Top NYC chef explains switching Eleven Madison Park to all-vegan menu

Eleven Madison Park, one of many metropolis’s priciest eating places, is betting the farm — and seeds, roots and fungi — on an all-vegan menu when it reopens on June 10. Goodbye, our favourite lavender and honey-roasted duck and mushroom butter-poached lobster! 

It’s an epicurean upheaval by chef/proprietor Daniel Humm, who’s presided over the three-Michelin-starred eatery’s kitchen since 2006. EMP clients have been used to meaty masterpieces from land and sea as a part of a $335 prix fixe tasting menu. 

The new menu may also value $335 (together with tip) for 12 programs, in contrast with eight to 10 pre-pandemic. It shall be 100% “plant-based” with “vegetables, both from the earth and the sea, as well as fruits, legumes, fungi, grains, and so much more,” Humm wrote to clients on Monday. 

“Plant-based” means no milk, cream or cheese, both — dairy merchandise which cooks usually use on merely vegetarian menus to make dishes style and really feel extra like — take a guess — meat and fish. (The solely exception at EMP shall be milk and honey obtainable with espresso and tea). 

Is EMP’s new animal-averse method woke? Or is it a joke, given {that a} mere 0.5 p.c of the US grownup inhabitants identifies as vegan? 

Eleven Madison Park
Eleven Madison Park’s new all-vegan menu will value $335 (together with tip) for 12 programs.
Gary He

EMP has modified colours over time like a culinary chameleon. It redesigned its eating room twice. It went from à la carte to prix fixe. It launched a baffling “grid” menu a couple of years in the past. 

Swiss chef/co-owner Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park in New York
Swiss chef/co-owner Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park says the menu shall be 100% “plant-based.”
MARCO GROB/AFP/Getty Images

For a quick time, waiters delivered historical past spiels and carried out card tips for diners who simply wished to eat. 

But vegan-ization is the most important departure by far — and a positive method to set off a buzz as Eleven Madison Park reopens for in-house dining for the primary time since March 2020. 

Humm wrote in his letter that in the course of the pandemic, “We realized that not only has the world changed, but that we have changed as well . . . it was becoming ever clearer that the current food system is simply not sustainable in so many ways.” 

He instructed The Post on Monday: “I might inform you it will be quite a bit simpler to reopen the restaurant we had earlier than. This is a scary factor for us. 

“But it’s crystal clear that the meals system — the best way we produce meals, eat meals — so many points are damaged. 

“It’s time to present a plant-based method ahead that’s artistic, scrumptious and opulent. 

“If we can shine a light on a dish of seaweed as truly luxurious, it can change for many other places.” 

Eleven Madison Park
Eleven Madison Park has made a number of modifications over time, however the all-vegan menu is the most important departure by far.
Gary He

Humm dismissed a snarky suggestion {that a} vegan menu value the restaurant much less to end up: “It’s a huge expense. We have a farm upstate in Bennington, NY, to grow our special vegetables. We work with a lab. It’s also extremely labor-intensive.” 

Humm’s fellow three-Michelin star toque, seafood-centric Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert, agreed, “A pound of morel mushrooms costs $40. White asparagus, truffles and exotic vegetables can be similar in price to food at places that don’t serve only vegetables.” 

Ripert wished Humm effectively, saying, “I believe the EMP concept will be successful. The younger audience is very curious about what you can do with vegetables.” 

Eleven Madison Park
Eleven Madison Park clients are used to meaty masterpieces.
Gary He

(Both Eleven Madison Park and Le Bernardin are awaiting Michelin’s delayed 2021 rankings on Thursday, which is able to mirror the information’s pre-pandemic evaluations.) 

But if Humm’s new format doesn’t work for sufficient clients, “He can always add a meat or a fish,” Ripert chuckled. “So it will be mostly vegan but not entirely.”

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