TGI Fridays exec chef Terry McDowell works kitchen magic to create ‘inclusive’ menu

Restaurant chain TGI Fridays is known for its American grills, including hand-crafted burgers and fall-off-the-bone glazed ribs.

But for the first time the group’s kitchens are offering a range of vegan options aimed at bringing new flavours to those who prefer to live the vegan lifestyle.

Terry McDowell, head of food and drink at TGI Fridays UK, was given the task of creating the made-to-order dishes as part of a strategy to widen its range that also included coming up with new healthier eating dishes.

The vegan range includes smoked tomato bruschetta and avocado houmous, as well as roasted veg alfredo pasta and garlic vegetable fajitas featuring edamame beans and ‘Scorpion’ sauce.

TGI said it was “vegan food, but not as you know it”, with the chain putting its own spin and famous flavours on the vegan trend. The menu will be rolled out nationwide across all 82 of its stores.

In addition, Fridays has also launched a new range of dishes under 600 calories, for those looking for a healthier option when dining. Choices include the cajun cream pasta and the crispy noodle salad – both available with chicken or prawns.

Mr McDowell said: “Fridays has always been on the cusp of new food trends in the UK, and we felt the time was right to put a focus on new vegan items on our menu to cater to the ever-increasing demand. Fridays is all about being inclusive and the latest menu change allows us to cater to everyone who wants to try Fridays’ famous, bold flavours.”

In order to ensure carnivores haven’t been left out in the new menu, TGI has rolled out a limited edition ‘Rib Tickler’ flame-grilled beef burger topped with pork rib and coated in mustard BBQ sauce. The burger is available nationwide until July 3.

The launch of the new menu coincides with TGI announcing that it will be donating crockery including 10,000 plates to hunger and food waste charity FareShare.

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