What Type Of Food Does Eleven Madison Park Serve?

Since 2011, Chef Daniel Humm has led Eleven Madison Park to impressive accolades: Best of the Best from World's 50 Best, three Micheline stars, numerous James Beard recognitions, Wine Spectator's Grand Award, and four stars from The New York Times (per Eleven Madison Park). But the restaurant once known for lavender glazed duck and celery root braised in pig bladder has changed focus (via Insider).

As told to Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show, the pandemic caused Humm to rethink his business and approach to food. When his restaurant was forced to shut down due to Covid-19 restrictions, Humm converted his kitchen to cook meals for New Yorkers in need. In doing so, Humm re-energized his own work. "I realized that food can make change, and that food is my language," Humm told Fallon. When the time came to reopen the restaurant, Humm realized the world didn't need more lobster or duck. The future of Eleven Madison Park was much more green.

A pivot in perspective and business

Dining room reservations for Eleven Madison Park now entail eight to 10 seasonal and plant-based dishes (via Tock). The revised menu took months to perfect, according to The World's 50 Best, and borrows inspiration from shojin ryori, Japanese Buddhist cuisine. "When we set out to make this menu and committed to being entirely plant-based, we said all along that we would only do it if the meal was going to be as delicious as before," Humm told 50 Best.

And it's not just the restaurant. Humm's service Eleven Madison Home aims to bring these same principles into the homes of customers through delivered boxes of meals and snacks made from local fruits, vegetables, and seasonal pastas. As told to Fallon, Humm is determined to make plant-based meals accessible to all. For every reservation at Eleven Madison Park, five meals are provided through Humm's initiative, Rethink Food. The initiative is an effort to combat food insecurity by serving produce-forward and planet-friendly food to those in need.

It was a bold move to pivot the focus of his restaurant, but as Humm writes, "I am not a climate expert, nor do I really understand the food and farming system in all of its details. My decision came from the limited window of our kitchen and having witnessed the significant change in the quality of ingredients we were sourcing," via Eleven Madison Park.