28 | Jul | 14

Richard Johnson

Veggie Scarian?

I used to be a vegetarian. But then I was asked to be a restaurant critic, and vegetarian restaurant critics don’t get much work. So I ate meat — professionally — and increasingly, vegetables seemed to lack a real sense of purpose unless they were accompanied by a good helping of meat. After 16 years I became a carnivore again. I was always more of a health-vegetarian than a pain-and-suffering vegetarian or a could-better-feed-world-without-wasting-resouces-on-animal-flesh vegetarian, so it didn’t trouble me too much. But I miss the artistry of meatless eating. It takes a bit more technique to produce vegetarian food that pleases a spoiled palate, and to eat Fresh Rootz’s pakoras sprinkled with edible flowers (winners of Best Snack at the 2014 British Street Food Awards — above) and Rainbo’s gyoza with sundried tomato and tofu is a treat. Cauldron, who were one of the sponsors at this year’s Awards, have compiled a free e-book of traders’ favourite vegetarian recipes. Check it out here.