Cover One of the world's best restaurants is going meat-free this summer (Photo: @elevenmadisonpark/ Instagram)

After closing for nearly 15 months due to the pandemic, the Michelin three-starred Eleven Madison Park will go completely plant-based when it reopens in June

Known as being one of the best restaurants in the world, New York’s Eleven Madison Park will reopen with a plant-based menu starting from June. 

Announced in a note on the restaurant’s website, the decision came from chef and co-owner Daniel Humm who began to reflect on the restaurant’s business model during the pandemic. 

“In the midst of last year, when we began to imagine what EMP would be like after the pandemic – when we started to think about food in creative ways again – we realized that not only has the world changed, but that we have changed as well. We have always operated with sensitivity to the impact we have on our surroundings, but it was becoming ever clearer that the current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways,” explained Humm in the note. 

See also: The Best Vegetarian and Vegan Tasting Menus in Hong Kong and Macau

Promising to deliver a meal that will be as delicious as before, customers will no longer get to taste Humm’s signature lavender honey-glazed duck, nor will they be able to savour the lobster poached in mushroom butter. Instead, carefully curated dishes made from house-developed vegan broths, milks, butters, creams and fermented plant-based ingredients will take their place. 

While all dishes are meatless, the restaurant won't be completely plant-based as they plan to continue serving milk and honey for coffee and tea. To avoid the possible negative connotations of veganism, Humm also steers clear of using the term "vegan" to describe the new menu. 

Curious about the new menu? The Wall Street Journal was given a sneak peek and revealed three dishes that Humm has been working on: a beet dish that takes 16-hours to perfect thanks to its complicated roasted herb and lettuce sauce, herb garland and a clay vase that can be cracked open as part of the presentation; a rice porridge with celtuce; and amaranth seed and sweet peas served with fermented almond cream and pea-miso purée.

In a time where the consumers’ environmental consciousness continues to grow, an increasing number of people are opting to switch to a plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons. While travelling to New York may not be in the cards at the moment, those who are looking to sample a vegan tasting menu will not be disappointed with the array of choices Hong Kong has to offer. 

See also: The Best Vegetarian and Vegan Tasting Menus in Hong Kong and Macau