A Focus on Plant-Based Ingredients

SDG 2, 3, 12, 15, 17

What can you do in your own kitchens?

  • Lead by example. Make vegetables, beans and pulses the centre of your dishes.

  • Lead by example. Use less, and better, meat.

  • Lead by example. Champion plant-based proteins on your menus and in your restaurants. Be creative in describing veg based dishes.

  • Lead by example. Avoid using words like "vegan" and "vegetarian" which may be off-putting. 

What can you ask of others?

  • Advocate for all chef training to be updated to include promotion of plant-based dishes.

Bite-Size Inspirations:

Celebrating the Plant-Based

Chef Scott Giambastiani, Global Program​ Chef and Operations Manager for Food at Google​, is pioneering ​plant-forward dining by ​working with his global network of chefs to ​create menus that make ​delicious, ​healthier, sustainable eating ​exciting and easy to find. The concept ‘plant-forward’ has been defined by the Culinary Institute of America as:

‘A style of cooking and eating that emphasizes and celebrates, but is not limited to, plant-based foods—including fruits and vegetables; whole grains; beans, other legumes, and soy foods; nuts and seeds; plant oils; and herbs and spices—and that reflects evidence-based principles of health and sustainability.’

Chef Scott explains that the plant-forward philosophy is about moving people along a continuum to eating meat less per week, (great for our health and that of the environment) via balanced menus, portion control and shifting to eating "less legs", so from red meat to chicken to seafood to enjoying more lentils and other plant-based foods.  ​

Chef Tips:

  • ​Scream flavor​ & whisper health

  • ​Mastering vegetable cookery is hard and is not typically taught to young cooks, until now:

    • Chefs should work to develop ​​skills in cooking a greater diversity of ​plant-based ​ingredients in the ​most desirable way with ​both classic & innovative techniques to make plant-based dishes the more desirable option

  • Make the better choice, the easier choice: Plant-based dishes should be at the forefront- first seen, more appealing, most tasty, convenient​, talked about & ​celebrated by our culinarians​

  • Use descriptive ​dish titles:

    • Use ‘indulgent’ language

    • Highlight unique ingredient(s) and cooking techniques

    • ​Celebrate what the dish has vs. has not. Skip terms like healthy, low fat, vegan as they do not create excitement in an audience you are looking to welcome​

    • Tell a personal story or use cultural descriptors i.e. Great Grandma’s Tuscan ​Summer Vegetable Stew or Moroccan Eggplant Tagine