Why Tamearra Dyson's 'Beat Bobby Flay' Win Is So Historic

When nursing student and single mother Tamearra Dyson opened her vegan ghost kitchen, Souley Vegan in Oakland, California, in 2009, she was up against some pretty challenging odds: Not only was she a first-time restaurant owner, but she was also starting a business in a climate in which 27% of restaurants close in the first year of operation, per Restaurant Owner.com. Nevertheless, Dyson overcame the odds, expanding her brand to Las Vegas and San Francisco, per Vegans, Baby. More recently, Dyson has defied statistics yet again — this time by beating celebrity chef Bobby Flay on his own turf.

On January 20, 2022, Dyson appeared on "Beat Bobby Flay" and emerged the winner, which is already remarkable considering Flay's 66% win rate on the competition cooking show (via Showbiz Cheat Sheet). What makes Tyson's win especially historic, however, is that it represents a first in plant-based cooking history.

Dyson is the first vegan chef to have beaten Bobby Flay

What makes Dyson's recent "Beat Bobby Flay" win one for the record books? In a unanimous vote from all three judges on the show, she emerged triumphant over Flay without using any animal products. According to Vegans, Baby, Dyson is the first vegan chef to have won the cooking competition. The dish she chose to out-cook him with? A plant-based burger.

Dyson said she views her win as "trailblazing" for other vegan chefs. "Bobby said this was literally the best episode they ever filmed," Dyson told Vegans, Baby, adding that Flay took off his apron and put it on Dyson after she won — the first time he's ever done that on the show. Several celebrity chefs shared with Food Network a few ways to beat Bobby Flay. Among their tips are cooking pasta and dessert (two of Flay's weaknesses), and it sounds like it might be time to add expertly made plant-based cuisine to the list.