Across the world, there are only 132 restaurants that can boast the accolade of being ranked as a Michelin 3-Star restaurant. Of those 132 restaurants that are considered to have "exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey," not one of them presents an all-vegan menu. That is about to change with Daniel Humm's reopening of Eleven Madison Park.
On the latest episode of Guy Raz's podcast, How I Built This, Daniel Humm described how the pandemic gave him a sense of urgency to make this move to a vegan menu as the large consumption of meat that Americans eat is unsustainable. As Daniel Humm told Guy Raz, "The way we have sourced our food, the way we’re consuming our food, the way we eat meat, it is not sustainable. And that is not an opinion. This is just a fact,
To put those words into perspective; In order to produce just 2 lbs of beef requires 55 lbs of grain and nearly 4000 gallons of water. The average cow will yield 800 lbs of beef. For one cow to produce that 800 lbs, we use 22,000 lbs of grain and 1,600,000 gallons of water. There is no guarantee that all 800 lbs of that beef will not be wasted. Grocery stores and restaurants throw away nearly 30 billion pounds of meat (beef, pork, poultry, fish) each year.
Daniel Humm shifting his restaurant to an All-Vegan menu will have a cascade effect inspiring aspiring and accomplished chefs to bring more vegan options to their menus. As more chefs across the country switch from their classic use of cream, butter, fat, and bones for stock to using entirely plant-based ingredients, the culinary world will benefit from the new techniques and dishes created by their collective imaginations and creativity.
As for Eleven Madison Park, the details of the new menu have not been announced, but it will cost $335 per guest (including gratuity), according to the restaurant's spokesperson. Daniel Humm believes "The change will be in some way subtle. Guests have never come to us to just eat a piece of steak or a lobster. They have always come to us to be on a journey, and for us to tell a story. And so, we want people to say in the end 'Oh, I can't believe they didn't use butter and cream.'"
Eleven Madison Park reopens on June 10th after being closed since March of 2020.