Like Gordon, Anders Ramsay is of Scottish origins. They worked together at Aubergine in London but “He never quite got vegetarianism,” explains Anders whose been vegetarian since 1993. Anders worked in Stockholm where he was also in charge of the vegetarian menu at the Nobels. Since 2012, he’s been executive chef at Elwing&Co.
Anders Ramsay is one of the finalists of The Vegetarian Chance, a festival organized by journalist Gabriel Eschenazi and Pietro Leemann, chef at Joia, in Milan. The first international vegetarian festival will be the occasion to discuss this rising life choice.
The Vegetarian Chance will be divided in two days: the first on June 7th at the Monte Verità, in Ascona, Switzerland, the second on June 22th at Joia where eight chefs will be competing with their vegetarian dish. The jury will be composed by Leemann, American chef Kristen Thibeault, the experts Marco Bianchi and Lorenzo Sonogini, journalist Davide Paolini and chef Luca Sacchi.
While we wait for the contest, Fine Dining Lovers met with Anders for a chat.
Describe yourself in three words.
Attentive, knowledgeable, determined.
How do you define your cooking style?
My style is refined rustic with vibrant colors, different complementing textures and using modern as well as classic techniques.
Do you usually cook vegan in your restaurant? If so, since when? Why did you choose vegan?
We cook a lot of vegan dishes as well as using raw food techniques that are inherently vegan. I’ve incorporated it into my menus for at least 15 years for two reasons. First, to have diversity and a broad approach and secondly to cover for people with allergies to dairy and eggs which is quite common here in Sweden for some reason.
What are the products from the surrounding area that you use the most in your restaurant?
Potatoes, beets, herbs and salad, root vegetables. This usually changes throughout the summer when in peak season we get most fresh produce from the surrounding area (by that meaning a 100-200 km radius). During Winter season we regretfully have to import most produce.
What do you think about the rise of the vegetarian and vegan diets?
I don’t think it is rising any faster or stronger than it has been for the last 200 years. It’s going through peaks and troughs and we might well be experiencing a peak at the moment but it’s not a revolution. I think people form stronger opinions nowadays which makes lifestyle decisions like vegetarianism to stand out more. In my mind, though, it will be the only way for humanity to go in the end...
What is in your opinion the most iconic dish of vegan cuisine?
What do you see in your future as a chef?
An opportunity to excel in my field. Being able to help bring a brighter, happier and greener world.