In response to a growing demand for vegetarian and vegan menu options, a consortium of 13 Cambridge Colleges have sent their Chefs on specialist Vegan Workshops to explore creative solutions for meat-free and dairy-free dishes.
Held at Magdalene College, the two sessions were organised by Humane Society International and the Sustainable Restaurants Association.
Chief Lecturer Jenny Chandler introduced the Chefs to new ingredients such as umami, pulses, whole grains and pseudo cereals and taught them how to create depths of flavour and texture without using animal products, how to replicate the creaminess of dairy and how to bind ingredients without eggs.
Kevin Keohane, Catering Manager at Christ’s College said: “Guests choosing a vegan diet is without doubt the largest voluntary area of growth in the catering industry today whether it’s for lifestyle, health and wellbeing, animal welfare or environmental concerns. We are now serving more vegan guests and dishes than we were vegetarian guests 20 years ago and this is growing year on year.
“So I was very happy to have so many other Colleges and their chefs support these recent Vegan Workshops hosted at Magdalene College.”
Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International UK, added:
“HSI has been thrilled to take our plant-based culinary training to the University of Cambridge as part of our Forward Food programme. Chefs from the Colleges have been fully engaged in informative hands-on cookery sessions led by our Forward Food Culinary Advisor, renowned chef and author, Jenny Chandler.
“The take-home message is that meat-free and dairy-free dishes can be delicious, colourful, varied, and enjoyed by all. It’s exciting to know that students will soon get to try some great new plant-based options as demand increases for dishes that are kind to animals, the planet and our health.”
Participants were from: Christ’s College; Churchill College; Clare College; Darwin College; Emmanuel College; Fitzwilliam College; Magdalene College; Robinson College; Sidney Sussex College; St John’s College; Trinity Hall; University Centre and Westcott House.