Vegan Restaurant Week
Vegan Restaurant Week
As January rolls round many are thinking about adopting a healthy eating regime. This may also revolve around cutting down on meat, and there has been a significant rise in the consumption and demand for vegan products in the last year. It was reported in the media there was a 1500% growth in the plant-based market in the UK alone, making it a huge market for restaurants and supermarkets looking to jump on the next food trend.
For most vegans, however, this is not a food trend. This is a huge lifestyle change, with veganism not only about the food we eat. This is often the first step for many on a lifelong journey, and one that many organisations and charities, such as Veganuary are supporting. Local foodie Emma Phillips, who runs a blog called Canny Food, identified that there was a definite interest in dairy and meat-free alternatives when her own partner switched to veganism in 2015.
Their blog chronicles the restaurants they visit and the food they eat at home as a way of demystifying what veganism is. Through her own experiences of dining out she noticed there was a worry for those with dietary requirements, especially linked to allergies, regarding dining out. Most organised events in the area focus on meat-eaters, with the odd vegetarian meal in the mix, but few offer vegan – and in turn – dairy-free menus. She is currently promoting Vegan Restaurant Week in the North East, an event which is scheduled to run from the 23rd to the 29th January.
Many restaurants and cafes from across the region have already signed up to participate, and not just those who are solely vegetarian and vegan. Some are offering special menus, while others have created dishes for the promotion to highlight the diversity of the Vegan diet.
While it may appear this event is aimed at vegans, Emma is certain it is all-inclusive;
“Many people today eat meat-free meals at home as it is more cost effective or they are conscious of the environmental impact of animal agriculture. We have friends who are meat-eaters who like to dine out at vegetarian and vegan restaurants to try something different. We’re hoping Vegan Restaurant Week will encourage people from all over the region to visit some of their local independents and try out what’s on offer, whether they are a meat eater or not.”
With over 25 restaurants already participating Vegan Restaurant Week looks set to prove that there is more to the North East than kebabs and sausage rolls! More info can be found at www.veganrestaurantweek.co.uk.