Noted vegetarian chef to visit in observance of Great American Meatout

Ken Bergeron, author of the award-winning cookbook Professional Vegetarian Cooking, will visit for two days of vegan food preparation with students and Dining Services staff. We welcome media coverage of the event, which marks the 19th anniversary of the Great American Meatout, the world’s largest diet education campaign, on March 20.

With Bates students, Bergeron will prepare a vegan meal — that is, a meal containing no products derived from animals — with members of the student group People Eating Plants at 4:30 p.m. March 19 in the kitchen off Perry Atrium in Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Rd. PEP students, their guests and Bergeron will dine together around 7 p.m. in the Atrium, a strong visual setting with lots of glass, open sightlines and large ficus trees.

From 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. March 20, Bergeron will prepare vegan specialties in the dining hall, Commons. He will perform display cooking at a marché station from 4:30 until 8 p.m. He and acting head of Dining Services Christine Schwartz will be available for interviews Thursday morning.

Dining Services invited Bergeron in response to a PEP request that the college serve no animal products on March 20. While Bates was unable to honor that request, the college invited Bergeron to visit the college and share his expertise in vegetarian cuisine.

Bergeron became a vegetarian in 1982. His cookbook Professional Vegetarian Cooking (John Wiley & Sons, 1999) was awarded “Best Professional Book in English” at the 1999 World Cookbook Fair, Versailles, France. Bergeron’s other awards and honors included being named Chef of the Year by the Connecticut Chefs’ Association, receiving the 2002 gold medal for All Raw Foods Platter at that association’s Culinary Salon, and winning three gold medals at the International Culinary Olympics.

For every Bates student who pledges to eat no animal products on March 20, Bates Dining Services will donate a “plate cost” — around $1.85 — to a local charity to be selected by PEP.