National Vegetarian Week is co-ordinated by the Vegetarian Society. Liz O’Neill, from the national charity welcomed the competition enthusiastically. “National Vegetarian Week is the UK’s biggest celebration of all things veggie and this competition is a great way to promote the fabulous range of meat-free cuisine on offer in the capital. Many establishments are missing out on a large and growing vegetarian market so, whatever the cuisine, those who serve great veggie food deserve a pat on the back.”
Arthur Potts Dawson, celebrity chef and author of ‘Eat Your Veg’, added: “I think it’s really important that people rethink how they use vegetables and how they can be at the centre of the plate, rather than an addition to meat. For far too long vegetables have been an after thought when it comes to meal planning. With only a few small changes in the way we shop and cook we can create an important shift in the mindset of both producers and consumers of vegetables. So what vegetables are you eating today?”
Ben Reynolds, editor of The Jellied Eel, explained the thinking behind the competition, “There’s a lot of talk about ethical eating at the moment, and one of the best things that people can do for their health, the planet, and their pockets, is to eat less but better quality meat. What better way of eating less meat than to choose vegetarian more often when eating out.”
Ben added, “This competition is a fabulous way to give credit to the best veggie restaurants in London, whatever their cuisine is. Hopefully in the process this will get more customers through their doors.”
Any kind of veggie eatery is eligible, be it a café, restaurant or even a pub, but the premises has to be open to the public with catering as its main purpose, it must be in the Greater London area and it must be exclusively vegetarian.
A short-list of those with the most public votes will be put to an expert panel, with the winning restaurant announced in early July. Not only will the winning entry get the credit they deserve, but voters have a chance of winning a meal for two at the winning restaurant if their choice is voted top. Voting starts on 3 April and closes on 27 May 2012. Votes can be registered at: www.sustainweb.org/jelliedeel/vote/
1. The Jellied Eel
The Jellied Eel is a quarterly London magazine about ethical eating. It is produced by BIG Media and London Food Link, part of the charity Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming. 20,000 copies of the free magazine are distributed via 130 outlets across London. www.jelliedeel.org/stockists and Twitter @jelliedeelmag.
2. Ethical Eats
Ethical Eats is a network for restaurants and caterers across the capital interested in sustainability. It is part of London Food Link – www.ethicaleats.org. Twitter - @ethicaleats.
3. National Vegetarian Week
Readers can find out more about National Vegetarian Week (NVW) at www.nationalvegetarianweek.org. For press information, images, recipes or to arrange an interview about NVW, please contact Liz on 0161 925 2000, 07973 108 167, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Arthur Potts Dawson
Arthur helped set up the eco-restaurant Acorn House and more recently the People’s Supermarket, which was featured in a Channel 4 TV series. Arthur’s new book Eat Your Veg will be published in May by Mitchell Beazley, and he is also setting up a new restaurant, details to be announced soon. Read the Jellied Eel interview with Arthur in the next issue out at Easter. www.thejelliedeel.org