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April 08, 2010

The Anti-GVP Revolution

Food and cooking

We know Ezra Klein always brings important things to our attention. Yesterday he took on the vital issue of the grilled vegetable plate. First, an important definition:

Let's get something straight: A vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat meat. It's not someone who loves vegetables. Or dislikes composed meals. Or thinks food doesn't benefit from seasoning, and saucing, and a variety of textures and grains and cooking methods.
This is, indeed, what all vegetarians fear when going to a new restaurant:
Actually, the kitchen was doing a grilled vegetable plate. He hoped that was alright. It wasn't. The grilled vegetable plate -- or the GVP -- is so lazy as to be legitimately offensive. That meal cost actual money. Was pasta really too difficult of a charge? A sandwich? Frittata? Stir fry? Gazpacho? Stew? Curries? Pizza? Salad? Bruschetta? Dumplings?
Read the whole thing, ending with his call to arms:
Vegetarians of the world need to stop accepting the GVP. It's an insult, both from the kitchen to the diner, and from the kitchen to itself. It's not that hard to cook without meat, and choosing to eat less meat shouldn't result in a form of culinary punishment for diners. We can do better. Change is possible. We are the ones we've been waiting for. So say it with me: "No. The grilled vegetable plate is not acceptable. Do you have pasta? Or pizza? Or salads? Or an employee trained in the art of putting different kinds of foods together on a plate in order to create a satisfying dining experience for customers? Because if not, my party and I will go elsewhere."
Come on, vegetarians! We can do it!

Posted by Kat at April 8, 2010 07:44 AM


Posted by: alissa at April 8, 2010 10:10 AM

Thank you so much for posting this. I don't know who first started the dirty rumor that "vegetarian" is synonymous with "doesn't like food," but I've spent a lot of my life fighting that fallacy. I almost always find a well-prepared vegetarian dish to be more interesting and satisfying than a dish with meat (what meat I eat). I think chefs are secretly afraid of (or at least intimidated by) vegetarians because we make them realize (a) how uncreative they actually are, and (b) how limited is the variety of things they actually know how to cook well.

Posted by: your cousin Liz at April 10, 2010 11:47 AM
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