. (Damjan Janevski) 279652_01

A meat-free gastronomic journey through the Macedon Ranges has drawn to a close and the competition between 13 cafes and 18 dishes has found its victor – Paysanne Cafe in Woodend is the Edgy Veg Awards champion.

For a month from March 25 to April 26, during the Autumn Festival, residents and visitors traversed the foodie trail in search of their favourite plant-based feed, voting along the way.

It was the much-loved cafe’s sauteed cauliflower which secured them the gong, and Macedon Ranges mayor Jennifer Anderson visited the establishment to hand them their prize – a $1000 cheque they intend to donate to local community groups.

Anneleis Norland, from Veg Action, which is part of Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group, said the initiative was “really successful overall”.

“We had more votes than we could possibly imagine we might get,” Ms Norland said.

“A lot of the cafes said that people came in with pictures of the dishes on their phones… They knew about the competition and they were excited to try the dishes.

“That tells us that it worked, that the promotion we did actually found an audience.”

She said a large number of people who voted in the awards were from outside the Macedon Ranges, showing the veggie-based gospel of the awards had spread far and wide.

“When people voted they left a comment, and got some amazing comments,” Ms Norland said.

“People not only commenting on how much they’d enjoyed the dish, also a lot of people commenting that maybe they hadn’t tried plant-based food before and they were amazed how tasty and delicious the dishes were.”

Elsie Lange