First He Ditched Foie Gras. Now This Michelin-Starred Chef is Reopening His Restaurant as Fully Vegan

On June 23, Michelin-star chef Alexis Gauthier will re-open his London-based French restaurant Gauthier Soho as a completely vegan eatery. Though the fine-dining restaurant has offered a vegan menu since 2015—due in part to pressure by animal-rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to remove foie gras from his menu—Gauthier himself also went vegan at that time and has been working towards a 100-percent vegan menu for a number of years. “I’m vegan myself; it would be unethical for me to profit from selling dead animals,” Gauthier told industry trade publication Big Hospitality.

The new menu will feature dishes such as Summer Truffle Tortellini, Harissa Cauliflower, Golden Fennel Boulangere, and Very Dark Chocolate Tart. Gauthier is also currently offering a Vegan Box delivery service that includes an eight-course vegan meal with an optional wine pairing that can be delivered anywhere in England. There is a new menu offered each week featuring dishes such as Black Truffle Faux Gras, Quesadilla Verde, and Chipotle Brioche. 

Customer pushback

Since announcing the restaurant re-opening, Gauthier says he has received pushback from customers. “It’s been a big problem. I was aware I’d have a fight on my hands, especially as I have many customers who have been eating my food since I was at [my former restaurant] Roussillon,” Gauthier said. “I understand people feel let down … But I say, ‘Trust me, what we’re cooking is as good as that.’ Some people are up for it and some aren’t.” 

In addition to the re-opening of Gauthier Soho, Gauthier also recently launched plant-based cafeteria 123 Vegan inside the Fenwick department store in London, featuring salads, rice bowls, cheeseburgers, and quesadillas.

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