wholesale aprons

Green cuisine is by far the fastest area of growth in the dining world, with restaurants focusing their attention on sustainably sourced wholesale aprons, food, accouterments and working towards minimizing waste wherever they can.

The modern history of vegetarian fine dining can be traced back to the pioneering work of Alain Passard’s L'Arpege in the early 2000s, who got bored with cooking meat and built his Michelin Star Dishes around vegetables from his organic vegetable gardens.

A century before this, however, a restaurant based in Zurich, Switzerland became the first of its kind to put vegetables center stage.

While unlikely to be the oldest place where only vegetarian food is served, Haus Hiltl was originally the “Vegetable and Abstinence Cafe” (Vegetaria AG), founded by a group of Germans residing in Zurich.

It was initially unsuccessful, the Vegetariarheim struggled to get past the stereotypes in Switzerland at the time that described vegetarians as “grazers”.

However, the fortunes of the cafe changed when a fellow German tailor by the name of Ambrosius Hiltl found that a vegetarian diet helped reduce the effects of his rheumatism, something a 2022 randomized trial seemed to suggest as well.

The diet was proposed by the pioneering nutritionist Maximilian Birtcher-Benner, better known as the man who popularized muesli. Noticing that the Vegetiarierheim was struggling, he took it over and turned it into a vegetarian restaurant under the name Haus Hiltl.

Since then it has remained open and family-owned, revamping the menu but staying true to its roots as a vegetarian restaurant. Taking advantage of vegetarian culinary traditions such as Indian cuisine, the restaurant has continued to evolve and diversify its menu.

According to the current owners, 80 per cent of the people who dine at Hiltl are not vegetarian but find the food so compelling and delicious that they return again and again.

Ultimately, there are lessons in survival for over a century of a vegetarian restaurant, particularly when some restaurants feel the pressure to compromise their principles to survive in tough financial times.

June 16, 2024 — Jake Blakey