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Eleven Madison Park Revamps Menu To Be Entirely Plant-Based


There's some news in today's episode of NPR's How I Built This. One of New York's best-known restaurants, at least among foodies, is planning a big change.

DANIEL HUMM: So we decided that our restaurant will be a 100% plant-based.


Daniel Humm is the CEO and chef at Eleven Madison Park in New York City. He told Guy Raz that the decision to go vegan wasn't made lightly, but shutting down the restaurant during the pandemic gave Humm time to think about his legacy and time to consider the effect this change can have on the culinary world and in the real world.

HUMM: The way we have sourced our food, the way we're consuming our food, the way we eat meat - it is not sustainable.

KING: So when he reopens on June 10, the kitchen won't be using butter or cream - no beef, no chicken, no fish. This is virtually unheard of in the world of fine dining, especially at a restaurant with three Michelin stars. Also, a meal for two people at Eleven Madison Park can cost more than a thousand dollars.

HUMM: Guests have never come to us to just eat a piece of steak or lobster. They've always come to us to be on a journey.

MARTIN: Chef Humm says now that price tag might include a walk through a pine forest.

HUMM: We have these golden oyster mushrooms. We glaze them, and we roast them deeper, and so we make this dehydrator pine needle, mushroom powder and we dust over it in the end. And so it's, like, caramelized on the outside, soft inside and juicy.

MARTIN: The chef says it is more challenging to prepare, cook and present vegetables.

HUMM: Of course, it's about deliciousness in the end. We want to create a restaurant that meat-eater will be blown away by eating vegetables.

KING: That's chef Daniel Humm announcing plans to make his restaurant's menu entirely plant-based. To hear the full interview, check out the latest episode of How I Built This.

(SOUNDBITE OF JON WIRTZ'S "COUNTRY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.