Posted by Carten Cordell / Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
The Meatless Monday Movement is spreading like wild fire. ABC News, The New Yorker, Eatocracy and even Oprah are encouraging it. Schools, hospitals and many restaurants across the country are participating in this fierce meatless movement. Globally, it is reaching countries such as Japan, Quebec, Brazil, Australia, Holland, South Africa, and Indonesia, to name a few.
In the spirit of Meatless Mondays, renowned Chef Bertrand Chemel of 2941 Restaurant has created a six-course daily-changing vegetarian tasting menu for $65 which is available daily. Some menu items include: mushroom veloute with black trumpet, croutons and rosemary; potato gnocchi with Puits D’Astier cheese and cream; handmade cheese fondue ravioli with cauliflower and black truffle, butterhead lettuce with black sesame dressing, Asian pears and cashews, beet salad with Buddha’s hand confit, candy beets and Robiola cheese; pearl onion stuffed with eggplant and red peppers; chestnut veloute with Armagnac custard; and crispy wild rice with walnuts and shaved artichoke salad. These items are also on their a la carte menu available daily.
I had the pleasure of getting in contact with Kim O’Donnel, food columnist for USA Today, former food columnist for The Washington Post, and author of The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook. This is what she has to say about 2941 and other restaurants participating in Meatless Mondays:
“It’s great that high-end restaurants such as 2941 are hopping aboard the eat-less-meat train. Without a doubt, it’s great for vegetarian diners, giving them another option, but what I think is even more compelling is that it shows the confidence of chefs that meatless cuisine can be as visually appealing & delicious as meat-centric plates, that it’s food worth the time & effort in a high-end restaurant.”
She continues to say, “There are so many reasons why people are eating less meat or no meat at all, a topic which I find endlessly fascinating. The original premise of MM when it started in 2003 was to help Americans reduce their saturated fat intake by 15 percent by the year 2010. More recently, there’s an environmental piece to its message. For me, the piece that continues to resonate about the MM campaign is the power of incremental change. MM encourages people to take one day off from meat. It’s not a diet, it’s not an all or nothing approach and it’s not dogma.”
Let’s not forget that O’Donnel is a meat lover herself. She says, “Baby steps are always more manageable to implement than drastic change, particularly with something as personal as food. It’s how I started eating less meat, and three years later, I eat about 50 percent less meat than I used to. I look at this as an exercise in moderation and balance, making more room for plants on the plate. “
Thank you Kim O’Donnel and 2941.
This Thursday night, I will have the honor of tasting the six-course vegetarian menu so stay tuned for that post on Friday!