Chef James Rigato will be serving an entirely plant-based menu at his restaurant Mabel Gray in Detroit in August after selling out a weeklong vegan event he hosted in March. “That was ‘Hey, we hear you, it’s your week,’” Rigato told Metro Times about catering to vegan-curious customers. “It sold out so fast and packed the house with vegans and non-vegans, and everyone who came out had a blast.” Rigato explained that chefs are frequently interested in vegetables and plant-based dining because of the variety. “We love vegetables more than most animals,” Rigato said. “There are so many—ramps, fiddleheads, morels, tomatoes in season, olive oil, vinegars—it’s more exciting than ‘Look at this whole goat that I got.’” Mabel Gray’s vegan menu launches from August 7th and September 1st when the restaurant will offer customers an eight-course meal ($65) made with ingredients such as black truffles, heirloom grains, and boutique vegetables that are seared, smoked, charred, raw, and/or fermented. Rigato says August is the perfect time of year to serve a vegan menu, stating, “I’d much rather eat fruits, vegetables, grains, and probiotics when it’s 100 degrees out than a pound of steak.”
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