Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito recently took over as the head chef of 10-year-old restaurant The Standard Grill in New York City, where he is championing the addition of plant-based menu items. The chef has been interviewed by several media outlets to promote his return to cooking in a professional kitchen and is passionately discussing the meteoric rise of plant-based companies such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. “I think we’ll probably move beyond the fake meat label soon—literally 550 percent growth in two weeks,” DiSpirito told FOX Business reporter Stuart Varney about Beyond Meat’s success on NASDAQ after it launched its initial public offering (IPO) last month. “[There’s] really nothing fake about that, that surprised even me and I’m a big fan. I don’t know if you remember when Shake Shack IPO’d, they IPO’d at a billion dollars—arguably one of the best burger brands in the country and [Beyond Meat] is surpassing that with fake meat—it’s extraordinary and both of us wish we were in on the IPO right?” DiSpirito provided similar commentary during his interview with Yahoo Finance where he explained that the evolution of food within the restaurant industry in recent years is moving toward embracing more plant-based meat alternatives. “The rest of the world has caught up because … as you can tell from this massive IPO, the vegan burger world has been completely validated by the public interest,” DiSpirito said. “I feel like this IPO validates it as something more than a fad … if you look at anyone under 30 years old, the norm is a vegan burger.”

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