Classically-trained French chef and owner of Gauthier Soho, Chef Alexis Gauthier, teamed up with animal rights organization PETA and recipe video producers BOSH! to develop a recipe for vegan foie gras, cleverly dubbed “faux gras.”
“In France, people love foie gras,” Chef Gauthier explained. Traditionally, the luxury food is made from the liver of a duck or goose that has been force-fed a high-fat diet. In recent years, it has been the subject of controversy for its cruelty. “So I’ve developed a recipe where I will have the same kind of texture, sensation, and deliciousness of foie gras without killing any animals, so no abuse involved.”
“It’s based off lentils, walnuts, shallots…” the chef continued, relishing the flavor profile of his creation, which also uses mushrooms for meaty texture.“Oh, it’s delicious, if you serve that on toasted bread, it’s actually better than foie gras.”
The chef has worked in the restaurant business since 1991. Gauthier’s respected position in the culinary world has led him to judge on two versions of “Masterchef,” a television cooking competition.
Chef Gauthier previously acted as head chef at the restaurant Roussillon in London. During this time, the restaurant earned one Michelin star, which it held from 2000 to 2011 and was awarded three AA Rosettes. Gauthier’s work also earned Roussillon Time Out’s “Best Vegetarian Award” for two years in a row. A fan of using vegetables in his cooking, Gauthier once told The Wall Street Journal that “if they have the right texture you can play with vegetables like meat or fish.”
In 2010, the chef left Roussillon to open his own restaurant, called Gauthier Soho. In 2015, Gauthier Soho’s vegan options expanded when the chef converted its vegetable-based menu to vegan, earning him the award for “Best Vegan Menu” at the 2016 PETA Vegan Food Awards.
Now, Gauthier frequently experiments with vegan French food. “I’ve been cooking with a lot of meat, fish, foie gras, everything you can think of, until the day I realized that wasn’t for me anymore. So I’m trying to rethink my entire food knowledge and rewrite all the rules of cooking and eating with a vegan perspective,” he said, jokingly likening his experience to going through a mid-life crisis.
Image Credit: BOSH!