Forbes recently named its top ten food trends of 2013 and high-end vegan fare topped their list.
“The new wave of veganism is more about health than animal welfare,” says Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland. “For better or worse, this is why it will have more staying power.”
The popularity of books such as “Vegan Before 6″ and “The China Study” indicate proof of this new wave of veganism.
Chef Tal Ronnen has catered vegan meals for many celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, Steve Wynn and the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. Now he owns Crossroads, an L.A. vegan restaurant that serves artichoke “oysters” with artichoke puree, crispy oyster mushroom and kelp caviar and “crab cakes” composed of hearts of palm, apples, and beets.
In their own words:
“Crossroads offers diners Mediterranean-themed small dishes, salads, farm-to-glass cocktails, and desserts in a fine-dining dinner style that encourages exploration. With its stylish atmosphere and refreshing sensibility, Crossroads isn’t just a leap forward in refined plant-based cuisine — it’s one of the most innovative culinary destinations in Los Angeles. It’s a decadent and indulgent dining experience approached in a conscious and cohesive manner.”
M.A.K.E. is a living foods restaurant in Santa Monica, featuring cutting edge plant-based cuisine under the direction of raw food chef and author, Matthew Kenney. Some of their current menu items for fall include kimchi dumplings with ginger foam, black pepper kelp noodles, and beet ravioli with pickled walnuts and bitter greens.
And it’s not just a west coast fad. Upscale vegan restaurants are popping up all over the country. Vedge in Philadelphia, True Bistro in Boston, Karyn’s on Green in Chicago, G-Zen in Branford, Connecticut, Pure Food and Wine in New York are just a handful of examples.
What’s your favorite high-end vegan restaurant?