Josh Eggleton and his new restaurant Root, alongside Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of the River Cottage and Sam Clark at Moro are among chefs that have pledged to give vegetables greater prominence on menus.
They have to joined the Sustainable Restaurant Association's (SRA) #FlipTheMenu campaign, which is a month-long initiative that aims to introduce new plant-based dishes to restaurant's menus.
The River Cottage restaurants menus is made up of 50% vegetable dishes.
Fearnley-Whittingstall said: "I believe this approach is crucial for our health and the health of our planet and that's why I'm right behind the SRA's campaign. At River Cottage, we've always celebrated fresh, seasonal produce, and glorious, generous vegetables are the very heart and soul of our cooking. The idea of using less meat, and only meat with the very best provenance, is a natural complement to this."
Almost half the population now identify as flexitarian and so the SRA believes now is the time for restaurants to give vegetables prominence.
Sam Clark at Moro is also taking part. He has altered the menu to feature the mixed vegetable mezze at the top of the main course list and has since seen a 25% increase in sales. He said: "Psychologically, people see it sitting proud at the top of the menu, rather than at the bottom as some sort of afterthought. The other big thing, is that once a few people start ordering it, others see it coming out of the kitchen and think ‘wow' that looks amazing."
He said: "It's astronomical the amount of things you can do with veg. I've always liked dishes that focus on one main ingredient, so we'll be doing that with these small plate dishes - using fabulous fresh produce like the best carrots or cauliflower and creating dishes around them. There's nothing like restricting the menu to make a chef even more creative!"
The campaign is open for all operators including Pret a Manger which has demonstrated this with the success of its Veggie Pret stores.
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