NYC's bougiest restaurant goes completely vegan

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Eleven Madison Park, one of the world’s most acclaimed restaurants, has announced its menu is going vegan, according to a statement by chef-owner Daniel Humm on Monday.

In an exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal, the Swiss-born chef said, “If Eleven Madison Park is truly at the forefront of dining and culinary innovation, to me it’s crystal clear that this is the only place to go next.”

The relaunched menu is described as “an eight- to 10-course menu in the main dining room consisting of entirely plant-based dishes,” according to their website. The three-Michelin star restaurant at 24th Street and Madison in Manhattan will reopen for service on June 10 after shutting down during the pandemic.

Humm admitted that their tradition of offering milk and honey service with coffee and tea would still be provided, noting that they wouldn’t technically be 100% vegan.

The move sets a whole new precedent in the world of fine dining, where few have been bold enough to commit to plant-based ingredients. Earlier this year, French restaurant ONA, an acronym for origine non-animale (“animal-free origin”), in Arès near Bordeaux, was the first of its kind in the nation to receive its first Michelin star. Last year, New York City’s vegetarian eatery NIX also earned the coveted honors — just before closing due to pandemic setbacks.

Humm told NPR that he began thinking more earnestly about health and sustainability while the restaurant was closed last year.

“The way we have sourced our food, the way we’re consuming our food, the way we eat meat, it is not sustainable,” he said. The 45-year-old restauranteur also helped to feed out-of-work and underprivileged families across the city last year, an enterprise that has continued into 2021.

Despite the average $500 price tag on a meal at Eleven Madison Park, Humm assured that the culinary experience would remain top-notch.

“Guests have never come to us to just eat a piece of steak or lobster,” he told NPR. “They’ve always come to us to be on a journey.”

As always, Humm added, “Of course, it’s about deliciousness in the end.”

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