Acclaimed chef Gordon Ramsay is welcoming vegans to his new Chicago restaurant. Gordon Ramsay Burger will feature plant-based patties that can be substituted in any meat dish. The menu will showcase a “Vegan Burger” as well. The new restaurant is Ramsay’s first in Chicago.
Ramsay has not been shy about his distaste for vegans over the years, even claiming to be “allergic” to them. Now, he is including an increasing number of vegan options on his restaurant menus. The move has been made across his various restaurant locations and genres.
No beef with meatless burgers
The Gordon Ramsay Burger model pivots around eight burger styles. One is the simply-named Vegan Burger. It’s comprised of a patty, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and garlic mayo. It comes served on a plant-based bun. Flexitarians can choose to substitute the vegan patty into any of the other menu items. The Vegan Burger is more expensive than conventional meat options and patty substitutions add $6 to meal costs. It has not been confirmed if Ramsay has developed proprietary patties or is using branded alternatives. He has previously used Impossible products in his Singapore Bread Street Kitchen restaurant.
This will be the first Ramsay Chicago location. His burger chain is also found in Las Vegas, inside the Planet Hollywood Resort. A plant-based burger has been added to the menu in that location, too. The Viva Vegan Burger can be ordered as is or the patty, again, can be substituted into other items.
The move to embrace diners seeking vegan options comes after public attacks on the community. 2018 proved to be a turning point when Ramsay added a vegan option to his Street Pizza menu in London. The following January Ramsay took things a step further with a fully plant-based menu in the same location. The experiment lasted the whole month.
Recent developments have surprised fans of the celebrity chef. The inclusion of a vegan chef on this year’s Hell’s Kitchen series represented a huge mindset shift. Josie Clemens was eliminated in episode 10, but had been tipped as a frontrunner from the start of the series.
The turning tide
Ramsay is not the first chef revising their modus operandi. Earlier this month, Copenhagen’s Geranium restaurant said it will stop serving meat in 2022. The decision was taken to align with head chef Rasmus Kofoed’s personal diet. The change goes into effect from January. As a three Michelin-starred destination, the news has been met with curiosity. Meat will be replaced with locally-sourced seafood and seasonal vegetables. The restaurant previously flirted with a meat-free menu with a pop-up, within the main location, called Angelika. It was a nod to Kofoed’s vegetarian mother.
Fellow Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park went a step further. It announced in May that it would be reopening as a 100 percent plant-based eatery. It had been synonymous with a meat-heavy menu, but owner Daniel Humm came to view this as unsustainable. He noted that remaining viable throughout the Covid-19 pandemic was hard and that the restaurant couldn’t stay the same.
The news of Eleven Madison Park’s transformation came soon after Michelin Guides unveiled a new Green Star award. A prestigious distinction, it awards restaurants that weave sustainability into their operations. Local ingredient sourcing and effective food waste reduction systems are two significant assessment criteria.
Lead image courtesy of Gordon Ramsay.