Michelin-starred chef opens new vegan taco restaurant in Las Vegas

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Dominique Crenn, the brains and culinary expertise behind the three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn restaurant in San Francisco, has announced that she will be opening a vegan taco hotspot in Las Vegas next year.

The restaurant, called La Madrina (meaning “the godmother” in Spanish), opens in a new dining hall.

The place called The Sundry is close to the main strip. It will house a range of upmarket restaurants and bars and is due for completion early next year.

La Madrina’s menu is said to feature an array of plant-based dishes, with an emphasis on tacos.

The alcohol menu is also expected to be extensive, with several tequila and mezcal already confirmed.

Eliminate land animals from the menu

As the first US woman to earn three Michelin stars, Crenn has been a pro-meatless advocate for some time.

In 2019, she stopped serving meat from land animals in her Restaurants in San Francisco. In a statement at the time, Crenn Dining Group said the move was environmentally concerned. Word was that seafood would continue to be served.

“Meat is insanely complicated – both within the food system and the environment as a whole – and honestly, it felt easier to just eliminate it from menus altogether,” commented Crenn.

A year later, she opened the vegan delivery restaurant VitaBowl in LA. Additional locations in New York, Austin, Chicago and Seattle are planned.

Michelin chefs are turning away from meat

Crenn is not alone. Many cooks avoid meat.

Rasmus Kofoed is the Executive Chef at Geranium in Copenhagen, which was recently voted the restaurant best restaurant in the world. Kofoed also took most of the meat off its Michelin-starred menu, leaving only seafood.

Similar to Crenn, he revealed environmental concerns as a driving force behind the decision.

It is worth noting that the fishing industry is still considered largely unsustainable and is heavily linked to pollution and biodiversity loss. Some cooks therefore completely avoid animal products.

Michelin-starred chef Alexis Gauthier transformed his London restaurant into Gauthier Soho, completely vegan in 2021, although some customers object.

As a classically trained French chef, it meant using ingredients such as Foie gras from his menu. The move was successful enough to support the opening of a new plant-based cafe in Mayfair’s Fenwick department store.

Most recently New York restaurant Eleven Madison Park made history by maintaining its three Michelin star rating after switching to a fully vegan menu. The high-end Manhattan restaurant shocked fans by removing animal products from its menu following its closure and reassessment by chef Daniel Humm during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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