The UK government is urging chefs to create vegan foie gras alternatives

Author: Rachel Smith

Read Time:   |  15th November 2021

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Ahead of a potential ban on foie gras, the UK government is inviting vegan chefs to discuss how to create a vegan ‘faux gras’ alternative.


Foie gras is about to get a vegan makeover as the UK government meets with chefs to discuss creating vegan ‘faux gras’ alternatives ahead of a possible ban.

According to The Guardian, the government is enlisting the help of top vegan restauranteurs to find out how to make alternatives out of nuts and mushrooms.

The aim is to show chefs it is possible to create vegan alternatives to fill the subsequent gap in the market if the ban on imported foie gras is implemented.

Foie gras is an expensive ‘delicacy’ where birds and geese are force-fed by having a tube inserted in their throats. They are then force-fed corn until their liver swells to up to 10 times its normal size.

This force-feeding is so cruel that foie gras production is banned in the UK and many other countries. Yet, it is still legal to import and sell foie gras in Britain, with shops such as Harrods still stocking it.

The barbaric product can also be found on the menu at top restaurants which still import it from countries such as France.

However, after years of campaigning against the cruel delicacy, MPs finally vowed to ban trade in foie gras earlier this year.

Now, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is consulting on legislation to ban the sale and import of foie gras in the UK.

Vegan foie gras

The government hopes to mitigate the effects of a ban by showing those willing to offer plant-based alternatives that they can fill a gap in the market.

The Guardian reported that an email sent to top chefs who are still serving foie gras at their restaurants which said: “I understand your restaurant serves an alternative to foie gras. We would appreciate the chance to arrange a virtual meeting with the chef or someone else from the team to discuss a few questions in this area.

“These would be questions about your views on foie gras and the challenges and opportunities associated with ‘ethical’ alternatives.”

We hope that this encouraging move signals that there is finally an end to this cruel trade in the UK.


Faux gras

While the government may be on the hunt for the perfect plant-based foie gras recipe, one vegan chef has already cracked it!

French chef Alexis Gauthier, who famously turned his Soho brasserie Gauthier 100% vegan, is known for his vegan take on foie gras.

In fact, Gauthier, who is one of the chefs contacted by the government, says that people now travel across the country to try the dish.

Gauthier’s restaurant had previously come under fire for serving foie gras. In fact, animal activist group PETA protested outside his restaurant until he stopped selling the dish.

Since going vegan, Gauthier has created a vegan version made from mushrooms, lentils, walnuts, and a splash of cognac. Despite its wholesome ingredients list, the chef promises it has the same buttery taste you’d expect from foie gras.

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Written by

Rachel Smith

Having launched the brand's digital presence in 2015, Rachel shares her love for animals and the planet through her work as Vegan Food & Living’s Digital Editor. As a passionate vegan for over eight years, Rachel loves creating delicious vegan dessert recipes for her award-winning blog, Rawberry Fields. Rachel's recipes and photography have been featured in numerous international print and digital publications including the Daily Mail, Huffington Post, Thrive, and Buzzfeed. You can follow Rachel at @rawberryfields

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