The cook who has spent 50 years making vegetables as exciting as meat

In the 1970s, Deborah Madison set out to make vegetables seem less drab. Julia Platt Leonard looks back at the journey of one of vegetarianism’s most important chefs

Monday 15 February 2021 00:00
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<p>Madison cookbooks should be at the top of your wishlist</p>

Madison cookbooks should be at the top of your wishlist

A new butcher shop opened near where I live in north London. It’s got everything you’d expect from a traditional butcher: a thick wooden butcher block, glass-fronted display cases, tiled walls and stainless steel counters – the butchers even wear traditional striped aprons and straw bowler hats.

It’s got everything you’d expect from a butcher except for one key ingredient: meat. It’s a vegan “butcher” with not so much as a sausage (unless you count “soysage patties”) in sight. There is bacon, pastrami and even black pudding, but made from plants, not animals.

I can’t help thinking, why can’t vegetables just taste like – well –vegetables?

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