On TimeOut: Daphne's Seared Peach Caprese on 2016's Top 100 NY Dishes by Daphne Cheng

In this novel, vegan spin on the classic Italian antipasto—traditionally, sliced mozzarella, tomato and basil—chef Daphne Cheng swaps out the customary tomato for seared discs of late-summer peach at this West Village vegetarian beaut. The juicy sweetness of stone fruit is stratified with rounds of almond-milk “mozzarella” and boosted with a glazing of Riesling gastrique. Singed sage leaves lend a lovely, smoky finish. - TIMEOUT NY

I've moved to China. Here's why... by Daphne Cheng

On October 13th, 2016 I moved to China. Yes, it was a very spontaneous decision made just a few weeks prior. Last winter, I proclaimed to no one that it would be my last winter in NYC. I didn’t have any particular plan at the time- no destination in mind, no concrete plan in place- I just knew it would be the last. Those closest to me know that New York was always just a temporary sojourn until I felt the time was right to leave.

That time is now. So why China? 

I feel I am being called to China. There are 1.4 billion Chinese, and as more join the middle and upper class, meat consumption- historically regarded as a luxury because it was expensive and a rare treat- is on the rise and is seen as a status symbol. The Chinese already consume 28% of the world’s meat at half the consumption rate of that of Americans, so if the Chinese continue to increase consumption to match Americans, it will literally be unsustainable, there won’t be enough supply even if you wanted it. The Chinese government has released new dietary guidelines to cut meat consumption in half by 2030, but so far no real action has taken place to encourage people to follow them. Why should you care? Meat production is the #1 contributor to greenhouse gases, and the increases would add 223 tons to the environment. Climate change is real and it's scary and something needs to be done.

I’m hoping to stop and reverse the trend before it goes too far.

So what’s the plan? How the hell does a 27 year old girl from America- who had only ever visited China once before- think she can change a country with such deep-seated culinary tradition in meat? And how do you send a message to a population of 1.4 billion people? The answer: of course, digitally. I will reveal more as it unravels, but we have an ambitious, multi-layered, multi-year plan, and it’s going to make waves. The heart of our efforts is positioning a plant-based lifestyle as cool and even luxurious; we’ll fight the meat as a status symbol line of thought. As my friends in wellness know, true luxury is being healthy enough to enjoy everything life has to offer.

I originally went to China for a 3 week tour of hosting dinners and workshops. Dozens of meetings later, it became 7 weeks. It started when Hazel Zhang, a former intern at my Tribeca supperclub Suite ThreeOhSix, wrote an article about me on her blog turned media company (only 2 years old and now has over 200,000 followers). That article went viral and was reposted by dozens of other outlets, garnering over 1.4 million views across them all. I was amazed by the reception and enthusiasm surrounding what I do. When I arrived in China, I was shocked when people asked me for my autograph and I was flooded with requests from prospective partners and investors. Everything was so surreal after struggling to raise money for my ventures for years in New York to no avail. To my surprise, I discovered that the plant-based market is still very nascent and that the food system in China is utterly broken. But the demand is there and it's growing and we'll make it grow even bigger and faster.

I have never been more excited and never more certain that this is what I’m on this Earth to do, especially after a scare yesterday nearly getting hit by a car while riding my bike. 1% of Americans are vegan, if we simply achieved that same %, that’s 14 million people. But of course we’re aiming higher. And if we get 5 people each to eat 20% less, that's great too. The potential impact is mind boggling and this can’t be ignored.

New York, I love you, but you don’t need me anymore. The veg scene is well on it’s way to becoming respected here. It’s incredible to have witnessed and played my part in growing the movement from when I first became vegetarian 14 years ago- when no one knew what vegan meant and dining options were scant and the few options were terrible. China is in that same position today, but China moves unfathomably fast. They say a New York minute is a Shanghai second, and I’ve seen how true it is. If we do this right, we could propel the movement and get on par with the US in just a few years instead of over a decade. If you want to help or if you know plant-based companies seeking to expand to China, get in touch. We need all hands on deck.

Don’t worry, I’ll be back often enough. To all the incredible, inspiring, beautiful people I am lucky to call my friends, thank you. Thank you for making New York the amazing, vibrant place it is. I will miss you ❤ 

I'm here to start a revolution.

Want to stay updated on what I'm up to in China? I'll be posting regular updates here and by email. Stay in touch xoxo


On VICE: #CanonDayDiaries by Daphne Cheng


My Vegetarian Bar Takeover

By Daphne Cheng

    Originally published on VICE from the column 'Canon Day Diaries '


    Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Shot at 18mm. Canon EOS 80D: 1/60 sec, f/5, ISO 1600, autofocus.


    I got my start as a chef in New York hosting underground dinner parties in a Tribeca loft space in 2013. On New Year's Day this year, Ravi DeRossi, a prolific restaurateur, asked me to help him transition most if not all of his 15 restaurants and bars to a fully plant­-based model. Of course I accepted the challenge. We started first with his newest, Mother of Pearl, a Polynesian restaurant and cocktail bar. In a month and a half, I developed an entirely new menu and we launched on Valentine's Day to much success (but not without the occasional naysayer and death threat). To our delight, sales have since doubled and the restaurant is busier than ever.

    Our next project was Ladybird, which was envisioned as a globally inspired tapas restaurant. The food would showcase the ingredients and flavors of the world, served with a hint of Spanish flair. Five weeks out Ravi decided he wanted to get it done in July. That meant having our heads down working 120+ hours a week to develop the recipes, refit the tiny closet into kitchen that can handle the style of food we would be serving, and hire and train staff in just over a month. Making people happy through the food that I cook makes all the hard work worth it.

    After a month of long nights and busy weekends, we finally celebrated our grand opening on July 22! Leading up to opening day, I was able to document our preparations with the Canon EOS 80D DSLR which enabled me to give my friends and peers a sneak peak of my new recipes and dishes. So far customers have been raving about the food and the space!



    Using the autofocus feature I was able to capture every detail of our beet salad here at Ladybird - from it's blood orange jelly, lemon ricotta, dukkah, and guajillo chili oil.
    Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Shot at 35mm. Canon EOS 80D: 1/60 sec, f/5, ISO 1600, autofocus.




    Drying sage so we can light it on fire for our seared peach Caprese dish. 
    Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Shot at 18mm. Canon EOS 80D: 1/40 sec, f/3.5, ISO 500, autofocus.




    Ladybird is a fantastical place - a place with elegant whimsy. Our gazpacho trio (watermelon, honeydew, and sweet corn) say "drink me". 
    Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Shot at 42mm. Canon EOS 80D: 1/40 sec, f/4.5, ISO 6400, autofocus.


    The life of a chef may seem glamorous these days with the rise of celebrity chefs, but working in the kitchen remains as it always was, physically taxing, dangerous, and exhausting. I've stopped counting my burns, bruises, and scars. So why do I do it? Food is the love of my life.

    Cooking is my meditation. If I remember to take the time to find the beauty in simple things like patterns in piles of produce, rows upon rows of churros, gorgeous designs in a cross section of red cabbage, the vibrant colors of nature. There is beauty in the mundane, the repetition, the quotidien. Using the internal time-lapse function I was able to document what was a long and tedious process, and made it seem like a breeze.



    Naked churros waiting for their cinnamon sugar coats. 
    Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Shot at 18mm. Canon EOS 80D: 1/30 sec, f/3.5, ISO 125, autofocus.




    Garnishing a churros dessert with pretty little flowers from the farmer's market. 
    Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Shot at 18mm. Canon EOS 80D: 1/30 sec, f/4.5, ISO 125, autofocus.


    One of the main things I do love about New York is it's incredible dining scene. You could eat out every day and experience something new and amazing every time, and never exhaust all the options. I dine out as much as I can to be able to experience new flavors, ingredients and am inspired by the many styles of top chefs. Photography also plays a big role in what I'm inspired by - as it allows me to capture the cuisines that I love the most or even shows me cuisines I must try next!

    I'm so lucky to be where I am, surrounded by so many talented and inspiring people. It wasn't long ago that I was hosting underground parties to showcase my own cooking. Now, to think that a young chef could stumble into one of the restaurants I've helped create and be inspired to do something for his or herself fills me with immense joy. That's what's so great about the food scene in New York. There's inspiration everywhere, all you have to do is walk down the block, find a restaurant and ask the waiter to bring you something good.



    We're lucky the restaurant is right by Washington Square Park. I took a mini escape and found some bees working as hard as we do. 
    Lens: Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM. Shot at 135mm. Canon EOS 80D: 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250, autofocus.


    On USA TODAY: Top 20 New Restaurants to Try by Daphne Cheng

    "With the cool and crisp weather of fall, we usher in a new batch of restaurants to celebrate the season. Among some of the most exciting comes Ladybird from New York City’s restaurateur Ravi DeRossi, who’s teamed up with chef Daphne Cheng for his newest venture: a vegetarian tapas bar in the West Village. DeRossi is behind the collection of beloved haunts including Death & Company, Mother of Pearl and the former Bourgeois Pig, where his new plant-based conception stands. In New Orleans, the Caribbean Room re-opened in the newly refurbished Pontchartrain Hotel, this time helmed by executive chef Chris Lusk under the command of John Besh’s restaurant group. The elegant tropical décor stands the test of time — along with a few throwback menu items (don’t miss that Mile-High Pie). And fall’s temperatures make it the ideal time to tuck into wood-fired plates, like the slow-roast lamb shoulder at Stoke in Charlotte, N.C."

    Read more on USA TODAY


    On Observer: Daphne's Top 15 Restaurants For Vegan Fine Dining in NYC by Daphne Cheng

    Originally published on The Observer.

    by Daphne Cheng

    The wonderful world of vegetables, fruits, grains, roots, nuts and all things that grow from the earth has been newly rediscovered. Top chefs throughout the world are realizing what a loss it is to neglect the most abundantly diverse of the food groups, and are finally paying attention to this untouched frontier.

    The resulting vibrant, elevated cuisine is something we all can savor. When names like April Bloomfield and David Chang, originally famous for their unabashed carnivorous attitudes, start redefining themselves with new vegetable­-forward cookbooks and finding inspiration in humble Korean Buddhist cuisine, you know there’s something brewing.

    From the unique perspective of a vegetable-­focused chef comes this list of the top restaurants and chefs who have mastered the art and science of making vegetables taste incredible. All but two of these restaurants are omnivorous (only Avant Garden is fully plant­-based and Dirt Candy is vegetarian), and while a number of them may not appear to be vegan-­friendly, the chefs at the helm are eager to accommodate their vegetable-inclined patrons.

    These pioneering restaurants, ranging from upscale casual to fine dining, in an order from best to great, understand the direction modern society is headed. Their versions of vegan cuisine, served either a la carte and in full tasting menu glory, are simply delectable.

    Juni, Chef Shaun Hergatt

    Juni’s beet tartare. (Photo: Daphne Cheng)

    At Juni, the atmosphere is serene and minimalist, and all attention is focused on the meticulously crafted food. Not one to rest on his accolades and stars, Chef Shaun Hergatt is still hungry, still striving to become better every day. Unfazed by external validation, his drive is evident in each immaculately designed beet tartare, each perfectly placed nasturtium leaf and each balanced, razor thin potato crisp. When it comes to elevated cuisine, Mr. Hergatt sets the bar.

    Betony, Chef Bryce Shuman

    Betony’s cole slaw (Photo: Signe Birck)

    Bryce Shuman is the rare chef who is young and humble, yet already outshines the masters before him. The dishes he creates at Betony are elegant and thoughtful, with the perfect balance of flavors, textures, and colors. Using only the freshest seasonal ingredients, Mr. Shuman possesses both precision and creativity. His menu offers delights like poached salsify with black truffle and carnaroli rice with saffron and almond.

    Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Chef Dan Barber

    Blue Hill. (Photo: Daphne Cheng)

    Blue Hill at Stone Barns is truly worthy of a special journey north. Its West Village sister pales in comparison to the farm fresh cuisine served upstate. Hyper­seasonal, hyper­local produce shines with delicate, minimalist guidance from master Chef Dan Barber. You’ve never really had a tomato, nor a radish, nor a sweet pea… nor any produce, until you’ve had them served fresh within hours, minutes of being picked. While the ingredients can be repetitive, each season brings new dishes to the menu.

    Avant Garden, Chef Alex Aparicio

    Avant Garden’s maitake mushroom. (Photo: Daphne Cheng)

    Artist first, restaurateur ­by­ accident, Ravi DeRossi’s latest masterpiece, Avant Garden, is everything herbivores have waited for. The food is consistently craveable, ranging from refreshing lemony, lightly spicy sweet potato salad to ultra­decadent chestnut farro risotto. Chef Aparicio has infused the menu with new vibrancy and creativity after former chef Andrew D’Ambrosi’s departure, delivering cuisine that lets beets be beets and avocados be avocados, in all their delicious glory.

    The Musket Room, Chef Matt Lambert

    Pea custard at the Musket Room. (Photo: Instagram/signebirck)

    It was certainly stunning when the Musket Room earned a Michelin star within a year of opening, but no one can argue that it wasn’t deserved. Musket Room is perfect when you’re in the mood for haute dining in a relaxed atmosphere. The menu is not overtly vegan friendly, but when given enough notice, the kitchen will design a fully plant-based tasting menu. The tender tofu gnocchi, redesigned with seasonal components, will be among the best you’ve ever had.

    Daniel, Chef Daniel Boulud

    Daniel’s endive (Photo: Daphne Cheng)

    At Daniel, elegant dishes bring out the best of micro-­seasonal produce. Chef de cuisine Eddy Leroux is a foraging expert, showcasing local curiosities on his fine plates. The ever-changing tasting menu takes you through a thoughtfully composed journey of colors, textures and dimensions of flavor. Daniel offers a vegetarian tasting menu regularly, but be sure to notify them in advance for vegan special requests.

    Eleven Madison Park, Chef Daniel Humm

    Eleven Madison Park’s slow roasted carrots vadouvan and kale. (Photo: Francesco Tonelli)

    It’s a wonderful thing that Chef Daniel Humm inherited Eleven Madison Park’s fine sense of hospitality from the original owner, Danny Meyer, but it’s the divine cuisine that keeps reservations in high demand. With a focus on local ingredients, the menu flows with the seasons. With notice, the restaurant is very accommodating to all dietary restrictions and preferences.

    Little Park, Chef Andrew Carmellini

    Little Park’s kohlrabi.

    Chef Andrew Carmellini has transformed the former Plein Sud space into a vibrant dining destination that’s both elegant and accessible. The vegetable-­forward menu offers colorful dishes using underrated kohlrabi and addictive, crispy brussels sprouts. The food is flavorful and balanced, playing well with contrasting crunch and creaminess. Be wary if you are prone to indecisiveness, though you can always play it safe by recruiting friends and ordering everything. Bonus: as a resident of the Smyth Hotel, Little Park also offers excellent breakfast and brunch.

    Wassail, Chef  Vinicius Campos

    Roasted beets at Wassail. (Photo: Wassail)

    Wassail serves up underrated cider to pair perfectly with its vegetable-centric menu. The dishes are solid in execution, though the menu is slightly repetitive with an over­-reliance on smoky flavors. Not that smokiness isn’t enjoyable, but mixing up the flavor profile of the menu would elevate it even more. A little yin for the yang always enhances each.

    Dirt Candy, Chef Amanda Cohen

    Dirt Candy salad. (Photo: Grady Hendrix)

    Chef Amanda Cohen is a unicorn. She isn’t afraid to infuse every aspect of Dirt Candy with personality, and the dishes are all the better for it. Knowing Ms. Cohen’s capacity for creativity, we wish the menu were refreshed with new inventions more often. But popular items, like the jalapeno hush puppies, have been mainstays for years—so take comfort in knowing your favorites will be waiting for you. Vegetable ice cream salad? Enough said.

    The Cecil, Chef JJ Johnson

    The Cecil’s Collard Green Salad. (Photo: Lindsay Talley)

    One of the leaders of the dining revolution in Harlem, Chef JJ Johnson skillfully marries the least expected pairs: African and Asian—but, of course, the flavors make sense. Both cuisines are traditionally plant-­heavy and packed with fragrant spices and bold flavors. At The Cecil, Mr. Johnson serves refreshingly unique ingredients like grits with edamame, West African peanut lentil stew with Asian pear, and charred okra with red beans. The vegetable wok bar with its piri piri sauce is always a crowd-­pleaser, and the sides—usually an afterthought—are not to be missed.

    Le Bernardin, Chef Eric Ripert

    Le Bernardin (Photo: Daphne Cheng)

    Le Bernardin may be known for its mastery of fruits de mer, but the same obsessive level of care and skill are demonstrated in its fresh fruit and vegetable dishes. With enough advance notice, the young, brilliant pastry chef Thomas Raquel will happily design an almost-­too-­pretty-­to-­eat sweet finale. Peruvian chocolate, muscovado ganache, chocolate biscuit, roasted figs? Yes… yes… yes…

    Honorable Mentions

    Cafe Clover, Chef David Standridge—Cafe Clover has all the right ingredients: beautiful space, beautiful people and beautiful food. A few dishes stand out—the ivory lentil risotto and velvet sunchoke soup are delightful, but there’s a certain pizazz that’s missing to make this restaurant truly great.

    Beatrice Inn, Chef Angie Mar—Carnivores rally behind Chef Angie Mar, formerly of The Spotted Pig, who claims she’s “not so into [her] vegetables.” But when asked nicely, Mar creates soul­-satisfying off­ menu dishes sans meat using roasted fruits and plenty of fried herbs that are just the right amount of sweet, savory, smoky and comforting. Stop here first if you think vegan food can never be as sumptuous as meat. Ms. Mar will show you how it’s done.

    Del Posto, Chef Mark Hadner—Del Posto offers an extravagantly priced vegan tasting menu with several creative twists but there is certainly room for improvement. Some dishes had good intentions but underwhelming execution. Still very encouraging that they are offering the menu in the first place and we’d love to see it evolve.

    There are certain restaurants that claim to be vegetable­ forward but are unwilling to accommodate vegans at this time: Semilla, Atera, Luksus, Take Root… consider this a gentle nudge to change your policy.

    There have also been a few restaurants who have tried their hand at vegetable tasting menus but for some reason have not kept them up: Gotham Bar & Grill, PUBLIC, Acme… please bring them back.

    Vogue calls Daphne Cheng a "fashionable chef" by Daphne Cheng

    "A new food frontier has arrived and it looks mighty leafy. From spring’s unveiling of Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady’s much-hyped, organic and vegetable-focused regimen to gloriously inspired vegetarian Instagrams and now to the lauded debut of a 100 percent plant-based burger, we’ve arrived in a modern, bountiful, and, dare we say, sexy herbivore era."

    "This month, DeRossi’s new West Village eatery, Ladybird (taking its title from a Nancy Sinatra song), serves textural tapas delights like vegetable charcuterie featuring smoked carrot, beet chorizo, mushroom pâté, assorted cheeses, and fig compote alongside a light gazpacho trio with honeydew, watermelon, and sweet corn. Its fashionable chef, Daphne Cheng, finds it easy to stay inspired. “New flavor pairings, plays on texture and color—the number of permutations is endless,” Cheng says, “I could create new dishes and flavor profiles every day for the rest of my life and still never scratch the surface.” And, bonus dining-out points: 10 percent of the proceeds benefit DeRossi’s BEAST Foundation, dedicated to ending the inhumane treatment of animals.

    Not ready for the full revolution? When dining out, chef Cheng recommends a few simple swaps to eat more vegetables."

    Read on at Vogue.com

    Xingqiu: 3年创造800道菜,27岁的她靠做私房菜成为纽约最红素食厨师! by Daphne Cheng


    原创 2016-06-30 Hazel 素食星球



    ► 有人说,靠做私房菜来养活自己,真是一件疯狂的事情。这个27岁的姑娘偏偏就在这么做,还想以此改变世界!

















































    为纯素时尚品牌Vaute Couture创始人Leane设计的一个她从小到大梦想中的菜单:酥饼干、烤素芝士佛卡夏面包、玉米“蛋”饼、素芝士通心粉和草莓奶油蛋糕。





    但无一例外地好吃! 比如,莲子味的冰淇淋、






















    将它命名为Exihibit C.,不但举办晚餐,































    她决定让自己变得健康起来,开始为自己做饭。14岁那年,她读到坎贝尔教授的《救命饮食》(英文名是China Study,又翻译为《中国健康调查报告》),变成了完全素食者(Vegan)。




















    服务过Vera Wang、Alec Baldwin、

    Lea Michele、Eric Lewis、Peter Max等名人,

    也为Sea Shepherd、Farm Sanctuary、
















    popup dinner(快闪晚餐)、晚餐派对、



















    Mother of Pearl的主厨。


    颇有异域风情的Mother of Pearl之前是一个鸡尾酒酒吧



    她帮助餐厅老板Ravi DeRossi






    Fried coconut tofu, 炸椰子豆腐



    Jackfruit/shiitake mushroom buns+ ginger aioli+ five spice ketchup, 菠萝蜜蘑菇夹包+姜味“蛋黄酱”+五香番茄酱



    Green Mango Poke, 绿芒果夏威夷沙拉



    Rum rice with dragon fruit, edamame, orange, ginger and scallion, 朗姆炒饭配火龙果、毛豆、橙子和葱姜

    Chocolate haupia pie, 夏威夷巧克力椰奶派


    Panikeke lopotopoto (Hawaiian fried pancakes) with rum caramel and whipped cream, 夏威夷煎饼, 朗姆焦糖和奶油








    和“世界上最快乐的人”Matthieu Ricard(中)在一场由她掌厨的冥想活动上















































































    我越来越喜欢上办晚宴,就开始找一个空间,可以经常做晚宴。后来找到了Tribeca一个美丽的Loft,也就是后来的晚餐俱乐部 Suite ThreeOhSix。




    H: 创业的过程是否一直很顺利和成功?遇到过哪些困难?

    D: 这段经历其实蛮跌宕起伏的。最初,我完全是靠透支信用卡做起来的,大部分的工作都是我自己来做,因为我请不起员工。







    D: 有人恐怕会说,靠做私房菜来赚钱,是一件挺疯狂的事情。







    目前,我正在建立一个现代版的“老男孩俱乐部”——Society C.。过去,老男孩的社交网决定了谁可以成功谁不能,但我们将通过男女兼收的会员制度,以及一种有社会良心和使命感的理念颠覆它。我们会先在纽约发起,将来扩展到中国、香港,但目前我还不能透露太多。另外,我计划在中国开一家餐厅,可能会在上海或者香港。















    【 如需转载,请于后台回复“转载”获得授权 】












    Party like an animal... for the animals by Daphne Cheng

    On April 14th, we celebrated the launch of BEAST, an exciting new foundation that celebrates animal life in a fun way, raising money by hosting parties. We hosted a fabulous dinner and cocktail party at Mother of Pearl

    Learn more about BEAST and how you can help animals through dancing, dining, and partying.

    On InStyle: How to Make a Delicious Hawaiian Poké Bowl Without the Tuna by Daphne Cheng

    If you want to get in on the poké trend but don't eat fish, you're in luck. The Hawaiian delicacy, made of raw tuna chunks marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, is having a serious culinary moment in L.A. and N.Y.C., causing every vegan who appreciates a buzzy food item to experience debilitating FOMO. Thankfully, the island-inspired restaurant Mother of Pearl in N.Y.C.'s East Village is offering a delicious solution: a mango version made with tomatoes, jicama, and macadamia nuts—the first in a new set of meatless menu offerings.

    Read More