My super friend, vegan journalist, speaker and Australian based author Katrina Fox and I had a wonderful time at the media launch of ‘Cucina Verde’ Carluccio’s veggie pop up – and the launch of new veg*n items on the Carluccio’s menu. The food was delicious and it was wonderful talking to the journalists there including one of the editors of Sainsbury’s Magazine and The Daily Mail… and talking everything vegan of course! 
Co host, passionate foodie journalist and author Anna Barnett was wonderful too and we chatted about being vegan and how much more choice there is now. 
With the number of vegans in Britain having risen by more than 360% in the past decade and with around one in every 118 people giving up meat*, it’s safe to say going meat-free is no longer a niche diet for the conscientious few.
In response to this ever-growing demand for more vegan choices and according to Carluccio’s a more “flexitarian approach to dining”, Carluccio’s is getting a green makeover this month with its first ever exclusively veg*n pop-up, featuring dishes from Antonio Carluccio, in collaboration with food blogger and writer Anna Barnett.
For four consecutive Mondays until the 13th November the Cucina Verde will be popping-up on the first floor of Carluccio’s flagship restaurant on Covent Garden’s Garrick Street. Spaces are limited so make sure you book!
Taking vegetables from humble sides to championing elements, the entire first floor of the Covent Garden restaurant will be converted into a meatless dining experience, with eye-catching displays of key ingredients reflecting the quality and provenance of the produce.
The first national restaurant group in the UK to launch such an initiative, the Cucina Verde marks the arrival of Carluccio’s Autumn/Winter menu which features one of the largest selections of vegan and vegetarian dishes of any nationwide restaurant group.
Antonio Carluccio told us: “Vegetables are very important in Italian food culture and are often the stars of the show, it’s not uncommon for dishes to be exclusively plant-based. Our new Autumn Winter menu takes vegetables and makes them the main event in many of Carluccio’s new dishes.”

Suitable for vegans, autumn/winter menu choices include crostini al funghi, sautéed mushrooms and kale in garlic and chilli on toasted ciabatta; the traditional Puglian dish with a vegan twist of polpette di pane featuring meatless bread balls of semi-dried tomatoes, garlic, capers and rustica olives in a tomato sauce on spaghetti and orecchiette al cavoflore with cauliflower purée, sautéed kale, chilli and roasted turmeric cauliflower florets.
Other vegetarian choices, all of which can be adapted for vegans, include the vibrant zucca con verdure arrostite – roasted butternut squash and vegetables with pine nuts and garlic herb breadcrumbs and pasta e fagioli, a traditional thick soup of pasta, borlotti beans and tomatoes from northern Italy.
We were impressed that all drinks are clearly labelled as vegan friendly – including the wines. Wonderful that they offer soya milk too! However one thing that would make this an even better vegan dining experience would be offering more than just sorbet for the vegan dessert. 
Yes we are looking forward to going back… the menu is stunning and getting to meet Antonio Carluucio and thank him for offering more vegan choices was fantastic.
* From a poll of almost 10,000 people, carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Vegan Society and Vegan Life magazine, May 2016. Carluccio’s – – Carluccio’s 2a Garrick Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9BH