Good Food Guide editor calls for more veggie options on pub menus

By Lesley Foottit

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs have been urged to include a greater choice of vegetarian meals on their menus
Pubs have been urged to include a greater choice of vegetarian meals on their menus

Related tags: Vegetarian cuisine

Pub chefs need to improve their vegetarian menu options, according to the editor of the Waitrose Good Food Guide (WGFG).

Consultant editor Elizabeth Carter said that restaurants are leading the way when it comes to catering for vegetarians and pubs are being left behind.

"I am finding really poor vegetarian choices in pubs," said Carter. "It is all beetroot and goat’s cheese and there is no need for it. There are plenty of recipes and veggie dishes to choose from.

"Top chefs are showing us what we can do with vegetables and restaurants are moving towards more interesting dishes but few pubs are thinking along the same lines."

She highlighted the Michelin-starred Sportsman in Seasalter, Kent and the Grain Store in King’s Cross, London as two pubs that are catering well for veggies.

Balance

"People are looking to eat lighter. A lot are no longer eating beef as they are trying to be aware of the environment as well as cutting down on meat. I think pubs have got to pick up on what people are doing at home and get the balance right."

Jesse Dunford Wood, chef owner of Trust Inns lease the Parlour in Kensal Green, north London, agrees that there is more demand for vegetarian food. He cooked for 50 vegans recently, which required some menu tweaks and some dishes made it onto the main menu.

"So many places make do with mac and cheese, risotto or pasta, but we always have a brilliant veggie main course," says Dunford Wood. "Currently we have a ricotta gnocchi with sweetcorn, lettuce and marjoram and the ricotta is homemade — it is a great lighter dish.

"We sell a lot of salads and the dish of the moment is a raw vegetable ravioli with goat’s cheese and golden raisins — no pasta, but a thin shaving of raw vegetables stuffed with a goat’s cheese mousse, golden raisin, dried cranberry and shallot dressing with shaved hazelnuts, little herbs and flowers.

"It is a little more difficult to be creative with vegetarian food, but it is great for food margins, and very satisfying to get carnivores to wax lyrical about meals with no meat."

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