French Cuisine Sans Meat!!

royalty-free-vector-of-a-winking-chef-face-on-a-french-flag-logo-by-hit-toon-3084Really!!! The Telegraph reports that Chef Alain Ducasse, one who has several Michelin stars to his name, has decided to keep meat out of his menu.

France may be the land of steak frites and boeuf bourgignon, but the Gallic superchef with myriad Michelin stars to his name has decided to keep “viande” out of his famed Plaza Athenée restaurant to focus on fish, vegetables and organic cereals.

He said that the decision to opt for lighter, vegetarian-style cuisine was part of his search for greater “naturalness”.

“The planet’s resources are rare, we must consume more ethically and equitably,” Ducasse told AFP.

Another article in the Telegraph adds that though Chef Ducasse has eliminated meat, and added several new vegetarian options, fish and sea food are still on the menu.

For those who cannot countenance a meal without once-living protein, fish and seafood are still on the menu, with dishes such as black rice with octopus and calamari. But specialities such as foie gras, suckling pig and veal tripe salad are gone.

The article says that the number of vegetarians is growing and vegetarianism is fast gaining acceptance. More and more chefs continue to adopt meat free menus to cater to this demand.

Vegetarian food is gaining acceptance in France as health and environmental concerns turn the French away from red meat. Meat consumption fell by 15 per cent between 2003 and 2010, according to Crédoc, an organisation that monitors consumer and lifestyle trends.

Vegetarians are now estimated to account for three to five per cent of the population, or as many as 3.3 million, mostly urban professionals, according to Manon Dupré of the market research company Mintel.

Many Chefs foresee vegetarianism as a growing trend according to this article.

Laurent Delarbre of the celebrated Tour d’Argent in Paris said: “We’ve added vegetable-based, gluten- and nut-free options to our menus because we get an average of three requests a week for these kind of dishes.”

Joél Robuchon, who like Mr Ducasse operates restaurants around the world, said: “The cuisine of the next ten years will be vegetarian.”

An article in the Wall Street Journal titled “Putting Vegetables on Top” talks about this same trend.

Mr. Ducasse is just one of a number of top chefs who, while still offering meat dishes, is placing vegetables center stage, offering creative vegetable dishes and haute vegetarian tasting menus that start at £95.

“Vegetables are important to me,” says Mr. Ducasse. “I grew up at my grandmother’s farm in Gascony, always eating seasonal vegetables. It can actually be more challenging preparing vegetables than meat. You have to let them speak for themselves.”

More power to these chefs who are adopting vegetarianism and catering to vegetarians and flexitarians alike!

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