Today, more hungry customers are biting into vegan dishes than ever. Menu items like a lentil-chickpea veggie burger smothered in avocado and topped with grilled portabella mushrooms are the new classic juicy double sirloin burger, loaded with crispy bacon, fried egg, drowned in gooey cheddar. If both burgers are bursting with flavor then why are we noticing more people, food brands, and restaurants leaning toward the vegan option?
Studies show veganism is rising at an accelerated rate, impacting more consumers and businesses day by day. The idea of following a strictly plant-based diet has been around for years. However, as society shifts to a more health-conscious outlook, we see this particular diet becoming mainstream. A few years ago, it was rare to find a vegan restaurant in New York City. Now, as the city lives up to its diverse food culture, many tasty vegan eateries are popping up on the map. With this vegan trend escalating to new levels, even prized Michelin restaurants are taking the risk and entertaining cooking up gourmet plants! Yes, you read that correctly. A delicacy of savory herbs, sweet veggies, dense grains, and even an edible flower garnish will be the entree at your next New York City fine dining experience.
The two New York Michelin star restaurants Gauthier Soho, chef Alexis Gauthier, and Eleven Madison Park, chef Daniel Humm, recently shared that they will re-open this June with a completely new menu – one without a trace of animal products. Because Gauthier is a vegan and Humm is heavily vegetarian, both were inspired to introduce this eating perspective to their reputable restaurants. With such a large change to their businesses, this drastic transition from meat-focused menus may conversely bring about the loss of loyal customers and harm these acclaimed restaurants. Humm mentioned his fear of deserting recipes that defined him, but he’s also confident his dishes will deliver and go beyond consumers’ expectations. However, Gauthier and Humm aren’t the first restaurants to use their culinary ingenuity and creativity in a vegan kitchen. In fact, just this past January, Michelin awarded a star to ONA, the first Michelin Star vegan restaurant in France. Thus it’s promising this trendy twist will be popular amongst New Yorkers. With veganism becoming a way of life rather than merely a trend it seems these chefs are making a wise and progressive decision to cook in a plant-based kitchen. Hopefully loyal New Yorker customers will expand their palate to explore a new sensation that is far from bland but rather robust in flavor, diverse in texture, and vibrant in display.
As a vegan, it was important to Gauthier to cook up what he practices in his prized restaurant, Gauthier Soho. Yes, even the die-hard French chefs who were trained to make succulent duck confit are ditching the animal-based recipes and surprising diners with delicious alternatives. Before switching over to an entirely plant-based menu, Gauthier already successfully transformed the classic meat foie gras into a faux gras made with wholesome lentils and crunchy walnuts. Most would say this was equally as delicious if not better than the classic meat recipe. It may seem strange to browse a menu without your favorite steaks, escargot, and creams but if chefs like Gauthier and Humm have proven their skills to wow consumers with gourmet strip steak “au poivre” and eggs benedict with smoked ham, imagine what creative plant-based concoction they can serve up. While neither menu has been published, Gauthier Soho gave a sneak peak of the new menu which will feature summer truffle tortellini, harissa cauliflower, golden fennel boulangère, and a very dark chocolate tart. Light, savory, healthy and a pinch of sweetness? It sounds like a delicious summer meal to complement a day in Soho. Serving only the highest quality plant products the food is bound to be delectable but what more to look forward to is the vibrant displays. Michelin star restaurants are celebrated for complex food presentation and food plating. Working with an array of plant pigments your eyes will feast on edible artwork. The EatNom team is ready to book their Michelin vegan dining experience!