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Foodies rib famed $335-a-head NYC restaurant as it announces it is going VEGAN next month

Food fans were stunned when one of the world’s top restaurants announced it will only serve vegan food when it reopens next month – with one joking they’d make a killing serving hot dogs across the street.

Eleven Madison Park had long been renowned for its lavender honey-glazed duck, lobster and Hawaiian prawn roulade and duck with daikon and plum signature dishes. But when the famous New York City restaurant reopens for the first time on June 10 since it was closed by COVID shutdowns last March, it will only serve plant based food, owner Daniel Humm announced on Monday.

They will be replaced with dishes like rice porridge with celtuce (an underutilized and thick-stemmed lettuce), and Amaranth seed and sweet peas served with a creamy fermented almond cream and pea-miso puree, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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

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

But on May 3, owner Daniel Humm, pictured in 2008, announced the restaurant will only serve vegan options when it reopens on June 10

But some things will stay the same. The restaurant – one of just five in New York City to hold three Michelin stars – will continue offering cow milk for coffee and tea, meaning it will not be entirely vegan. 

Humm has also hinted the $335-a-head tasting menu price won’t drop, because preparing vegetables properly takes far more effort than meat.

One tweeter quickly joked at the new offering, writing: ‘Free billion dollar idea: set up a hot dog cart across the street at around 10pm.’ 

A second said: ‘Well, they’re going to need a twelve Madison Park, because ain’t no one gunna eat leaves for $500 a person.’

Cassandra Cavanaugh, meanwhile, tweeted it’s ‘all about the margins, at the expense of the diners,’ calling the move to become vegan a ‘profit motive dressed up on sanctimoniousness.’

Diane E. Knauf, however, said she has been to the restaurant and suspects ‘it will remain stellar.’

‘I am not vegetarian of vegan (although I try to minimize),’ Knauf tweeted, ‘if the menu looks interesting, I will probably go back.’ 

An Eleven Madison Park spokeswoman told DailyMail.com the full new menu will be released shortly before the restaurant’s reopening.  

Some Twitter users made fun of Humm for his decision to make the $335-per-person restaurant vegan-only

Some Twitter users made fun of Humm for his decision to make the $335-per-person restaurant vegan-only

The restaurant closed during the pandemic, and Humm had to lay off most of his employees, he said in an Instagram post Monday morning. He kept just a small team, he said, and prepared nearly one million meals for food-insecure New Yorkers. 

‘We were walking food to people’s apartments, and just got to experience New York in a whole different way,’ Humm told the Wall Street Journal. ‘We saw how tough it is out there, but we also saw how many angels there are.’

The restaurant will now continue to offer five meals to New Yorkers in need for every meal purchased at EMP, delivered by Eleven Madison Truck.

‘When we began to think about reopening EMP, we realized that not only has the world changed, but so have we,’ he posted on Instagram. 

‘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.’

Humm 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.’ 

He had previously co-founded Rethink Food with Matt Jozwiak, a former chef in his kitchen. The organization works with restaurants to transform food waste into meals.  

Eleven Madison Park will only serve vegetable dishes, like this one, when it reopens in June

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

Humm announced the change on his Instagram Monday morning

‘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.’ 

Still, he wrote, he stayed up many nights wondering if he made the right decision. 

But when he would see what the kitchen had prepared, he said, ‘What at first felt limiting began to feel freeing, and we are only scratching the surface.’

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.’

His goal, he told the New York Times, is to create a restaurant where meat-eaters would be ‘blown away’ by eating veggies.

‘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.’ 

Humm’s London restaurant, Davies and Brook, however, will still offer meat options, and those who dine at EMP privately will be able to order meat dishes.


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