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UK department store Selfridges will play host to Matthew Kenney’s new plant-based Adesse restaurant as part of the department store’s Project Earth sustainability initiative. Both parties say the eatery’s launch represents the importance of reconsidering the way we consume. Organic, seasonal produce and considered decor reinforce the message of Adesse, which means ‘to be present’ in latin.
An award-winning plant-based celebrity chef, Matthew Kenney hails from the U.S. and is well known in California where his upscale restaurant Plant Food + Wine has been a stalwart of the Venice beach scene for almost a decade. Kenney has carved out a global reputation as an entrepreneur, author, and educator within the plant-based sector. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, he is bringing his future of food philosophy to Selfridge’s second floor.
Considered menu creations
Intended to tempt curious diners, flexitarians and vegans alike, the Adesse menu is comprehensive. It features a selection of Matthew Kenney Cuisine classics plus reimaginations of traditional dishes, split across sharing platters, starters, mains and desserts. Jackfruit “crabcake”, baked raclette and spicy udon make up a globlaly inspired menu, as well as more elevated desserts including a hibiscus cheesecake.
“Adesse proposes a selection of locally sourced fare in a seasonally crafted menu, enriched by an extensive wine list of sustainable, biodynamic varietals and thoughtfully curated spirits and elixirs,” Kenney’s team said. “Surrounded by a serene but elevated setting, Adesse intends to welcome guests with exquisite hospitality, finesse, and attention to detail to enhance the dining experience and the larger establishment that hosts it.”
Selfridges’ sustainability drive
Project Earth is Selfridges’ initiative designed to encourage more thoughtful ways of shopping. It launched in 2020 to promote change, with stores promoting a “less meat, better meat” ethos and showcasing more plant-based food throughout its restaurants and food halls. Welcoming Adesse is a large part of the program.
The department store has made a declaration that by 2025, all meat used throughout the business will be sourced from certified organic farms. “Now, more than ever, we must double down on our efforts to reinvent retail with sustainability at its heart and a way of working which is regenerative for humans and nature,” said Alannah Weston, Selfridges group chairman.
Project Earth comes after 2011’s Project Ocean launch, which focussed on supporting endangered fish species and minimising plastic waste. These efforts will be continued under the new Earth initiative.
Global plant-based ambassadors
Adesse is the latest Kenney venture in his burgeoning plant-based dining empire. Earlier this year, Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait said it would launch Kenney-curated menus in two of its restaurants. This comes after this appointment as chief culinary officer for PlantX and announcements regarding a Kenney-created vegan drive-thru in California.
The trend for high-end plant-based restaurants appears to be growing. Just last week Geranium, one of Copenhagen’s premier fine-dining spots, revealed it is removing meat from its menu in 2022, one of the reasons being that head chef Rasmus Kofoed doesn’t eat meat himself. Fellow Danish establishment Ark is a wholly plant-based eatery, boasting a Michelin green star.
Elsewhere, New York’s Eleven Madison Park reopened, post Covid-19 shutdown, as a plant-based destination. The three Michelin-starred venue did so in a bid to elevate sustainability and encourage a “deepening our connection to our homes: both our city and our planet,” as head chef and owner Daniel Humm said.
All images courtesy of Matthew Kenney.