The move will complete the restaurant’s gradual shift to a plant-based menu, from serving more than 20kg of foie gras each week just a few years ago.
At present the restaurant serves a number of meat and fish dishes on its a la carte menu, including lobster and caviar ravioli; Berkshire pork fillet, Barbary duck; and Atlantic cod, but Gauthier says these will all leave the menu by 2020. Currently 75% of the menu is vegan.
The Romilly Street restaurant already serves vegan tasting menu ‘les plantes’, and Gauthier says the number of people choosing the menu is increasing.
The restaurant began to change its meat focus following demonstrations by animal rights charity PETA in October 2015, and with Gauthier himself deciding to follow a vegan diet.
“[PETA] were saying I was a horrible person because I was using foie gras,” said Gauthier, speaking at Restaurant magazine's Restaurant Congress in London earlier this month. “Then I thought about it and started to listen to what people had to say about the suffering of animals and thought ‘what am I here for? Is this really the future?”
“I can cook what I’ve been taught for next 25 years and make money, but do I really want to carry on ignoring what’s happening?”
From now on, all creativity will focus on vegan options with the restaurant no longer working on any new meat or fish based dishes.
“I decided in our kitchen we would not be creating any more new dishes involving meat and fish or things with eggs and butter,” said Gauthier. “The pure creativity has to lie with veganism.”
“Within 18 months to two years we will hopefully be 100% vegan. People will know there will be no impact on animals when they come into our restaurant. We are going from serving 20kg of foie gras every week five years ago to having no impact on animals, which I think is wonderful.”