This 3 Michelin-Starred Restaurant Just Vowed To Cut Meat From The Menu

So far, 2021 might end up being one of the best years for anyone looking to eschew meat. According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Tyson recently announced that they intend to sell new vegan offerings for the grill this summer, including brats, hamburgers, Italian sausage, and ground "meat" all made from pea protein. The other end of the dining spectrum has also recognized plant-based meals might be the direction of future cravings.

Chef Daniel Humm shocked the culinary world when he announced that his 3 Michelin-starred restaurant, New York City's Eleven Madison Park, plans to reopen on June 10 and exclusively serve a plant-based menu (via Eater). This shift away from meat stands as a landmark in fine dining's history, as few other businesses of such a caliber have ever made such a hard break from meat. Humm, whose current diet consists of 90% plant-based foods, dove headfirst into the restaurant's transition as a result of the pandemic. It's also a response to the current ways in which restaurants source meat that Humm says are unsustainable, as he told NPR's How I Built This podcast. Humm has considered transitioning his restaurant away from meat for some time, stating his belief that opening a meat-free restaurant presents some risk, but the future of dining lies in plant-centric meals.

What can we expect from plant-based fine dining?

According to Eater, Humm has yet to establish the final menu, but you can expect to dole out $335 per customer for a full plant-based multicourse meal. This switch to animal-free cooking serves as a redefinition of what fine dining could look like in the 21st century, and has the potential to inspire competitors to embrace this new way of presenting haute cuisine (via New York Times). While some Michelin-starred restaurants like L'Arpège have provided plant-based tasting menus for years, Humm's stark transition to meatless cuisine has struck a chord with the industry. With items like caviar, honey lavender duck, and foie gras once serving as menu favorites at Eleven Madison Park, this transition serves as the first major heel turn of an established chef of Humm's caliber. In fact, Eater notes that out of 132 restaurants with three Michelin stars worldwide, zero so far have been vegan.

If you love the idea of embracing a plant-based diet or just want to experience a new dining experience, you have to wait a bit longer to see just what Humm has in store. With any luck, this refined chef can take plant-based cuisine to new heights and help us reimagine the potential that animal-free food has. Though, the New York Times does point out Eleven Madison Park won't be completely vegan — they'll still have milk and honey on hand for coffee and tea.