A headline in a previous version of this article had an incorrect first name for chef Daniel Humm. This article has been corrected.
But Britain’s vegan embrace — in the country of fish and chips and Beefeater ceremonial guards at the Tower of London — has gotten a cold shoulder at London’s renowned Claridge’s hotel. Management decided to part ways with star chef Daniel Humm after he announced his ambitions for an all-vegan menu at the five-star hotel’s flagship restaurant, Davies and Brook.
“We completely respect and understand the culinary direction of a fully plant-based menu that Daniel has decided to embrace and champion and now wants to introduce in London,” the hotel’s statement read. “However, this is not the path we wish to follow here at Claridge’s.”
November 12, 2021
Humm, who has won worldwide accolades, had already decided that he would go all vegan at Eleven Madison Park, his Manhattan restaurant with three Michelin stars. That means saying goodbye to its popular — and pricey — tasting menu, which included sea urchin, duck and suckling pig.
His plans for Davies and Brook would have dumped a roughly $214 tasting menu that includes caviar and honey-and-lavender-glazed dry-aged duck.
Food website Eater in May reported that, of the 132 restaurants worldwide with three Michelin stars, not one is vegan. Humm began serving his new meatless menu in New York City in June, which was met with some joy and some disappointment.
The chef released a statement of his own, referring to the past 18 months of the pandemic, which he has said has steered the decision-making on the future of his food vision. He has called out the unsustainability and inequality inherent in current global food systems, and told the New York Times that “our idea of what luxury is had to change.”
“It has never been more clear that the world is changing, and we have to change with it,” he wrote Friday in his announcement of his departure from Davies and Brook. “... The future for me is plant-based.”
He said the most important thing is standing behind his mission and beliefs — which is “unfortunately not something we can compromise on.”