Ravi Derossi’s vegan crusade is now in full swing. The restaurateur behind many an East Village cocktail bar (Death & Co, Amor y Amargo), as well as vegan hotspot Avant Garden,announced earlier this year that all of his projects would undergo a menu overhaul — an effort to minimize food waste and reduce environmental impact. The transition began in February with Mother of Pearl, a Polynesian-inspired lounge that now boasts a menu entirely devoid of animal ingredients.
Rossi admits that in opening his earlier projects, the bacon hype of the early 'aughts (may it rest in peace) got the better of him, and he rarely made an effort to offer meat-free alternatives. But the popularity of a venture like Avant Garden affirmed his suspicions that diners are ready for morally-conscious, produce-forward restaurants.
On this episode of Consumed, host Kat Odell sits down with Derossi at Mother of Pearl to discuss the future of veganism — it's not going anywhere, Derossi says — and to sample the restaurant's new menu, from chef Daphne Cheng.