East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Sunday, 9 May 2021

Humming the right tune? Star chef goes vegan

Would you pay US$335 per person for a vegan meal?

I wouldn't. 

But leading US chef Daniel Humm has unveiled plans to turn his three-Michelin-star New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park (above) into a vegan venue.

As reported by Food and Wine, Swiss-born Humm has said that EMP is going entirely vegan, making it one of only two three-star restaurants in the world to refrain from serving meat, seafood or dairy. The other is King’s Joy in Beijing.

Eleven Madison Park will reopen on June 10 with a 100% vegan tasting menu.

Which, given the cost of most fruits and vegetables means Humm will be making massive profit margins. 

“Guests have never come to us to just eat a piece of steak or a lobster, they’ve always come to us to be on a journey," Humm told US media. 

Perhaps a journey to millionaire status for him and poverty for his customers. 

“Of course it’s about deliciousness in the end," Humm said. "We want to create a restaurant that meat eaters will be blown away by eating vegetables.” 

The only exceptions to the eatery's plant-based rule will be milk and honey for coffee and tea, though meat will be served via the venue’s private dining service.

So it is not about principles. Perhaps it is about headlines. 

Last year Humm helped feed frontline workers in New York during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have to change the model of what our restaurant is; our whole business model has to change," Humm says. "Our practices of animal production, what we’re doing to the oceans, the amount we consume: It is not sustainable.

“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. This could change the world.” 

So maybe it is about ego. 

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