Dominique Crenn, the brains and culinary expertise behind San Francisco’s three Michelin-starred restaurant Atelier Crenn, has announced that she is opening a vegan taco hotspot in Las Vegas next year.
Called La Madrina (which means “the godmother” in Spanish), the restaurant will open within a new food hall.
Dubbed The Sundry, the location is close to the main Strip. It will play host to a number of upmarket restaurants and bars, and is slated for completion by early next year.
La Madrina’s menu is set to include a range of plant-based dishes, with a dedicated focus on tacos.
Taking land animals off the menu
The first US woman to be awarded three Michelin stars, Crenn has been embracing meat-free dining for some time.
In 2019, she stopped serving meat from land animals in her San Francisco restaurants. In a statement at the time, the Crenn Dining Group revealed that the move was an environmentally motivated one. It stated that seafood would continue to be served.
“Meat is insanely complicated — both within the food system and the environment as a whole — and, honestly, it felt easier to just remove it from the menus altogether,” Crenn commented.
One year later, she opened the vegan delivery restaurant VitaBowl in LA. There are plans for more locations in New York, Austin, Chicago, and Seattle.
Michelin chefs move away from meat
Crenn isn’t alone. A number of chefs are choosing to leave meat behind.
Rasmus Kofoed is the head chef at Copenhagen’s Geranium, which was recently voted the best restaurant in the world. Kofoed also took most meat off his Michelin-starred menu, leaving only seafood.
Similarly to Crenn, he revealed environmental concerns as a driver of the decision.
It’s worth noting that the seafood industry is still considered to be largely unsustainable, with strong ties to pollution and biodiversity loss. That’s why some chefs have left animal products behind completely.
Michelin-starred chef Alexis Gauthier turned his London eatery, Gauthier Soho, entirely vegan in 2021, despite some customers being against the move.
As a classically trained French chef, it meant removing ingredients such as foie gras from his menu. The move was successful enough to support the opening of a new plant-based cafe within Mayfair’s Fenwick department store.
Most recently, New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park made history by maintaining its three Michelin star rating following the transformation to a fully vegan menu. The high-end Manhattan eatery shocked fans by removing animal products from its menu following closure and reevaluation by chef Daniel Humm during the COVID-19 pandemic.