Paris 2024 Olympics: A Vegetarian Fare At This Sporting Event

The global shift towards vegetarian and sustainable eating practices has gained momentum recently. This transformation was prominently highlighted at the successful G-20 Summit 2023 held in Delhi, where plant-based and vegetarian cuisines took centre stage. The emphasis on millet-based dishes underscored the importance of sustainable and healthy eating. This trend is not limited to India alone. France, a country renowned for its culinary traditions deeply rooted in meat-based dishes, is undergoing a transformation. As the host of the 2024 Olympic Games, the country is steering towards a more vegetarian-centric approach. This transition is particularly significant as it involves top chefs who are responsible for catering to a diverse and international audience during the event. 

According to reports, acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Akrame Benallal features a wide array of meat dishes like steaks and burgers in his restaurant offerings. However, his signature dish for the Games will be a serving of muesli accompanied by quinoa. He expressed his commitment to ensuring that all guests are catered to, regardless of their dietary preferences or restrictions. He aims to provide for a diverse range of diners, including those who follow kosher, halal, Christian, and Buddhist dietary practices, among others. Chef Benallal's goal is to offer a satisfying culinary experience to everyone, with a menu that accommodates various cultural and religious dietary requirements when serving the considerable volume of 40,000 meals daily. “It's vegetables that unite everyone," he added.  

Another one involved in this initiative is Alexandre Mazzia, a former professional basketball player. He is curating recipes that center around ingredients like chickpeas, peas, and smoked beetroot, as well as smoked fish paired with chard. Their collaboration is with a prominent food conglomerate, Sodexo Live!, responsible for managing the restaurants. The primary objective is to reduce the ecological impact of its menu while reducing the carbon footprint.  

According to reports, Sodexo Live! asserts that approximately 33% of the protein content in their extensive menu of 500 dishes will be derived from plant-based sources. Among their notable offerings, one of their signature dishes will feature a green lentil dal sourced from the Paris region, served with skyr (a variety of yoghurt), garnished with coriander, and drizzled with corn oil.