During a recent interview in Vice magazine, New York chef Daphne Cheng revealed that restaurant Mother of Pearl has doubled its sales since re-launching as an all-vegan eatery. Earlier this year, owner and vegan restauranteur Ravi DeRossi announced that he would eliminate animal products from the menus at each of his 15 restaurants. Former tiki-bar Mother of Pearl relaunched as a Polynesian restaurant and cocktail lounge on Valentine’s Day as the first to make the vegan transition. DeRossi’s 12-year-old restaurant Bourgeois Pig was soon to follow and now operates under the name Ladybird, serving vegan tapas and dairy-free versions of its former incarnation’s famed fondue. In 2015, DeRossi opened upscale vegan tapas bar AvantGarden as a “passion project” with the hopes of dispelling the “granola-crunching” vegan stereotype. DeRossi—who found success operating non-vegan restaurants in New York for more than a decade—describes the shift as a reconciling of his ethical vegan beliefs. “I’m more worried about my conscience and living with the weight on my shoulders of the damage I’m doing, and the suffering of animals,” DeRossi says.
Photo courtesy of Mother of Pearl