Plant-Based Cuisine, a new Speciality Cuisine?

The Emergence of Plant-Based Speciality Cuisine

The virtue of being proven wrong

Som Tam — Green Papaya Salad — Chef’s Training — Blue Lotus Hua Hin

Times are changing!

Mango Sticky Rice revisited — Green Thai Cuisine — Blue Lotus Hua Hin
Spicy Kelp Noodles Salad at the Swimming Pool Bar — Evason Hua Hin resort

The food industry got the message pretty quickly…

Pineapple Carpaccio, Yuzu Syrup, Pomegranate, Just like Feta, Tajin Spices by Franck Garanger — Apollo Group

There is room for a creative answer

Why talking about Plant-Based Cuisine and not vegan food?

Kelp Noodles, Black Pepper Cream, Kalamata olives caviar — Pure Energy class

Develop Plant-Based Cuisine as a new Speciality

Fresh herbs, green peppers, jade noodles and mushrooms — Green Thai Cuisine — Blue Lotus Hua Hin
Tom Yam Soup from Green Thai Cuisine at Blue Lotus Hua Hin
  • Reversing the traditional eating pattern (which tends toward a heavy evening meal and revered the dinner as THE social and culinary event). Morning and lunch can become interesting culinary experiences too. People may enjoy eating during the day versus late at night. Most plant-based café are day time places, open from the morning up to sunset. An avocado toast is more a brunch thing than a midnight fix. By the way, chefs have the right to sleep at night too.
  • Forgetting the classical convention of “appetizer — main — dessert” to offer a series of courses to share (sometimes served all together), a selection of small bites to taste or even one balance bowl as the unique item for a meal.
  • Purposely mixing sweet, sour and savory in the very same dish! (separating sweet from savory is important in conventional cuisine as cheeses and meats pair usually better with salty side dishes).
  • Forgetting to bring a knife on the table and replace the flat plate by a bowl… As you don’t need to cut your food like you would do for meat, it is not like you really need a flat surface and a knife. Feel free to serve your dishes in a bowl with a fork and a spoon (or chopsticks and spoon). Like in Chinese cuisine, the knives can be the chefs favorite toy and stay in the kitchens.
  • Not platting a “noble” ingredient (like a piece of meat or fish) at the center of your dish with the secondary ingredients on the side. It is indeed a very common convention, especially when some ingredients are supposed to be “the one piece” of value, but in plant-based cuisine there is not need for such a hierarchy between ingredients. Veggies are not anymore restricted to play the supporting actor as the optional garnish lost in a corner. You can make any humble heirloom veggie the star of your dish, if you feel inspired to.
Spicy bites — Chef’s Training — Blue Lotus Hua Hin

Three plant-based cuisine forms working well:

  • Small Bites for Tasting and Wine pairing (like Tapas or Mezze platter…)
  • Series of dishes (sweet & savory) to share (typical of Thai Cuisine)
  • Power Bowls (…buddha bowls, vegan bowls, poke bowls…): a composed dish that includes a grain, a legume, a good ratio of veggies, a sauce to pair well and a topping. Each ingredient can be prepared using different cooking techniques and displayed in a deconstruct way next to each other in one bowl. You enjoy different tastes, textures while having a balanced and healthy meal (without counting macro or calories or worrying about nutrient deficiency). It can be easily made available in personalized ways like “select your own” (one choice per category, served in a bowl) or “make your own” (selection from a buffet).
Power Bowls — Developed w Apollo Group for Oceania & Regent Cruises
Blue Lotus Hua Hin — https://bluelotushuahin.com
  1. Kantar UK, Consumer study https://uk.kantar.com/consumer/shoppers/2019/only-3-of-uk-self-define-as-vegan/
  2. How ‘plant-based’ rebranded vegan eating for the mainstream — Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2019/02/15/how-plant-based-rebranded-vegan-eating-for-the-mainstream/
  3. Burger King deal fuels plant-based meat group — Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/5ce0f058-54a8-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1

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Christophe Berg

Executive Coach for Everyday Heroes | Consultant on Plant-Based projects | Cookbook Author | 🗣🇫🇷🇺🇸🇪🇸