Michelin Guides has awarded Manhattan’s Eleven Madison Park restaurant another three-star rating, just three days after Chef Daniel Humm announced it will become a vegan restaurant when it reopens next month.
In his rating, Gwendal Poullenne, the international director of the Michelin Guides, praised Humm’s decision, calling it ‘an exciting new chapter’ and ‘a way to please the customers while exploring new avenues,’ according to The New York Times.
The other New York City restaurants that earned a three-star designation include Le Bernardin, a French seafood restaurant in Midtown Manhattan; Per Se, a ‘New American restaurant in Columbus Circle; and Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fair.
The restaurant has long been famous for its lavender honey-glazed duck, lobster and Hawaiian prawn roulade and duck with daikon and plum signature dishes.
But when it reopens for the first time on June 10 since being shuttered by COVID closures last March, it will only serve plant-based food, owner Humm, 45, announced on Monday.
Eleven Madison Park, on Madison Avenue in New York City, is one of the Big Apple’s five three Michelin-starred restaurants
It is known for its signature lavender honey-glazed duck, lobster and Hawaiian prawn roulade and duck with daikon and plum signature dishes
But on May 3, owner Daniel Humm, pictured in 2008, announced the restaurant will only serve vegan options when it reopens on June 10
National director of Michelin guides, Gwendal Poullennec, praised Humm’s decision to become a vegan restaurant in his rating
A new menu is forthcoming, an Eleven Madison Park spokeswoman told DailyMail.com, but may include dishes like rice porridge with celtuce (an underutilized and thick-stemmed lettuce). It will also serve Amaranth seed and sweet peas served with a creamy fermented almond cream and pea-miso puree, the Wall Street Journal reports.
It will also likely serve a complex beetroot dish that requires 16 hours of preparation encompassing 12 steps. They include marinating the beet in a roasted herb and lettuce sauce, garlanding it with more herbs, and then service it in a special clay vase which is cracked open before the beet can be eaten.
Explaining his restaurant’s new philosophy on Instagram, Humm said: ‘When we began to think about reopening EMP, we realized that not only has the world changed, but so have we.
‘We have always operated with sensitivity to our surroundings, but it has become clear that the current food system is not sustainable,’ he wrote. ‘We knew we couldn’t open the same restaurant.’
Eleven Madison Park will only serve vegetable dishes, like this one, when it reopens in June
Humm announced the change on his Instagram Monday morning, with Eleven Madison Park set to reopen on June 10
But some things will stay the same. The restaurant – one of just five in New York City to earn three Michelin stars this year – will continue offering cow milk for coffee and tea, meaning it will not be entirely vegan.
It will also continue to offer non-plant based items for ultra-wealthy diners who book one of its three private dining spaces.
And Humm, who was said to be dating Apple founder Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene in 2019, hinted to the Wall Street Journal that the old $335-a-head tasting menu price won’t drop. He explained that preparing vegetables properly takes far more effort than meat.
He had became close with the farmers who supply EMP during the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports, and they told him how ‘they are sitting on so much food that’s getting spoiled, and they have to throw it away.’
‘Our practices of animal production, what we’re doing to the oceans, the amount we consume, it is not sustainable,’ Humm said. ‘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.’
He said he does not want to ‘lecture people’ about the environment, but instead enrich them by ‘showing a different way what a fine dining meal can be.’
‘When we set out on this journey we promised ourselves that we would only do this if the meal could be as delicious as it was before,’ Humm told the Wall Street Journal. ‘My goal is to create these beautiful dishes, give people experiences – unexpected, surprising experiences that make you feel as satisfied as a meal with meat would.’