Veganism isn't a trend and chefs must embrace it, says Raymond Blanc

The  Staff Canteen

Until twenty years ago, vegetarianism was a lifestyle choice made by only a minority of the population. Veganism was associated with fantaticism, and any chef who had a vegan option on their menu was considered quirky at best, slightly unhinged at worst. 

But those days are long gone. In the UK alone, one in eight people are now vegan or vegetarian, according to a report published by supermarket chain Waitrose in November last year. 

In an interview with The Telegraph, celebrity chef and owner of Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Raymond Blanc, who is working alongside Phil Howard, Simon Rogan and Ollie Dabbous cooking for the 300,000 attendees at the Royal Ascot races this week, said the lurch towards more plant-based menus was an inevitability that chefs must get on board with. 

“Today, there is a true realisation that we must change the way we eat,” he said. “Vegetarianism and veganism is not a trend, but an important change based on knowledge and awareness that we, be it chefs, home-cooks and retailers alike, must embrace."

The director of food and beverages at the Royal Ascot races concurred and said that to offer a wider range of plant-based options was "a natural progression, looking at what society is doing and what people like to eat." 

Meanwhile The Vegan Society wasn't so fast to get on board, calling out the hypocrisy of making such a statement while cooking at a horse racing event, a sport it called "cruel and exploitative." 

What do you think chefs? Are vegetarianism and veganism trendy lifestyle choices, or part of a definitive shift in consumer habits? Should chefs adapt to popular demand and offer more plant-based options? 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 21st June 2019

Veganism isn't a trend and chefs must embrace it, says Raymond Blanc