This Year’s Met Gala Will Feature a Completely Plant-Based Menu
This year’s Met Gala will show the world the newest and most innovative trends beyond fashion, food included. In the event’s overarching mission to surrounding inclusion and diversity, the 2021 Met Gala will feature its first completely plant-based menu. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fashion event was pushed from the first weekend in May to September 13th. The event’s theme is centered around American fashion, co-chaired by vegan musician Billie Eilish, tennis star Noami Osaka, National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, and actor Timothee Chalamet.
The menu is an innovative take on plant-based foods, putting vegan cuisine in the spotlight for the highly-publicized event. Not only is this the first time plant-based food dominated the event menu, but it is also the inaugural chef-based dining experience. Previously, the Met Gala solely served catered meals, but this Vogue Editor-in-Chief and event organizer Anna Wintour hired chef Marcus Samulesson to facilitate a modern American dining experience.
Samulesson assembled a team of highly qualified, NYC-based chefs to create a menu that both mirrors the American dining experience and pushed the event towards a more inclusive and diverse atmosphere. The chefs including Fariyal Abdullahi, Emma Bengtsson, Lazarus Lynch, Nasim Alikhani, Junghyn Park, Thomas Raquel, Erik Ramirez, Simone Tong, Sophia Roe, and Fabian von Hauske created a menu of innovative, “picnic-style” dishes. The menu will include reinvented dishes such as roasted potato skins, watermelon salad, and more.
“They represent what the food scene in New York today looks like … what the next generation of food looks like, tastes like, where it lives,” Samulesson told Bon Appetit. “We thought it was important to really talk about what’s present, what’s happening — how food is changing in America. We want to be the future of American food, of plant-based food. That conversation is happening now.”
Vogue will also be releasing videos featuring the Met Gala chefs on its Instagram Reels. The Met Gala chefs will share plant-based recipes to give viewers a sneak peek at this year’s team.
The United States food scene is rapidly changing, shifting towards plant-based cooking styles in every level of dining. Earlier this year, Eleven Madison Park – an internationally renowned NYC fine dining establishment – dropped meat from its menu to roll out its first completely plant-based menu. Today, The New York Times also announced that its NYT Cooking would be introducing The Veggie Newsletter. The new weekly newsletter will provide readers with several recipes and tips for plant-based eating and cooking. Overall, American culture is shifting its political and social perspectives in all categories from the environment to social inclusivity.
“I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective,” Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of the Costume Institute, told Vogue. “I really do believe that American fashion is undergoing a renaissance. I think young designers, in particular, are at the vanguard of discussions about diversity and inclusion, as well as sustainability and transparency, much more so than their European counterparts, maybe with the exception of the English designers.”
The Met Gala’s vegan shift follows the 2020 Golden Globes’ decision to cut meat from its menu. The event claimed that animal agriculture had become too serious of a threat to the environment and that it would assume responsibility to make the change, aiming to spread awareness of the detrimental impact of meat production.
“The climate crisis is surrounding us and we were thinking about the new year and the new decade. So we started talking between us about what we can do to send a signal,” Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Lorenzo Soria said at the time. “We don’t think we’ll change the world with one meal, but we decided to take small steps to bring awareness. The food we eat, the way it is processed and grown and disposed of, all of that contributes to the climate crisis.”