I always knew there was something sinister lurking under those big, white hats.
Am I the only person who was completely horrified by the Food Network’s “25 Things Chefs Never Tell You” survey? Conducted in the spring of 2010, this survey asked chefs around the United States about their culinary secrets — and 15% of chefs divulged that their “vegetarian” dishes may not be completely vegetarian.
Granted, I’m horrified by most things that come from the Food Network — 96oz. hamburgers, pigs’ heads, Anthony Bourdain — but this anonymous, revealing survey sent a shiver up my spine. It included juicy tidbits like, “A quarter of the chefs surveyed said they’d pick up food that dropped on the floor and cook it,” and “Three chefs admitted that uneaten bread from one basket goes right into another one.” I’m all for reducing waste, but that seems a little egregious. And gross.
But the real kicker comes from this line of the survey. Brace yourselves: “About 15% of chefs said their vegetarian dishes might not be completely vegetarian. Beware if you’re one of those super-picky vegan types: One chef reported seeing a cook pour lamb’s blood into a vegan’s primavera.”
Say what?! I’m not sure if this is being done out of spite, or if chefs — like far too many people in the world — just think that food isn’t food without some animal excretions thrown in. While I am pumped to hear about world-class chefs writing vegetarian cookbooks or opening vegetarian restaurants, I’m inclined to think that this survey reveals just one more reason to avoid restaurants that have animals on their menus. Here in New York, we’ve got veg*n restaurants in spades, so maybe the next time your friends suggest Le Cirque, you can nudge them instead to Le Candle — and you hopefully won’t end up with anyone’s blood in your primavera.