vegetarian cuisine is gaining momentum

In Orthez, the offer of catering professionals…

In Orthez, the offer of catering professionals for vegetarians or those curious about this cuisine still seems to be in its infancy, but in full swing. In the last decade, two 100% vegetarian tables had briefly tried the adventure before disappearing.

Today, while most offer an à la carte offer, few restaurants offer truly balanced and elaborate dishes that go beyond mixed salads or pasta with vegetables. “We always find something to offer when we have a request,” summarizes one restaurateur.

A growing professional offer

One of the pioneers, Karine Tauzia has been serving pedestrians a different vegetarian dish every day since 2012 with a cereal, a legume and a vegetable.

At L’Endroit, David Pouquerou followed in his footsteps for several months with a starter and main course made by his chef, herself a vegetarian. Tasty recipes that have found their audience. “I am convinced that if we offered a wider vegetarian offer, the demand would increase. But that’s not our niche. We want to offer a menu for all tastes with fresh products so it is not possible to multiply the dishes on the menu”, explains the restaurateur.

This request, Richard Blanc has seen it evolve. More and more customers are asking for this cuisine without meat. According to a survey published by Protéines France on January 12, 22% of French people changed their eating habits in 2022 to include more plant proteins.

“There’s a huge demand,” comments the head of the O’Garage brewery. “It wasn’t our starting place, but we have to adjust to the demand,” he smiles. From Monday 16 January, his brasserie will unveil a vegetarian menu. A key trend that Bérangère Lairie has also observed since the launch of its takeaway business in November 2021.

Vegetable cooking workshops

Every day, his website La cuisine s’abord features an omnivorous dish and a vegetarian dish. At the end of her first year in business, the cook realized that vegetarians already accounted for a quarter of her turnover, and she progressed slowly. “From the moment people see that it’s good and satisfying, they come back,” says l’Orthézienne. A success that prompts Bérangère Lairie to open a shop where you can pick up her culinary preparations, in the heart of Orthez. “The project is underway,” she says succinctly.

Rather under 45, the vegetarian cuisine clientele seems mainly motivated, here as elsewhere, to think about their health. An evolution that can only satisfy the former Orthézienne candidate of the “Masterchef” cooking show, Pilar Lopez. Already in 2010, on the screens of TF1, the founder of the Cooking Differently school praised good vegetarian cuisine as the first vector of good health. “Regularly, I’m still being asked to reopen a vegetarian restaurant in Orthez,” he testifies.

The 50-year-old won’t be repeating her 2013 venture, place Brossers, but is working on the launch of a vegetarian foodtruck for the next few months with a partner. Beyond professional catering, promoters of vegetarian diets testify to a growing desire among young families to cook at home in this way. “People often ask me for lessons to learn this cuisine, which is very rich and varied,” says Bérangère Lairie.

A desire confirmed by Mourenxoise Sylvie Rocher Delage. For the past two years, the founder of Pavé dans la Skillet has been taking her pans around the Béarnais home to teach the basics of plant-based cooking. “People are becoming aware of the impact their diet has on their health, but they need to learn how to cook differently,” says Pilar Lopez. Starting in February, the chef will lead monthly workshops in the local O Panier shop, as well as outings at Le Moulin des sens as part of the wellness weekends.

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