Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

What do vegan chefs eat when they’re hungover?

16/01/2023

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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We’ve all grappled with the self-inflicted turmoil that a hangover can bring, and we all have our own culinary rituals to try and pull ourselves out of it. For some, the only answer is carbs, and plenty of them, too. Others will reach for the Nutribullet and attempt to drown their sorrows in a glass of blended greens, and then there are those who can only manage a Pot Noodle, if anything at all. 

Here at Twisted, we couldn’t help but wonder just how predictable everyone’s hungover meal really is. Would it be accurate to assume that all burger chefs crave the finest slab of meat, for instance, or do some nurture a secret McDonald’s habit, or even go against all their daily instincts and opt for a salad? 

Everyone has a meal that pulls them out of a hangover (Credit: Alamy)

In a bid for answers, this franchise speaks to groups of people from around the globe, and seeks to discover if they have the same hankerings as their peers, or if hangover cravings really *are* different for everyone. 

First up we spoke to pizza chefs, fusion chefs and Thanksgiving turkey farmers (whose answers might surprise you!) – but next, we thought we’d chat to some stars of the vegan world.

What do vegan chefs eat when they’re hungover?

What makes this Hangin’ With such an interesting one is that plant-based meals can take a whole banner of different shapes and forms, from a soya burger to hearty vegetable curries, stews and… well, just about anything, really.

For Veganuary, we spoke to the people behind three revered vegan restaurants here in the UK and asked them what they reach for when they’re hungover and hungry. Whilst their answers vary, what unites them is that they all sound utterly delicious.

Fancy giving up the sausage, egg and bacon and trying one of these meals after your next night out? 

Rob, Matilda and Nish – team at En Root, South-London

Rob, Matilda and Nish from En Root (Credit: En Root)

What’s your ultimate hangover food and why?

Rob: “Hard to look past a fry up for me. I’m going for veggie sausage, garlic mushrooms, avo, hash browns, scrambled ackee with peppers and a buttered slice of toasted baguette straight from a Parisian bakery.”

Matilda: “Right, hungover, my go to is a big plate of greens with chilli garlic ginger get the brain kick-started into action. Hopefully accompanied by a glass of kombucha, gifted by my scobi I have in the kitchen. Maybe a cheeky beer to drown the fear.”

Nish: “Firstly let me sip a fresh cut Jelly Coconut to wake up the mind and wash out the heart! 

Then a balanced meal of stodge, warmth & cream is my dream. So in walks… Dhal & Avocado on a Crumpet! Plus jelly coconut obvs.” 

Talk us through the setup

Rob: “When I’m hanging, being near water is a must so the beach is my shout. I also need some stimulation to keep my mind off the beer fear so my props are going to be a speaker playing light and upbeat tunes (reggae, soul something like that) and a really easy crossword to make me feel like I’ve restored some brain cells.”

Matilda: “As long as I have some cosy socks and some lovely tunes I’m a happy lady.”

Nish: “Comfort is the key and music is a must! So a relaxing place and space would be where I need to be and if a hammock isn’t around then get me a sofa and global sounds with word, sound & power.”

What item on your own menu would you advise hungover customers to order?

Rob: “Our Rani Health Bowl is light but filling and has THE loudest dip known to man; Baba Ganesh. 

It’s basically En Root’s version of baba ganoush and the smokiness is too loud. Then you’ve got plantain, curried chickpeas, sprouts and salad. What’s not to love? 

The Rani Kebab is basically all that plus falafel and then wrapped in a Naan. Tricky tricky, big decisions…”

Matilda: “En Root in general provides the best hangover cure, the nutritionally packed food matched with the cosy in house vibes is the magic elixir.  

Menu wise, Jelly coco to start and then pretty much any food on the menu will be making you feel right as rain. 

However, one of my favourites would have to be the Full Indian. Daily Dhal, Grilled Mushrooms, Saag Aloo, Pakora, Plantain, Avocado & Paratha… I mean wow, what more could you ask for?”

Nish: “En Root’s aim & intention is to get people back to the best version’s of themselves. 

Plenty of hangover cures in the building. My best picks would be a Para-Taco for that cosy feel good or a Masala Dosa for a light, fermented guaranteed fix up-look sharp medicine. 

Ohhh and a fresh Jelly Coconut as an absolute must… don’t forget the Jelly flesh for the electrolytes!”

Filippo Rosato, Co-founder and Executive Chef of Purezza (UK Wide)

Purezza’s head chef Filippo Rosato (Credit: Purezza/ Instagram)

What’s your ultimate hangover food and why?

“I have always been the greatest pizza eater, even before I was a pizza chef, and still now can never say now to a good succulent slice – even though I work with pizzas all the time!

But for a hangover day there is [one thing] that makes me completely happy and satisfied to eat and is guaranteed to make me feel at least a little recovered; a vegan Pad See Ew vegan with veggies and spongy tofu. 

The plate is really clean and the combination between veggies and tofu soaked in that salty dark sauce is sublime. I also love the combination of texture between crunchy and soft. The nice flat chunky rice noodles make me feel lighter and full at the same time.

I also love to get with it a nice, very cold Coke. I’m not a Coke drinker usually, but I make an exception for a hangover. It seems to help.”

Talk us through the setup

“I am lucky that I have a small Thai shop right by my house, which makes a hangover takeaway nice and easy! That being said, if the hangover is really severe I will call in a Deliveroo. 

Set up is pretty easy: at home with my girlfriend with a movie or series from Netflix on. Eating straight from the packaging with, obviously, chopsticks. I LOVE TO EAT ASIAN FOOD WITH CHOPSTICKS.”

What item on your own menu would you advise hungover customers to order?

“I appreciate that many people on a hangover day decide to eat pizza. Its no coincidence New Year’s Day is the busiest day of the year for our pizzerias on takeaway. The Deliveroo tablet goes crazy!

I love to be a point or reference for our hangover friends. Our menu has enough choice for those that want to be healthier when hungover right through to anyone looking to literally absorb all the alcohol from the day before by way of pizza dough!

Personally, I would recommend the ‘all the seasons’ pizza. Basically, it’s a Margherita based pizza topped with our alternative vegan mozzarella cheese and finished with smoked sliced beetroot, Kalimantan olives, artichoke quarters and wild marinated mushrooms.

It’s a simple purely veggies pizza, with fresh ingredients that won’t fight with your likely delicate stomach.”

George and Jess, Co-founders of Omni-Collective, South London

George and Jess front up Omni-Collective (Omni-Collective/ Instagram)

What’s your ultimate hangover food and why?

George: “My dream hangover meal is dim sum. I want loads of food, that’s really my main priority. Jess and I have a Cantonese restaurant opposite our flat and any hangover begins by travelling the longest 10 metre hike across the road.

They don’t have loads of vegan options but in an ideal world where the whole menu was vegan versions of the classics I’d need cheung fun – a filled noodle roll and maybe my favourite food in the world. 

I get two types generally, a fried dough one and a beancurd roll filled with “monk’s” veg version. I also want some sort of dumplings, steamed crystal dumplings or mushroom Siu Mai, some sort of filled bao isn’t essential but is always great.”

Jess: “I need to take it a little slower than George and can never manage too much food. I’ve started to crave dim sum too though; initially George has to prop me up as we walk across the road as I’m super fragile, but by the end I’m back feeling relatively okay. 

There’s something about the spice and the umami that shakes me back into normality a bit.”

Talk us through the setup

George: “Im not too fussed about being horizontal when I’m hungover and with dim sum I wouldn’t want to slob out, despite the ridiculous amount of food I intend to eat. 

What I need is a classic Chinese restaurant, paper tablecloths, because I’m gonna make a mess. 

I’m happy to be social when I’m hungover, more people means more food being ordered so anyone is welcome, Jess is the minimum requirement though. I don’t want to be alone. I also want a beer instead of the tradition of tea. And then I want just enough energy to muster a dog walk afterward.”

Jess: “I’d definitely prefer to be horizontal with it and order a takeout but we always turn it into an occasion and by the end I’m chuffed we’ve made the tiny effort to stagger across the road and eat in”.

What item on your own menu would you advise hungover customers to order?

George: “Our menu is pretty good for a hangover, I’d say. Firstly, because we offer set menu you don’t need to worry about choice. It’s 10 plates so you should come hungry and for the hair of the dog our cocktails are interesting and delicious too.

Our last course includes “1000 layer” potatoes with shiitake ketchup, fried oyster mushroom sliders, so it’s essentially an upmarket KFC style burger and chips. 

Before I went vegan, fried chicken was one of my favourite foods and the slider gives me the same satisfaction.”

Jess: “For me it’d be our mushroom shawarma. It’s not as daunting as 10 plates on a hangover but it’s still pretty hearty. It’s on our lunch menu and is big, filled with crunchy veg, feels kind of dirty but it’s full of all the good stuff”. 

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