Cauliflower - Key - ©

Cauliflower Blues Take II: Resto Impacts

I recently posted a perspective piece on the impact of persistent bad weather on the supply (and cost) of fresh veggies from warmer climes. That piece focused on the infamous “$8 Cauliflower” headlines a couple of weeks back. Now, the shock wave has hit the restaurants…

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Sprouts - © vegetarianperspective.wordpress.comWhole Roasted Cauliflower with a side of co-roasted Brussels Sprouts. This is the sort
of veggie dish that warms my heart. But now, with Cauliflower prices pushing $10
a head, it may no longer be a viable menu option, at home or dining out…

Some Canadian restaurants are cringing under the skyrocketing price of fresh veggies – the restos that feature Cauliflower dishes on their trendy or traditional-ethnic menus. And proprietors are caught in a Catch 22 situation: pass on massive cost increases to customers or cut some of their most popular dishes from the menu?

The Canadian Press reports that Toronto restaurants which have decided to tough out the cost hikes have had to double the price of their signature Cauliflower dishs. One eatery that featured a whole, baked head of Cauliflower used to sell as many as it could make at $18 a plate. Now, it would have to charge over $40 for the same serving. Chef Kevin Gilmour told CP he’s cut Cauliflower from the menu and replaced it with a less costly, more available, equally-roastable veggie: Acorn Squash. Other Chefs are pondering the potential of root veggies such as Fennel to fill the gap left as Cauliflower eliminates itself from the running.

Readers please note…

Fennel is a root veggie. Acorn Squash is something we grow in Canada and it’s a ‘winter’ Squash; a veggie in the same class as Potatoes, Onions, Apples and other things we grow a lot of here at home and store over the winter, using them as we need them. That helps keep the cost stable. Wait… Didn’t I say that in my previous post?

Chef Gilmour confirms that prices of just about all veggies are following hot on the heels of Cauliflower. Look for Celery, Cucumbers and Tomatoes to disappear from restaurant menus as the winter wears on.


We, as consumers, can help ourselves by taking a longer, broader look at the cornucopia of offerings in our local supermarkets’ produce departments. Experiment with new veggies, just like the top Chefs are doing, and you’ll come out ahead in the Great Veggie Price Race!

~ Maggie J.