Chefs bow to pressure for healthier menu offerings

27 July 2004
Chefs bow to pressure for healthier menu offerings

Chefs are beginning to bow to pressure for healthier menus as public concern mounts, according to a new survey.

Patterson: "People are more aware of what they're eating"
The survey of 34 mainly USA-based chefs found that four out of five are experiencing a demand for healthier menu offerings and two-thirds have made recent changes to their menus or food preparation to provide healthier alternatives. Special diets are also having a noticeable impact, with 75% of the chefs interviewed saying they were experiencing increasing requests for vegetarian, vegan or raw dishes as well as low-carb/high-protein options. Nearly half said they had received requests for organic or high-fibre/low-fat dishes. Bjorn van der Horst from London's the Greenhouse, who took part in the survey, said: "Culinary masters should be ambassadors of healthy eating, using quality ingredients. A chef has the responsibility to educate." Meanwhile, chef-proprietor Raymond Patterson of Patterson's in Mayfair - who wasn't surveyed - has noticed an increase in the number of requests for special dietary needs. "People are more aware of what they're eating today," he said. While not making any dramatic changes to the menu, he now avoids cream-based sauces, particularly at lunchtime. Anna Hansen, joint head chef and co-proprietor of the Providores in London, agreed that more diners requested healthier options or meals for special dietary requirements. "We've always had a strong vegetarian angle and we're always thinking about people's wellbeing," she said. "Saying that, we find that anything deep-fried always sells out first."
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