The Golden Globes Go Vegan This Year

CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons / jdeeringdavis

A last-minute menu change has switched out fish for mushrooms.

The 77th annual Golden Globes is set to take place this coming Sunday, January 5, but guests may be in for a surprise. The dinner, held before the award ceremony, will feature a vegan menu, which the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) says is an attempt to "raise environmental awareness about food consumption and waste."

The change was made only two weeks before the event and surprised the Beverly Hilton hotel, which is hosting. HFPA president Lorenzo Soria said,

"People were basically saying it’s too late, we’re ready with all the orders, the holidays and all that. But after we began discussions, meeting for one or two days, (the hotel) accepted the change completely. They started to experiment with how to do plant-based meals that was not just their symbolic steps, but also something that guests will enjoy.”

The menu sounds delicious – a chilled golden beet soup with chervil and amaranth as appetizer and king oyster mushrooms that have been cooked to resemble scallops (the original menu featured fish), served on a wild mushroom risotto with roasted baby purple carrots, Brussels sprouts, and pea tendrils. Dessert is a vegan version of opera cake. (I had to google this: "Layers of almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, layered with ganache and coffee buttercream, and covered in a chocolate glaze," according to Wikipedia.)

Apparently the Italian chef at the Beverly Hilton was skeptical about making risotto without cheese, but a taste-test by Soria said the result was delicious.

The move to a vegan meal has garnered support among celebrities who follow a plant-based diet. Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio both expressed their support on Twitter. Ruffalo wrote,

"Our industry leads by example. Vegetarian food is delicious and healthy and reduces greenhouse gasses about as much as driving electric cars. The HFPA should be commended for this and all the other awards shows should follow suit."

The Golden Globes event, which just a year ago partnered with Fiji Water, has also switched to Icelandic Glacial water served in glass bottles. (Why California water doesn't cut it, I'm not sure, but less plastic is always a good thing.)

Soria believes the vegan meal will get people thinking, and no doubt it will. "We don’t think we'll change the world with one meal, but we decided to take small steps to bring awareness. The food we eat, the way it is processed and grown and disposed of, all of that contributes to the climate crisis."