For decades, gastronomy has been centered around meat, defined by entrees that include duck, steak, or other animal-based dishes. Today, consumer interest is rapidly moving away from meat-focused meals and the global food scene is following suit. Copenhagen-based restaurant Geranium, currently ranked second on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, has announced it will be removing meat from its menus from January 2022. The renowned restaurant joins a long list of dining establishments high-end by abandoning meat products.
The three-star Michelin restaurant currently offers a 22-course menu that costs DKK 2,800 ($ 426). The acclaimed restaurant’s menu will still feature seafood dishes, but will make a significant change to focus on fine cuisine with a veg-centric focus. Dropping all other meat products will require leaving several signature dishes at Denmark’s iconic restaurant.
Geranium’s chef, Rasmus Kofoed, quit eating meat five years ago, but has maintained his meat-focused menu at his award-winning restaurant. Finally, the chef decided he wanted to design his restaurant menu to better reflect his personal diet and changing consumer demand in Denmark and around the world.
“My cooking at Geranium has long focused on vegetables, fish and shellfish as the star on the plate, with small amounts of meat,” Kofoed said on Instagram. “The menu is a reflection of me, who I am and how I evolve as a chef and as a human being. I haven’t eaten meat at home for five years, so no longer using meat on the new menu was a logical decision and a natural progression for Geranium.
Kofoed announced that after his decision to take meat off Geranium’s menu, he immediately had 15 plant-based dishes on his mind. The chef first experimented with vegetarian menus last year when he launched his Angelika pop-up inside Geranium. The pop-up menu offered customers exciting high-end dishes that showcased the potential of plant-based foods in fine dining.
At Geranium and Angelika, the chef also favors sustainable and local sourcing, creating biodynamic and organic farms throughout the region. The restaurant aims to put fine plant-based cuisine in the spotlight, working against tradition to create new standards for plant-based cuisine.
“From my perspective, change is good, we grow from it, we learn from it, we step out of our comfort zone and often we benefit. Thank you for being a part of the journey, I am delighted to share this new chapter with you, ”Kofoed said.
Geranium will be added to the growing list of Michelin rated restaurants to adopt a plant-based cuisine. The Michelin panel announced earlier this year that its judges have awarded 57 vegetarian restaurants and 24 vegan restaurants highly respected honors. Some Michelin-rated restaurants that offer plant-based menus include Joia in Milan, King’s Joy in Beijing, and Eleven Madison Park in New York.
The change in fine dining means a rapid change in recent years. The ONA (Non-Animal Origin) of France has become the first entirely vegan restaurant to receive the Michelin star. The chef of the restaurant Claire Vallée opened her restaurants in 2016 to relaunch the conventions of haute cuisine. Vallée has developed a seven-course menu to showcase innovative and delicious plant-based foods to promote sustainability in the high-end food scene.
“It shows that nothing is impossible,” Vallée wrote on Instagram following the announcement of his Michelin star in January. “We will continue on this path because this star is mine, it is yours … it is the one which definitively brings vegetable gastronomy into the closed circle of French and world gastronomy.”
Another Michelin-starred chef, Dominique Crenn, is trying something completely new to promote sustainability at her restaurant Atelier Crenn. Crenn removed meat from her menus in 2018, but earlier this year announced it would be the first restaurant in the United States to feature cultured meat, introducing a dish that features chicken made from UPSIDE Foods innovative cells. The San Francisco restaurant plans to serve a sustainable meat alternative in a bid to undermine conventional animal agriculture.
“When I first tasted UPSIDE chicken, I thought it was it. This is the future of food. Looks, smells and touches — UPSIDE Chicken is simply delicious, ”Crenn said at the time. “People are finally realizing the downsides of conventional meat production, which led me to take meat off my menus several years ago. “
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