Upscale New York Restaurant Goes Vegan

For better or worse, most of us center our dinners around meat. And that’s especially true when we go out to eat: it’s hard to resist the temptation of steak or of fresh-caught fish at a place that truly knows what they’re doing with it.

Eleven Madison Park is one of those places. The fine dining restaurant in New York City has three Michelin stars, and is the kind of restaurant that offers a prix-fixe 11-course meal for the sticker-shock-inducing $335.

Those courses used to feature things like frogs’ legs and dry-aged veal. But according to a post on the restaurant’s website, those dishes are a thing of the past, as are any dishes that contain meat. Eleven Madison Park is going vegan.

Chef-owner Daniel Humm told the New York Times that the move was about making a statement: “The current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways.” And although Humm wasn’t explicit about exactly what concerns him, you don’t need to look far to get the gist: from the out-sized environmental impact of raising and feeding livestock to the overfishing of the world’s oceans.

Humm is taking a stand, and in a way that could risk his restaurant’s profits. Will people be enticed by an all-vegan menu? And even if they are, will the price point scare them off? (The cost of Humm’s meals isn’t going to change: $335, even without the veal.)

As niche as fine dining can be, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Humm could end up inspiring other chefs to see their menus differently.

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