Real Kitchen Nightmares - London Nutritionists Challenge British Chefs and Restaurants for National Vegetarian Week

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"Diners looking for meat free options on restaurant menus are still often getting a raw deal on quality, choice and value for money," says Tony Bishop-Weston from Foods for Life, Nutritionists, London. "Chef's should exploit the extra demand during National Vegetarian Week to try out healthy new dishes."

"Diners looking for meat free options on restaurant menus are still often getting a raw deal on quality, choice and value for money," says Tony Bishop-Weston from Foods for Life, Nutritionists, London. "Chef's should use extra demand during National Vegetarian Week ( 21st - 27th May) to try out healthy new dishes."

The Government's Health Department http://www.5aday.nhs.uk are advising everyone eat more fruit and veg - 5 a Day they say (Bishop-Weston says it should be more like 8).

The Government's Website http://www.direct.gov.uk reveals that if you are serious about saving the environment you should eat less meat and dairy. They say that production of meat and dairy products has a much bigger effect on climate change and other environmental impacts than that of most grains, pulses and outdoor fruit and vegetables.

London Nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston advises "Eating intensively produced meat and dairy is a recognised factor in degenerative disease. Eating a colourful selection of fruit and vegetables coupled with seeds, whole-grains and pulses offers one of the best value alternative health insurance policies available, to help you live well, not just longer."

In the USA there seems to be one new fine dining restaurant opening up every week, and the fashion pages are full of how eco - chic it is to choose eco-friendly vegan shoes, clothes and accessories following the lead from Stella McCartney.

Despite this massive increase in demand (organisers of http://www.bristolveganfayre.co.uk are predicting the numbers of Vegans will double this year) UK chefs seem reluctant to embrace vegetarian innovation.

Feta cheese filo pastry dishes seems to have become the new, once ubiquitous vegetarian lasagne, so unless you are madly in love with the white crumbly stuff perhaps the best option is to head for the reliability of the Indian, Chinese or Thai vegetarian restaurants.

Despite the many vegetarian and vegan pubs and restaurants that have sprung up all over the UK (mono & Stereo in Glasgow, Banns in Edinburgh, 222 , Pogo and Mildreds in London , Bob Trollops in Newcastle, The Porter in Bath, Cafe Maitreya in Bristol, The George in Brighton), it seems only The London Brewery Fuller's in Chiswick are taking vegetarian demand seriously. According to The Publican Fuller's are now training their chefs about vegan diets, how to avoid vegan kitchen nightmares, and following the lead of Aramark, leaders in USA college catering.

Veganism was founded in London in 1944 but it seems we have since lost our lead to the Americans. "Restaurants such as Sublime in Florida serve vegetarian caviar (made from seaweed) at $19 a serving. In the UK three distributors have so far tried and failed to market the vegetarian caviar, despite its realistic taste and quality."

There is a prize on offer to the best healthy vegan innovation from a chef during National Vegetarian Week - a gift box of Lush goodies from notoriously smelly, sparkling, vegetarian eco-superstars, Lush Cosmetics. Winners will be announced at The 5th Bristol Vegan Fayre on the 9th & 10th June after the program of vegan cookery demonstrations.

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TONY BISHOP-WESTON
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