National Vegetarian Week (24 – 29 May) celebrates its 10th year and we hope all chefs and customers stand up and note.

In the past 10 years its is reported that vegetarian purchases in supermarkets have doubled and one can only assume of an increasing knock on effect to restaurants.  Although we understand in the past some chefs have been reticent to place varied vegetarian options on the menu based on take up and subsequent wastage, there is a slow and awakened demand as top restaurants move to place a separate vegetarian menu or tasting menu on their repertoire.

Move over traditional chef training and prejudices, it is no longer acceptable to dismiss the vegetarian as fussy.  We could name and shame the chefs  (but we won’t – and many have sinced moved on) who have moaned when told a member of a party is vegetarian. Thankfully these occurrences are almost non existent now but three or four years ago it was more common place, with one chef refusing to let a party dine with a vegetarian.  Chef training should include making them confident enough to think about creative, interesting and satisfying menus.  A vegetarian’s ideas of utopia would be to have a ‘v’ equivalent to all dishes on the menu that meat eaters are offered.

Our Top 10 Vegetarian bug bears:

  1. Having to choose a starter as your main course
  2. Oh god not more pasta and risotto
  3. Who thinks you can eat a lump of goats cheese the size of a steak
  4. A Restaurant served up caesar salad with a ‘v’ against it believing that if you missed off the chicken it would be safe – did no-one check the dressing
  5. Asking a vegetarian if they eat chicken or fish
  6. Vegetarians that eat chicken or fish
  7. Meat eaters telling vegetarians “oh you have a lovely choice here”
  8. Worrying if the restaurant respects your wishes and uses totally meat free products for oils, sauces and preparation processes
  9. Think nuts, tofu, pulses – not just cheese please
  10. Meat eaters nicking all the tasting vegetarian hor d’oevres options at parties.  Get your own!

Vegetarian delights try:

Pennyhill Park – Latymer Vegetarian Tasting menu

Gidleigh Park – Vegetarian Tasting menu

Sketch – Vegetarian Tasting menu

Tamarind – there’s great choice on the normal menu and tastes sublime

Tom Aitkens – Vegetarian Tasting menu (NB not currently part of DR Club)

Please let us know your veggie fine dining suggestions…

Posted by:Luxury Restaurant Guide

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