Thursday’s issue of the Globe and Mail featured an article titled ‘Vegan cuisine moves into the mainstream,’ discussing the rise of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Toronto and Vancouver.
Here are 4 statements from the article you probably wouldn’t have heard a decade ago:
1. “Chef Justin Cournoyer, Owner of Toronto’s Actinolite restaurant, says offering vegan dishes is part business, part simply being on track with the trend toward vegetable-centric cooking.”
2. “I think there’s a new understanding that you can be a meat eater and still really enjoy vegetarian food.”
3. “Lyons says diners with increasingly sophisticated palates are viewing vegan food as one more choice on their checklist of cuisines alongside international options like Indian or Japanese.
4. “Best of all is how it tastes…this is flavourful food that just happens to be animal free.”
What’s changing in the landscape, is that those who are meat-free are starting to see some solid alternatives on the menu; dishes that are delicious and filling.
Carnivores might chime in and say ‘hey be grateful that there’s an option for you on the menu.’ Grateful as I am, I would argue that when salad, pasta or a veggie burger becomes the only offer on the table, after some time it ceases to be a choice.
The shift we’re seeing is that chefs have begun to realize that non meat eaters too want thoughtful tasty food options (sound the alarms!) For those of us who prefer to frequent locally-owned restaurants, we need chefs to acknowledge and respond to this changing landscape. So this shift is a pretty big deal!
Do you have a favourite restaurant in your locale that offers awesome meat-free fare? Share it below! In an effort to celebrate the wonderful restaurants in my locale and on my jaunts, I’m going to tag them under the theme ‘Veg Around Town.’ Look out for the sign below!