By Remy Zaka, AFP | July 1, 2015
When French superchef Alain Ducasse stunned the haute cuisine world last year by dropping meat, boosting vegies and lightening up his menus, he was less bucking convention than joining a trend of accommodating vegetarians and people with food allergies.
Fine dining at top restaurants run by uncompromising chefs may once have been unthinkable for such clients. But no more.
“Twenty years ago we were lost when a client told us they had an allergy. We’d bring out an artichoke and a salad,” says Piet Huysentruyt, owner of Likoke in the southern French town of Les Vans, a one-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide.
“Now it’s no longer a problem. It’s second nature.”
The Mediterranean diet — low in meat and high in fish, vegetables, herbs and healthy olive oil — has come to the rescue.
A recent gathering in the southern French city of Montpellier of 58 chefs from 10 countries — the sort of Michelin-starred elite who scrutinise every dish that leaves their kitchens — confirmed the trend. All conceded they have had to adapt.
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