One of the most common refrains we hear from non-vegans is, “What do you eat, is it all nuts, twigs and berries?” Granted, as recently as a few years back the array of options suited to vegans was rather limited. However, over the few years the plant-based food sector has exploded with many grocers and restaurants attributing their rise in sales revenue from not primarily from vegans but rather from omnivores, flexitarians, reducetarians and anyone else trying to cut down on their animal protein consumption.
This surge in plant-based options has not only proved a boon for retail grocers and fast food establishments such as Burger King, Dunkin’, and Del Taco, for example but even higher end, fine dining restaurants have come to embrace the challenge and wealth of opportunities that plant-based cooking provide. That was on prime display Wednesday, November 13th at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City, who invited five of the finest Las Vegas resort hotel chefs to showcase their plant-based culinary wares in the 2nd Annual Vegas Vegans dinner, sponsored by our client, milkadamia.
At the helm of this special culinary evening was Diana Edelman, Founder of Vegans, Baby, a Las Vegas-based, multi-faceted endeavor that unites restaurants and businesses with vegans, the vegan-curious, and foodies from around the world. Diana’s first Vegas Vegans evening at the James Beard House was such a rousing success that she knew an encore was inevitable, and for the second event she brought in some of the most innovative chefs in Las Vegas to work their culinary magic.
In attendance were New York City foodies and influencers, and we’re thrilled that representatives from ABC/Good Morning America, The New Yorker, the Boston Globe and Edible Manhattan were able to join us at our milkadamia table for this unique culinary experience which featured chefs from Las Vegas’ finest restaurants such as Catch at the Aria Hotel, Harvest at the Bellagio, L’Atelier at the MGM Grand, and Searsucker at Caesar’s Palace.
These fine chefs from Las Vegas’ best restaurants whipped up one delicious #plantbased course after another from Beluga Lentil Caviar with Coconut Lemon Crème and Blini (made with milkadamia buttery spread!) to an incredible Butternut Squash Soup, to Melting Quinoa Hearts with Smoked Pequillo and ending the evening with an Apple Cider Cheesecake with Fuji Apple Confit, Hazelnut Streusel, and Mulled Cider Sorbet to die for. The recently introduced milkadamia plant-based 100% palm oil-free spread was a welcome addition to this evening of culinary excellence with quotes such as “This is even better than butter”, “So creamy and buttery”, and “I can’t believe how perfectly this spreads!”
Watching one sumptuous dish after another come out of the James Beard House kitchen demonstrates how the plant-based landscape has changed. While it is heartening to watch major restaurant chains offer more and more plant-based options and see the impact that the plant-based milk sector, for example, has had on the dairy industry, the next new frontier, as displayed this chilly November night in New York City, is high end plant-based dining. We’re thrilled that we could show the media and everyone in attendance at the James Beard House that culinary excellence can co-exist deliciously with a more ethical and sustainable way of cooking and eating.
Bon appetit (and save some Mulled Cider Sorbet for us).