What can you do in your own kitchens?
Lead by example:
- Make vegetables, beans and pulses the centre of your dishes.
- Use less, and better, animal protein.
- Champion plant-rich proteins on your menus and in your restaurants. Be creative in describing veg based dishes.
- Avoid using words like “vegan” and “vegetarian” which my be off-putting.
What can you ask of others?
- Advocate for all chef training to be updated to include the promotion of plant-based dishes.
- Advocate for plant-based dishes to be available at all federal and state institutions such as prisons, libraries, schools, and government buildings.
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.
Scream flavour & 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
Chefs’ Manifesto Podcast – Episode 7:
In Episode 7 of the Chefs’ Manifesto Podcast, Host Chef Tom Hunt is speaking with Chef Chantelle Nicholson, Chef Megha Kohli and Chef David Johansson about the importance of championing plant-based ingredients and about making vegetables, beans or pulses the centre of your dishes!