Leave it to intrepid food writer Kenji Lopez-Alt to convince Tony Maws to go vegan. What a life. Alt posed a challenge for Serious Eats: “Serve a multi-course tasting menu to myself and my meat-eating father, without letting him catch on that there is no meat in his food. The whole goal was to prove to him—a hardcore meat eater—that food can be every bit as diverse, flavorful, and satisfying whether it’s got meat in it or not.” (Editor’s note: Yeah right!) Not sure what was in it for Mr. Maws — and isn’t he kind of busy? — but fine. We were curious. This is the same place, after all, that started the Great Foodie Rebellion with its limited-edition burger.
But it was a win-win situation: “Maws told us that he hadn’t had that much fun cooking in his kitchen for a while, playing with novel techniques, seeking out new ingredients, and watching through the open kitchen, he seemed to be enjoying the challenge.” Alt’s dad didn’t feel meat-deprived (he didn’t even know about the ruse ‘til course five), and everything tasted just lovely.
As for us, we learned something new! You can, in fact, eat like a vegan at Craigie, if you’re lucky. The story’s takeaway? Mention your request when reserving. (They “will always do their best to accommodate any sort of diet, depending on how busy the restaurant is, there is a possibility they won’t be able to offer a vegan tasting menu at all times.”) Best book at off hours, vegans. Or else, hey, go eat at Coppa! Just kidding.
A 12-Course Vegan Feast at Craigie on Main [Serious Eats]