It was recently reported that famous chef, meat advocate and anti-vegan campaigner Gordon Ramsay is about to, “give this vegan thing a try.” When the Michelin star chef took to social media to show off a plant-based pizza accompanied with the caption, “Going to give this #vegan thing a try…”, the internet quite literally exploded.
— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) 16 April 2018
In the past the British television star has not been shy about his disdain for vegans. Not only that, but the notoriously shouty chef also stated that he was indeed “allergic to people who didn’t eat meat”. Not just vegans, but vegetarians also. The meatless and cheese-less pizza featuring post discussed garnered over 30,000 likes on Twitter, with PETA (People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals) taking it upon themselves to respond on the whole situation stating; “FINALLY, we knew this day would come…” and “keep on adding #vegan options to your restaurant menus.”
FINALLY, we knew this day would come 💁😉 Matilda knows what the people want; keep on adding #vegan options to your restaurant menus 👏🙌
— PETA (@peta) April 16, 2018
So, why the sudden change of heart for Gordon? Well, he actually isn’t the only mainstream reality TV cooking star to embrace the way of plant-based eating. Fellow famous British chef Jamie Oliver even has an entire part of his website dedicated to animal produce-free recipes and in 2014, he himself lived as a vegan for a week. In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine in 2017 he said; “I am split these days because vegans annoy me, but I also do care for them.” Could Jamie Oliver’s move towards offering up options free from animal produce have inspired the routinely swearing chef?
Turning vegan might be one of Ramsay’s smartest moves yet. While a complete menu overhaul to his band of meat-based Michelin star restaurants could prove costly, it might make sense. According to The Vegan Society, a survey carried out in 2016 showed that “There are three and a half times as many vegans as there were in 2006, making it the fastest growing lifestyle movement.” In the run up to 2018, veganism and vegan living was set to be the biggest lifestyle trend of the new year, and still appears to be on the rise. Even the multi-national fast-food franchise McDonalds famous for its signature beef based Big Mac announced the arrival of their own vegan burger in its stores across Finland and Sweden this year, while food delivery services such as Deliveroo even have their own dedicated sections for exclusively vegetarian and vegan restaurants, which shows just how much of their clientele is one of the two.
It’s not just the fringes of society that are embracing the change; celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé and Lewis Hamilton are also now taking to their social media accounts to show off their animal product free meals. Inspiring armies of their followers to adopt different dietary and lifestyle choices. Therefore, by transforming his restaurants into vegan havens, Chef Ramsay will not only be keeping up with the times, but he will be able to tap into the biggest eating trend of this year with his expertly delivered fine dining experiences. The Brit’s famous reality TV cooking show Hell’s Kitchen could also be remodelled with focus centred around plant-based cuisine. For example, the protein taste test prospective chefs undergo could be revitalised to feature meat substitutes, different types of beans, lentils and tofu – instead of traditional carnivorous ingredients such as beef, chicken and fish.
So, while he may be facing backlash right now from the anti-herbivore fans he has garnered throughout the years – Ramsay might be making a very subtle yet smart business choice. Only time will tell, but the famous chef might just become one of the first Michelin star holders to pioneer plant-based fine dining in the UK.