One of New York’s top restaurants is abandoning meat and going vegan after its chef and owner posted a message on its website Monday saying the modern food system was “simply not sustainable” – becoming one of the most high-profile restaurants to do so.
According to CNN, Eleven Madison Park’s most iconic, long-standing dish has been whole roasted duck with daikon and plum. However when the three-Michelin-starred restaurant reopens next month after more than a year, that dish, and many more of its classic dishes will no longer be available.
“I’m excited to share that we’ve made the decision to serve a plant-based menu in which we do not use any animal products — every dish is made from vegetables, both from the earth and the sea, as well as fruits, legumes, fungi, grains, and so much more,” chef and owner Daniel Humm wrote in a statement on the restaurant’s website.
The restaurant’s move reflects a growing trend in the food industry. Last week the cooking website Epicurious announced it would not post new beef recipes out of concern for the damage rearing cattle causes to the environment and how it accelerates the “climate crisis.”
Humm has previously said he believes the future of restaurants is vegan. In an interview with the Financial Times published in March 2020, the Swiss-born chef was asked about the future of restaurants and veganism. “Yes, it’s an absolute yes,” said Humm, “I have thought about going completely vegetarian in the restaurant but it’s a risk”.
Humm had told Bloomberg early on during the pandemic that the restaurant faced possible bankruptcy and the restaurant may never come back. Humm told NPR when the restaurant was forced to close he began thinking more about “health and sustainability”.
“It is time to redefine luxury as an experience that serves a higher purpose and maintains a genuine connection to the community,” he wrote on the restaurant’s website. “A restaurant experience is about more than what’s on the plate. We are thrilled to share the incredible possibilities of plant-based cuisine while deepening our connection to our homes: both our city and our planet.”
Eleven Madison Park is scheduled to open June 10 for dining.