Dear hotel schools, embrace vegetable cuisine! 

The Week of Fruits and Vegetables kicks off on 6 May. Pioneer Frank Fol has seen a revolution in restaurant kitchens in recent years, with an increasingly prominent role for plant-based products. His 'Think Vegetables! Think Fruits!®' philosophy is gaining more and more support. But our countries can still shift up a gear and become a true international trendsetter. 

Frank has been a missionary for pure plant cuisine for more than 35 years. Never was he against meat or fish, he just wanted to turn the tables. Vegetables deserve a leading role in the kitchen, not the supporting role they had for a very long time in traditional French cuisine. Three decades ago, he was motherly alone with that vision. Slowly but surely, the plant-forward cuisine was joined by other chefs and in recent years, vegetable cuisine has gained momentum. 

Pure Plant cooking in hotel school 

Other chefs have overcome their cold feet and want to jump on board. We see more and more restaurants having their own vegetable gardens, or joining forces and creating food forests. The will is there, but the biggest barrier is the knowledge that is still too often lacking. As a chef, you can be infinitely creative with pure plant ingredients. Salting, acidifying, freeze-drying, popping, injecting, fermenting,... : on the We're Smart website, we compile 58 techniques for preparing fruit and vegetables, and that's only a fraction of all the techniques used worldwide. But chefs are not taught them enough in their training. 

Don't misunderstand: we have fantastic hotel schools. But what you see in other fields, you also notice in the culinary world: training courses are struggling to keep pace with innovation in the field. In hotel schools, classic cuisine remains king; they continue to swear by meat and fish. Nothing wrong with that, there are many chefs who do incredible things with it and are absolute world leaders. But where more and more chefs are successfully reconciling tradition with innovation, hotel schools are limping along behind. Initiating a new generation into plant-based cuisine does not have to come at the expense of our culinary traditions. They can go hand in hand. 

There is already a hotel school in the Netherlands that offers a course on pure plant cooking. Interest from both professional chefs and foodies/hobby cooks is overwhelming. 

Pure Plant cooking is not a gastronomic hype, not a trend that will blow over. The turnaround has begun, there is no turning back. Fruit and vegetables will take a starring role in more and more restaurants. Belgium and the Netherlands owe it to their status in the culinary world to lead the way here. From hotel school students to chefs in starred restaurants: let's become international trendsetters. The consumer is all set. 

For more information, contact: 
Frank Fol – The Vegetables Chef® - Founder & Chairman We’re Smart® World 
Charlotte Mauritz – Gastronomische Gilde -