One of the top restaurants in the world just went entirely meatless as the owner of Eleven Madison Park and celebrated chef Daniel Humm embarks on a mission to protect the environment one plant-powered plate at a time.
On Monday, Michelin-starred Manhattan restaurant Eleven Madison Park announced their reopening for indoor dining with the fantastic news that they’re no longer going to have meat on the menu.
“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.
We’ve been working tirelessly to immerse ourselves in this cuisine. It’s been an incredible journey, a time of so much learning. We are continuing to work with local farms that we have deep connections to, and with ingredients known to us, but we have found new ways to prepare them and to bring them to life.
I find myself most moved and inspired by dishes that center impeccably-prepared vegetables, and have naturally gravitated towards a more plant-based diet. This decision was inspired by the challenge to get to know our ingredients more deeply, and to push ourselves creatively. It wasn’t clear from the onset where we would end up. We promised ourselves that we would only change direction if the experience would be as memorable as before.” – David Humm
This news comes at a time when more restaurants than ever are switching to mostly or entirely plant-based menus for the sake of the environment, animals, and humanity. But this is a first for an established iconic restaurant with three Michelin stars that has long served meat-heavy dishes—including notoriously animal un-friendly fare like veal and foie gras.
This wholehearted embrace of a plant-based menu is setting a trend will almost certainly pave the way for more fine dining establishments to take leaps in a more sustainable, ethical, and plant-inspired direction.
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Is Eleven Madison Park Going Fully Vegan?
Close, but not entirely. Eleven Madison Park will feature dishes made entirely of plants, but they do plan to still include non-vegan milk and honey for tea and coffee on the menu. Meat, fish, cheese, and other dairy products, however, are fully off the table.
What’s on the New Menu?
While Eleven Madison Park’s old menu consisted of dishes rich in animal products such as poached lobster and lavender honey glazed duck, their new plant-forward menu will feature a deeply fascinating array of vegan dishes.
“My goal is to create these beautiful dishes, give people beautiful experiences; unexpected, surprising experiences that make you feel satisfied, as a meal with meat would.” – Daniel Humm
Rice porridge with celtuce, a brightly flavorful beet dish, and an amaranth-seed-and-sweet-pea served with a creamy fermented-almond cream and pea-miso purée are what can be expected on the new menu, according to an article from Grub Street. The beet dish reportedly takes sixteen hours to bring out a range of flavors from the almighty root vegetable!
Creating a More Sustainable Future
Chef Daniel Humm had a realization during his restaurant’s pause that the current food system is not sustainable. Animal agriculture is the main culprit for climate change and has also had devastating effects on local communities, who are often extremely marginalized.
By replacing meat dishes with plant dishes, Eleven Madison Park is proving that restaurants can do their part to create a more sustainable world.
Every Meal Helps Fight Food Insecurity
Additionally, Eleven Park Madison will be partnering with Rethink Food to provide five meals to food-insecure New Yorkers for every dinner purchased as a way to give back to the community!
From their homepage, chef Daniel Humm details how his relationship to food and the greater community have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eleven Madison Park team is working tirelessly to craft a range of plant-based dishes that incorporate legumes, fungi, vegetables, and more.
Putting Plants First
Plant-based foods are some of the most versatile on the planet. There are countless ways to prepare mushrooms, vegetables, grains, and fruits. There are also myriads of benefits, too. Here are just a few of the reasons why leaving meat off the menu is better for everyone:
- Fewer Animals Harmed – When an entire restaurant switches to a plant-based menu, that means they are no longer being supplied with raw meat or seafood. This equates to less animals being harmed than before!
- More Options for Diners – Dropping meat off the menu means that patrons who are vegan, vegetarian, or kosher will have more options for dining. This is also great if you’re looking to impress a special someone with just how great plant-based foods can be!
- Redefining Luxury – Michelin-starred restaurants are among some of the finest in the world and Eleven Madison Park is considered to be one of the very best. As they move to mostly feature plant-based foods, they are setting a precedent for other restaurants, acclaimed or not, to leave meat far behind. It is also worth noting that plant-based menus in the world of fine dining are extremely rare.
- Lower Operating Costs – As restaurants around the globe are trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many are looking to cut costs however they can. Whole plant foods are cheaper, have a longer shelf life, and don’t carry many of the food safety risks that animal products do.
Plant-Based Dining for the Foodiest of Foodies
With a tasting menu that is priced at $335, visiting Eleven Park Madison may warrant a very special occasion. If you happen to be able to make a visit to taste the incredible new menu at Eleven Park Madison while you’re in New York City, please let us know!
Article written by Amanda Meth for World of Vegan, all rights reserved. This post is not sponsored, and we only share products and companies we sincerely adore!