When it comes to fine dining in London, Gauthier is the place to be. And not just any fine dining: Michelin-star fine dining, at that. What makes their vegan à la carte menu so special, we hear you ask? Well, aside from the fact it has won a whole heap of awards – including ‘Best Vegan Menu’ at the 2016 PETA Vegan Food Awards – it’s run by the classically trained Alexis Gauthier, a French chef who used to serve upwards of 20kg of foie gras a week.
Realising the implications eating so much meat can have on your body and the planet, in 2018, he went vegan himself and introduced Gauthier’s vegan menu. The star of the show is their vegan foie gras, a dish remarkably similar to the real deal, sans meat.
Plant Love – The New Vegan Way
A history with plants
Chef Alexis Gauthier’s history with vegetables is well documented, first creating a plant-focused ‘garden menu’ back in 1997 at his restaurant Roussillon, at a time when vegetables in British restaurants did not get as much attention as they do today . It quickly became a hit and has remained on his menus ever since. After sensing the move towards a more plant focused diner, Alexis wrote his book Vegetronic which spoke directly to a more ‘plant-curious’ demographic.
Opening Gauthier Soho in 2010, Alexis knew from the very beginning that vegetables would be a main focus, and made his vegetable menu stand shoulder to shoulder with the classic gout du jour menu. Vegetarian tasting menus were by then forming 20-30% of all bookings at Gauthier Soho.
When the animal rights charity PETA ran an international vegan month back in October 2015, Gauthier Soho took part ‘really to test the water’, converting the vegetable menu to fully vegan, and coinciding with Alexis himself turning vegan. We were overwhelmed with the response. Since then, the vegan menu ‘Les Plantes’ has been available permanently, gathering fans with steadily increasing regularity.