Diner’s Diary

Gordon Ramsay turning vegan? Hong Kong meat-loving chef turned vegan offers some advice

Ramsay’s vegan announcement is a shocking about turn for the Michelin-starred chef. Hong Kong restaurateur and newly converted vegan Neil Tomes is sceptical, but has a few tips to help the craggy faced chef ease into a plant-based lifestyle

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2018, 1:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2018, 5:27pm

Is British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay going vegan?

According to his Twitter post he is.

On Monday he tweeted: “Going to give this #vegan thing a try … Yes guys you heard that right. Gx”.

The jaw-dropping post was made together with a picture of what could be a vegan pizza for the opening of Ramsay’s latest venture Gordon Ramsay Street Pizza in London.

The pizza appears to be the charred aubergine pizza on the menu, which comes with toasted pine nuts, wild garlic pesto and tomato, possibly making it vegan-friendly if the pesto doesn’t have cheese in it.

Ramsay’s latest tweet – if true – is a shocking 180-degree turn for the chef, who has mocked vegetarians and vegans in the past.

In an interview with the Daily Mirror in 2007, he said if his children became vegetarian it would be his “biggest nightmare”, adding that he would “sit them on the fence and electrocute them” if one of them made the dietary change.

The comment caught the attention of long-time vegetarian Paul McCartney, who told Sainsbury Magazine he would be willing to talk to the chef about the advantages of vegetarianism.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, chef Neil Tomes who announced he became vegan in February commented on Ramsay’s announcement with some scepticism, saying it sounded like a publicity stunt.

But if Ramsay really is going vegan, what advice would Tomes have in making the dietary transition?

“Just keep it simple. You can eat plant-based things like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, but try to keep it as pure as possible,” says Tomes, adding it’s good to eat things like whole grains, nuts and rice.

“You have to use your whole cooking repertoire to get every ounce of flavour out and there’s a whole world of spices to explore,” he continues. “You will never find the perfect substitute for sour cream and cheese, but you can build flavours to make them as close as possible.”