Meet Chef Heidi Tompkins, Winner of the Meatless Monday Rapid Fire Challenge

March 11th, 2019

On Monday, March 4, three finalists competed to be crowned the New York Restaurant Show Meatless Monday Rapid Fire Champion. Finalists were chosen from a pool of chefs who submitted original meatless recipes and videos. For the first time since Rapid Fire challenged chefs in 2016, three female chefs went head-to-head to prove that they had the best Meatless Monday dish.

The competition was judged by a panel of experts including Maria Loi, Chef, Cookbook Author and Healthy Lifestyle Expert, Peggy Neu, President, The Monday Campaigns, Gennaro Pecchia, Partner, @aosbysosa / Co-host @rolandsfoodcourt @siriusxm and Fabio Viviani, Chef, Culinary Personality, Restaurateur, Cookbook Author.

The three finalists were:

• Lisa Sereda, Executive Chef, Wine Time

• Heidi Liv Tompkins, Co-Founder, CFO, Product Development Manager, Heidi’s Health Kitchen

• Patricia Washuta, Director of Culinary Services, Executive Chef, and Certified Dietary Manager, Gentry Park Orlando.

Chefs had 20 minutes to prepare their dishes, discussing the ingredients, flavors, and health benefits. Chef Heidi took home the victory with her Mock Tuna Salad in Lettuce Wrap, drizzled with “Yum-Yum Ginger Sauce.” This dish, like all dishes at Heidi’s Health Kitchen is both raw and plant-based. The “tuna” taste comes from two types of seaweed and a vegan “fysh” sauce. Remarkably, both the taste and texture resembled tuna so closely that some of the judges couldn’t believe it.

Chef Heidi Tompkins is the Lead Product Developer, CFO, and Co-Founder of Heidi’s Health Kitchen. Ivan J. Raj, her Partner and Co-Founder, served as her sous-chef at the competition.

Heidi has years of sales and marketing experience, coupled with a personal passion for wellness through the development of healthful foods.  She wrote her first cookbook when she was just eight years old! For the last four and a half years, through Heidi’s Health Kitchen, Heidi and Ivan have offered free monthly cooking classes in NYC, as well as a monthly pop-up restaurant serving raw plant-based foods. Heidi’s goal is to incorporate the “highest form of nutrition, along with taste and texture for everyone who goes Meatless Monday!”

Try Heidi’s Raw Mock Tuna recipe, as well as the other two finalists’ recipes, below.

Chef Heidi’s Raw Mock Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Chef Patricia’s Impossible Meatless Kefta with Tamarind Chutney

Chef Lisa’s Walnut “Meat” Stuffed Pepper


Interested in starting a Meatless Monday program? Learn how to bring Meatless Monday to your restaurant here or to your foodservice establishment here.

Meatless Monday is a global movement, followed by millions, with a simple message: one day a week, cut out meat for personal health and the health of the planet. To find out more, follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Instagram!