Not unlike Gordon Ramsay, I have no particular love for Vegans or their concept, but I do respect it as a culinary art. Well, I didn’t — but I do now. I tend to eat meals at home that are quick and easy to prepare and don’t have the time or perhaps the will, to prepare them. I do know several Vegans, infact some are very proficient at cooking creative dishes; Hannah Murray from TRE Radio, and her husband P.J. Lopez make a lot of Vegan food for family and friends. However I was surprised to see that Michelin has given Michelin Stars (including their new Green Star award) to Vegan restaurants. What is not surprising is that of the top six, two are Japanese; one in Tokyo and the other in New York. There are none in Spain — so far!

But Daigo, in the Japanese capital Tokyo has held on to its two Michelin stars for over a decade ever since it was awarded in 2009. The restaurant has been serving shojin ryori since 1950, when it first opened its doors by the Seisho-ji temple near Mount Atago. Dining at Daigo is all about respecting the natural flavours of authentic plant-based ingredients grown and native to Japan. One of the most famous dishes here is the soba, served with grated yam and Japanese mustard.

Eleven Madison Park New York’s famous three-Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison recently made a bold move by taking meat, dairy and eggs completely off the menu. When it re-opened from the pandemic  in May 2022; Chef Daniel Humm decided it was clear that going 100% plant-based was a “risk worth taking” because animal agriculture was “simply not sustainable”. They spoke to Shojin cuisine master Chef Toshio, who spent 40 days with Humm to craft a number of Shojin-inspired dishes guests can now enjoy at EMP.

And the UK boasts Gautier Soho, the London restaurant led by Chef Alexis Gauthier, won a Michelin star within just a year of opening; it took the leap to veganism after a PETA campaign exposed the cruelty and exploitation behind the animal meat industry. Gauthier re-imagined all his classic French dishes to make them completely plant-based—even foie gras, the dish deeply entrenched in French cuisine but made from the livers of force-fed ducks and geese. He now serves a “faux gras” made from lentils, walnuts, mushrooms and cognac, and this recipe has even caught the attention of the UK government, that is consulting the chef on ethical foie gras alternatives: That I would love to try.