If there’s been one food trend over the last year that has eclipsed all others, it has to be the vegan one – and with the latest scientific evidence from Harvard University pointing to the excellent health credentials of a meat-free lifestyle, it’s not showing any signs of going away.
No surprise then that many of our members here at Local Food Britain are introducing vegan options into their portfolios of products and services, or enhancing their existing offering.
One such example is Food Envy London, based in Surrey, who do everything from catering, nutritional therapy and home-cooked meal delivery to cookery lessons, menu planning and special events. With a strong emphasis on healthy eating, they already had vegan options on their menus, but just hadn’t necessarily marketed them as such.
“The thing is, people don’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan cuisine, so we haven’t always promoted our dishes as such – more just as healthy, home-made food,” says founder of Food Envy London, Holly Sugars. “But, over the last five years, there has been such a huge change in the demand for vegan food – from our point of view, as a catering company, we have seen a massive increase – so our menus are now very much reflecting that.”
Having worked as a chef for many years, including on a prestigious yacht in Majorca and at the private houses of several high-profile clients, Holly decided to start her own food consultancy business a couple of years ago. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength.
Today, she now has a team of five chefs working with her from a commercial kitchen in West Byfleet near Weybridge, with their home delivery service operating on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and the catering, consultancy and cookery courses keeping them busy the rest of the time. The common thread between all their various activities, however, is an emphasis on healthy, nutritious and delicious home cooking.
“I’ve always been fascinated with how food fuels the body – literally making you who you are – and how food can help to prevent illness and make you feel better,” says Holly. “In short, how you can actually eat yourself healthy.
“So, if you want to eat gorgeous, healthy and yummy food, vegan or otherwise, and to nourish your mind in the process, then pop onto our website to find out more.”
Finally, for any vegans out there looking for some recipe inspiration, is there any particular dish on their menu that she would recommend?
“There’s a great spaghetti carbonara that we do, which is also gluten-free, and it’s delicious!” says Holly. “For that one, we use spiralized courgette and OAT-LY’s vegan cream, and it works a treat.
“We also do a raw pad Thai, with a nut butter source and rice noodles, as well as lots of lovely Mexican food. We pack those dishes with stuffed potato skins, black beans and quinoa, and just miss out the cheese, so it’s very easy. I’m a big fan of nutritional yeast too.”
Going forward, to complement their existing portfolio of services, Food Envy London is also launching a supper club – to be held in the lovely church hall next door to their kitchen – and they are promising vegan options for that too. Watch this space for more news of that soon...