Almost fifteen months ago, Eleven Madison Park was forced to close due to the pandemic, with no certainty if or when it would ever reopen. On Tuesday, chef-owner Daniel Humm finally broke the news that the former World’s Best Restaurant 2017 will be reopening, with a stark shift in its menu: it’s going vegan.
Loyal fans and gourmands will have to bid farewell to its popular honey lavender roasted duck. And all other meat and seafood dishes, for that matter. Instead, they can look forward to a plant-based menu where every dish is made from vegetables of the earth and sea, as well as fruits, legumes, fungi, grains, and so on.
“When we started to think about food in creative ways again – we realised that not only has the world changed, but that we have changed as well. We have always operated with sensitivity to the impact we have on our surroundings, but it was becoming ever clearer that the current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways,” Humm said in a statement.
It was clear that after everything we all experienced this past year, we couldn’t open the same restaurant. – Daniel Humm
While it’s not the first world-renowned fine dining establishment to embrace a plant-based menu (there’s Alain Passard’s Arpege and Claire Vallée’s ONA in France), this radical decision makes it the first restaurant with 3 Michelin stars to completely cut meat products from its offerings.
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Humm has personally found himself gravitating towards a plant-based diet, inspired by dishes that revolve around impeccably prepared vegetables. Rising to the challenge to learn more deeply about ingredients and pushing his team creatively to reimagine the flavours that have propelled the restaurant to where it stands today, the restaurant returned to the kitchen last year to develop plant-based milks, butters and creams, as well as vegetable broths and stocks to deliver a new dining experience that’s as memorable as before.
“I believe that the most exciting time in restaurants is to come. The essence of EMP is stronger than it ever has been. We can’t wait to have you come and experience this new chapter of the restaurant. We look forward to sharing this journey with you,” he adds.
Eleven Madison Park will be reopening for indoor dining on June 10th. Gastronomes, you know where to add to your travel bucket list once international borders reopen.