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Chef Takes Last-Minute Order: A Vegan Golden Globes Dinner


OK. For this last story, imagine you're a chef planning a dinner for more than a thousand people. You've been working on the menu for almost a year. And then, with less than two weeks to go, you're told, different menu.


MARTIN: It's like one of those chef reality shows on TV but with a lot more at stake. That's what happened to the chef in charge of tonight's dinner at the Golden Globes awards ceremony. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organizes the film and TV Awards Gala each year, announced just this past week that it had changed the menu for the event, which is being held at The Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., to completely vegan.

The Beverly Hilton's executive chef, Matthew Morgan, got a little more notice but not much. He says he found out about the change just a few days before Christmas.

MATTHEW MORGAN: At first, it was a little shocking, but we were happy to make that change. We thought that it's - you know, it's going to be a good story for one. And, you know, I really believe in what we're trying to represent and what we're trying to accomplish - the message that we're sending

MARTIN: The message, according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is to raise awareness about climate change and the role of animal agriculture as a major source of greenhouse gases. Luckily for Morgan and his team, they already had a vegan alternate dish planned. They just had to make a little more of it for tonight.

MORGAN: You know, we had planned out to get, you know, a certain amount. But we were planning for maybe 150 to 200 plates rather than 13,000 plates.

MARTIN: The new vegan main dish is called king oyster mushroom scallops. But don't worry - it is completely seafood-free.

MORGAN: They're such a hearty, meaty mushroom that it actually has a similar consistency to scallops as well. I think some of it is also it's - they look so much like scallops that your mind kind of tricks you a little bit, and you actually think they are scallops.

MARTIN: We asked Morgan about how much of an impact this menu change could really have. He told us it's not just about this one menu.

MORGAN: But if, you know, the message gets out there, and, you know, other people make changes as well, then - you know, then that's when we can really have an impact on the whole environment.

MARTIN: That was Matthew Morgan, executive chef at The Beverly Hilton hotel, which is hosting the Golden Globes tonight. As for next year's menu, Morgan says he'll start planning for that as soon as tonight's ceremony is over. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.