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Vegetarian

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have a question, hopefully i can get some insight. I was wondering what everyone thought of vegetarian chefs who work in a traditional kitchen.

Being vegetarian myself, i've always been labeled the "veg man." despite my high marks in meat fabrication, and my killer recipes at work. I am also the black sheep of my school. Being a small school, I beleive that maybe 4-5 people out of a few hundred are vegetarian. And when people find out, they all say all the same things a chef would ask. "How do you taste your food?" (i taste, and spit into a trash can)...."why are you a vegetarian? do you want to save the animals or something? are you from peta?" (No. i hate peta. and I merely became a vegetarian for the health reasons. and i love it.)

some people take my being a vegetarian as an offense. WHY? vegetarians and meat eaters have to eat in the same places. my old chef instructor was like this...he would make a big scene when presenting my food. and other people would take it as an obligation to create a back up vegetarian meal plan (PLAN not even the plate or prep!!)...maybe im just venting :roll:


but i just wanted to see what everyone else thought. have you had experiences with vegetarians? (good/bad?)

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post #2 of 15
I'm a wanna-be vege myself, but its never going to happen. Total Koudos to yourself for making the commitment.

Being a vegetarian isnt something that you should feel the need to justify. IMO a collection of chefs in a kitchen are comparable to a bunch of kids in the playground. They seem to need someone to pick on in the same way kids need a fat/skinny/bespeckled/ginger/foreign kid to jive with and i would give the same advice to both... Develop a thick skin... Unless it turns to bullying. Which is a much different issue - You actually dont have to explain yourself. Better to simply say you have your reasons and leave it at that. They'll soon get bored asking you.

You're obviously handling cooking and prepping meat very well. But i would suggest, spitting it into the trash is a bit OTT. Perhaps you might make it a little less obvious by discreetly put it in a paper towel first... You dont need to provide ammunition for their jibes. The longer they observe you on the defensive, the longer they'll keep on at you. You've nothing to defend after all.

All the best
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #3 of 15
I recently went vegetarian and not a single day goes by that someone doesn't have some kind of comment to make. lol I just tell people it's a health issue.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
oh yeah, i dont mind getting the flack at school or work about being vegetarian. Just makes me stronger.

its just the people who take it to the next level that bothers me. My sous chef...is one of those people. Its not just "picking on" anymore, its upright insults to me, my family, and my skills. He's said many other things that are not appropriate for this forum so i'll spare the details....but they were not pretty.

At school...its more of a mob mentality...like before i mention that i've been a dedicated vegetarian for some time now...i listen to the things they say like, "Yeah, i could never trust a vegetarian chef in my kitchen"


"i hate those hippies! who wants to eat rabbit food?!"

then i mention that i am a vegetarian, and then all of a sudden everyone is excited and interested in my diet....i just laugh haha...not with the sous chef...i draw the line when someone makes fun of my family behind their back.
post #5 of 15
It would have to be tough being a vegetarian in a pro kitchen or school! My only issue as an employer would be whether or not you understood and could appreciate meat dishes. If you demonstrated that you can I don't really see the issue, but it's tricky to create & prepare dishes that you wouldn't eat yourself. Once you get thru school you can probably find your niche but I think that general suspicion will probably dog you unless you can find your way into a restaurant that's vegan or has a lot of vegitarian guests.
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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post #6 of 15
To understand what or rather who Vegans are, one must know the meaning of Veganism. Veganism is a form of vegetarian diet that excludes eggs, meat, dairy products, or any other kind of ingredient derived from animals. Therefore, a person following such a diet is said to be Vegan.
There are vegans who even deny food that is processed through animal products, most commonly, white sugar and a few wines. They even discard the products made of animals such as leather, wool or fur. Strong discussions are still on, on considering whether certain products such as Honey are vegan or not....

If any body has some other view about them let us know
post #7 of 15
This is something I've been wondering about for some time. I'm a former lacto-ovo vegetarian who only began to eat chicken and turkey at her doctor's behest. When I started culinary school, I knew I would have to fabricate meats, but didn't know what I would do about tasting. So far, I've tasted what I could stomach (which has thusfar been everything but the raw oysters), but we haven't moved into more exotic meats like rabbit or guinea pig, which I'll definitely have a problem with.

I'm really wanting to get into the pastry side more than anything, so I know it's really just something I'll have to get through for now, but it's made me wonder;

Are there any professional chefs that are vegetarian? Is it possible to be successful on the cuisine side if you are? And more over, can employers really turn you down for a job solely on account of being veggie?

I'm reading through the Vegetarian chapter of my OnCooking book right now, and it renewed my curiosity...
"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. That is one of the ends for which they exist." - Robert Bringhurst
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"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. That is one of the ends for which they exist." - Robert Bringhurst
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post #8 of 15
May I ask, are you doing vegetarianism for ethical reasons? Because, if you are doing it for health reasons, there is no proof that a vegetarian/vegan diet is any more healthful than a diet of mostly vegetables and fruit with small quantities of animal protein.

Also, if you are seeking health, baking is probably hardest to adapt to meet a healthy lifestyle and still appeal to the general public.

You would need to replace the fat and white flour and sugar with healthy alternatives

just saying....

However, being conscientious about your diet is a very good thing. I wish you success in your endeavor.
post #9 of 15
It's by no means for health. I just love animals, and find it especially hard to eat intelligent ones like pigs, or ones that I'd keep as a pet like rabbits and such.
"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. That is one of the ends for which they exist." - Robert Bringhurst
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"By all means break the rules, and break them beautifully, deliberately, and well. That is one of the ends for which they exist." - Robert Bringhurst
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post #10 of 15
Okay, then my post doesn't apply to you

Veganism is a lifestyle, as well as a way to eat.

Vegans do not wear or use items which exploit animals, such as honey or leather
post #11 of 15
WHAT NO HONEY.. I dont think i would survive. My grandfather rescues bees!

and as for me dealing with a vegg head, the only one I have ever meet was my boyfriends sister. and she was just anoying
is it bad that I like to cook more than I like to eat?
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is it bad that I like to cook more than I like to eat?
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post #12 of 15
Nope, no honey. Vegans feel honey exploits bees
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
If a doctor tells you, that you "have too eat" poultry or any fowl....you need a new doctor asap. the health benfits of soy, and soy byproducts are almost godly compared to chicken and eggs. If your doctor told you, that you needed to eat meat, it was most likely because you had a PEM (Protien Energy Malnutrition), and you didnt eat the foods you needed to supplment the loss of the meat you were so used too, and you're body tried to compensate for the lack of energy, and it wound up hurting you.

Some ingredients contain protien, but are incomplete and need to be added to another incomplete protien to get the same results (rice/beans. Hummas and whole wheat bread, ect.) . Soy is complete, and it lacks the cholesterol, and other crap that meat has.

I recently switched to lacto-vegetarian, to full vegan. and I have a few leather jackets. I have killed/ slaughtered animals for the consumption of man, and I have listened and agreed with many vegetarian essays on why to become a veg head.

The health reasons are why I became a vegan...not because someone told me too
post #14 of 15
Getting back on track, we all choose our own lifestyles.

As long as the people that are bothering you know its getting to you, they will continue to do so. It is not my intention to explain bully logic for an aspiring culinary student, but stick to your guns. Let your work speak for itself. If your food tastes better than theirs, they really should evaluate themselves first before looking at you.

The most independent cook I knew was this one vegetarian jamaican girl I used to work with. Nobody dared question her vegetarianism, lest she grab a knife and hurl it at you while screaming. No need to get that extreme, but do stick up for yourself.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
 indeed, i think i might have gotten too carried away in my posts, and I apologize. I believe that in the years to come the vegetarian diet will become a more popular and industrious one. the hard part right now is to create unique vegetarian dishes that satisfies everyone's desires.
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