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Faux Meat Fake Out on ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

I don’t know how I missed this, but on an episode of Hell’s Kitchen, Chef Ramsay asked the remaining contestants to identify the missing ingredient in three dishes: chicken parmesan, beef stew, and sausage ravioli. Not one of the chefs could identify the missing ingredient in any of the dishes—meat.

That’s right, Chef Ramsay replaced the chicken and beef with vegetarian Gardein “meats” (available at Whole Foods deli counters and in California and Arizona as the brand It’s All Good), and the sausage with Lightlife’s soy sausage. Even Ben, who claims that he has “the best palate in the world,” couldn’t tell that they were faux meats.

If you’re a fan of these products or Morningstar Farms Meal Starter Strips, this probably isn’t very surprising to you either, since these products taste great and have a convincing texture. As always, I was amused by the show, but definitely not surprised.

You can watch the clip here: Vegetarians Unite!


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  • Mikel Nesler says:

    I have seen few pizza recipe were they fill it with cheese and every time I attempt that the pizzas, the covering breaks up. Let me check how it works using your recipe.

  • Melissa says:

    To: Margaret Lewin

    I wanted to try and help you out a bit with the veggie meals.

    I use morning star ground meat substitute and make Cabbage Soup with it.

    Use vegetable stock for your base: Season to your taste. I use pepper, garlic, onion, carrots, finely chopped cabbage, celery, vegetable boullion, and sea salt.

    Heat up your ground meat substitute and then add to soup when its simmering on low.
    You can serve with corn bread, rolls, garlic bread or anything else that you like. It sounds like it would not be that great but it is very yummy.

    Also, with the pizza:
    I used a Boboli crust
    and a pizza sauce that I made from sundried tomatoes, italian seasoning,olive oil, basil, garlic & onion.
    I blended it in a small blender.
    I sauteed onion, mushrooms and EXTRA FIRM Tofu slightly topped the sauced crust, added fresh sliced tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. Then added small dollops of tofu cream cheese on top baked it in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

    It was very good.

    You can also make stuffed green peppers with the ground meat substitute. Just follow any recipe for that. And use the “faux Meat” instead.

    You can use EXTRA FIRM tofu in many soups also, it works great in stir fry or with fried rice.

    I hope this helps.

  • Sam says:

    Margaret Lewin, as for faux cheese-I HIGHLY recommend Follow Your Heart brand. There’s a pizza place down here that actually uses it. It melts and it tastes great, in fact my sister who is totally nonveg loves it! Follow Your Heart is a GREAT little restaurant in Southern California for anyone planning to visit or who lives there. As for vegan meat I tend to use tofu or *Smart* brand meats, they have a great variety and they taste awesome-I used the sausage to make kabobs for the office Christmas party and everyone ate them up! They couldn’t believe the vegan prepared meat!! If you get the chance pick up a copy of The Garden of Vegan, awesome cook book, lots of tips. Hope this helps 🙂

  • Apple says:

    Go to veggieboards (google it) for advice on veggie-related stuff

  • Amy says:

    Click on the link above the player and you should be able to find the whole episode there.


  • Naye says:

    The clip is not complete? I would of liked to see there reaction when they found out it was faux meat.

    I’m really excited here in Idaho we will be getting a Whole Foods store here and I will get to try the “Its All Good” brand. What I’m still upset about is they don’t carry the Morning Star Brand “Sausage Crumbles” here at any stores it tastes so much better than others.

  • Daily Veg Editor says:

    “allergy to soy alone seems to rule me and others out of vegan… are there with soy or dairy healthy/realistic alternatives?”

    Yes…food. Soy isn’t the only thing with protein in it; pulses, nuts and grains all contain various kinds of protein and many fruits and vegetables contain significant protein as well. If you’re specifically trying to replace milk, try rice milk, cashew milk or any other form on the shelf. Or just don’t have milk.

  • Erin says:

    That’s hilarious!
    By the way, It’s All Good products are really good! I recommend them

  • Bobbie Messina says:

    Hell’s Kitchen may have shown a non-meat dish but the show also showed chasing live chicken’s around and cutting off chicken’s head’s for entertainment. I will not watch this program after I saw this.

  • Stephanie says:

    that’s all good and great and stuff but I hate being told that I can’t view the video from this region

  • Theresa says:

    I hate Lightlife’s soy sausage so I would love to know what he did to that to make it pass those taste buds!! I prefer garden burger’s breakfast patties which are hard for me to find!!!!

  • Theresa Allen says:

    I love this show and very entertained by this episode! I know if you serve a dish and not mention it is vegan/vegetarian ofter the plate will be licked clean. But utter the “V” word and people just pass it by out of fear.


    One comment said it is fake to mimic the taste of animal products. Well what you don’t understand is that veganism is a stand against animal cruelty (as well as for good health)!! So eating something that tastes like chicken is not being fake. However eating a chicken (or any animal) that has been treated inhumanly and then saying you have a compassion for animals is what I would call fake. I do however agree that animal product free food should not be named after animals. I want to eat the soy product because it taste good, not because it will taste like a cooked animal. Last but not least I haven’t found that meat taste good anyway all by itself. It is the seasonings (as well as cooking technique) that make chicken, fish, beef, and so on taste good. So it is actually the seasonings that are copied not the meat itself. Tofu is terrible as is, but with the proper seasonings, or sweetener if you are making dessert….delicious!

  • d matthews says:

    does any one know resources fro people with sepcail diet needs i have mulit restrictons from allergy and migriane

    and allergy to soy alone seems to rule me and others out of vegan.

    cholesterral high cow allergy no cow cheese and little goat./sheep allowed.

    are there with soy or dairy
    healthy/realistic alternatives?

  • Vivianne says:

    My S/O and I watch Hell’s Kitchen all the time and I found this episode really funny and rather insulting.
    While Ramsay is a well known veggie hater, I thought this segment turned out to have the opposite effect than what he was going for!
    He used the faux meats to try and prove how terrible their pallets were but in the end, I feel that all he proved was how great and convincing the products were! He must have picked some good brands because there are a lot of bad ones out there that would have been obvious. He may have made a few new vegetarians by doing this.
    I wish we could get “It’s All Good” where we live. I want the recipes he used in that segment. 🙂

  • Holly says:


    For former meat eaters, eating something that mimics meat may be the only way to avoid eating the real thing. In this sense, it is encouraging change without calling for radicalism which may discourage some from altering their diet at all. In this way, substitute proteins are a great way to “wean”. Furthermore, the only real protein substitute that is minimally processed is tempeh, and it seems to resemble real animal meat the least.


    I would recommend doing so searching online for your answer. There are a TON of recipes online to be found. My favorite way to eat tofu is scrambled and with turmeric in a breakfast burrito with veggies and spices of all kinds. Also, seek out organic and non-gmo soy products. The level of firmness is up to your preferences.

  • JT says:


    I disagree about soft tofu. It’s great for making smoothies and creamy soups and sauces when blended. For cooking, I prefer extra firm, drained and wrapped in a towel to get rid of water. It absorbs flavors better. Cook on high heat to brown, in a nonstick skillet, with a high heat-appropriate oil. Be generous with your seasonings. A good, simple marinade is soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger, and a few drops of sesame oil. Marinate thick matchstick-shaped pieces for a while, roll in sesame seeds, and fry.

  • Margaret Lewin says:

    My vegan son and his family visit often, and I work hard to prepare interesting and tasty meals, practicing weeks before their arrival. BUT – I can’t find decent vegan meat or cheese substitutes (my most recent trial of pizza tasted as though I’d poured boiling water over it: tasteless ‘cheese’ which made the crust soggy, etcadn I know it’ll ruin the vegan risotto etc – ). Can you suggest any good brands sold in New York City?

  • Rose Chilibeck says:

    Just a couple of comments…
    Silken tofu is not “gross”, silken and firm tofu are used for totally different things, ie firm for stir fries etc and silken as an egg replacer (1/4 cup= 1 egg) in baking or in smoothies or as a dip with fruit added. I make awesome chocolate chip cookies with silken tofu.

    Also to Taffy it is not “fake” for vegans to eat soy products that resemble meat, I don’t eat meat as I don’t want to eat unhealthy slaughtered animals. If something is made from veggies/soy than I have no problem eating it as it is good for you and has no cruelty involved. What’s fake is all the meat eaters who say they love animals but scarf down burgers like there is no tomorrow, a cow is a dog is a cat is a bird is a fish….

  • Ivy says:

    Hi, Debbie. Everything Aus Veg says is spot on, but silken tofu is great in desserts–like pudding and stuff like that.

  • Aus Veg says:


    Hi Debbie! I cook with tofu all the time so I’d be happy to give you some tips.

    * In a stir fry always use peanut oil never olive.
    * When marinating make sure you leave it for at least 2 hours or so.
    * Never buy silken tofu. Its gross! Always buy firm or really hard tofu. My aunty is Chinese and a very good cook. She tends to use the hard one in stirt fries because it stays togethor. I tend to just use the firm stuff. It’s really up to you and what you like.

    Hope thats helped!

    Aus Veg

  • Taffy says:

    It seems “fake” to me that many of the vegan/vegetarian products mimic the very thing that is disdained/avoided. (i.e. animal products)

  • Jenny says:

    I’m not a fan of GR so I didn’t catch this episode, but I was sure he was a bit of a veggie-hater so I’m surprised he did this at all! (I have a bit of an anti-veggie friend who adores GR so I may have to forward this clip to her!)

  • Debbie Woodward says:

    I would like to start using tofu and was wondering if I could get some ideas on how to cook with it insted of meat. I have bought it a few times but never knew what to do with it. Any suggestions??/