The return of Masterchef on BBC1 this autumn has led to me, once again, dreaming of being the first vegan to lift the trophy. I am sure many people play the “what would I make with those ingredients after throwing the meat and dairy out the window” game but I think I am some way off fulfilling this dream. It led me to thinking about Michelin starred vegan restaurants. Are there any? Short answer. No. There are plenty of vegan friendly, “let us know when you book” and plant based tasting menus, but no strictly vegan places.
Many years ago, I was lucky enough to have lunch at Michelin star Le Manoir Au Quatre Saisons. It was a wonderful afternoon spent in the kitchen gardens with a glass of champagne exploring …. But my meal ended up being a fairly standard bowl of pasta – nice but not wow. High end diners don’t want to pay for a bowl of veg, no matter how lovely.
Things have improved hugely but I think until there are enough vegans asking for a vegan meal as standard, it will remain a bolt-on and not integrated into the menu. Which is a shame but I have hope!
The stats below are from the Vegan Society page (sources can be found on their site)
- Demand for meat-free food in the UK increased by 987% in 2017 and going vegan was predicted to be the biggest food trend in 2018.
- The number of vegans in Great Britain quadrupled between 2014 and 2018. In 2018 there were 600,000 vegans, or 1.16% of the population; 276,000 (0.46%) in 2016; and 150,000 (0.25%) in 2014.
- Vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population in 2025, and flexitarians just under half of all UK consumers.
I hope my little site will help push the agenda by promoting excellent vegan food and see my dream of a vegan masterchef a reality (I think I have to accept that it’s not likely to be me though)