For the first time in its history, this year’s Met Gala will feature a sustainable, plant-based menu with recipes from a group of 10 up-and-coming chefs based in New York City: Fariyal Abdullahi, Nasim Alikhani, Emma Bengtsson, Lazarus Lynch, Junghyun Park, Erik Ramirez, Thomas Raquel, Sophia Roe, Simone Tong, and Fabian von Hauske.
They are restaurant owners, cookbook authors, and general inventors of delicious recipes, all carefully chosen by restaurateur-chef Marcus Samuelsson and Bon Appétit to showcase the brilliant talent throughout the industry in America. “I am honored to participate in an initiative that highlights the incredible work of these 10 New York chefs at the Met Gala,” said Samuelsson in a press release from the Met earlier today. “After a difficult two years for the restaurant industry, this will showcase the work and tell the stories of a dynamic group of chefs while presenting an exciting menu of delicious, plant-based dishes. The gala offers an incomparable opportunity for emerging talent to elevate their careers and share their perspectives and craft.”
While this year’s Met Gala will be a more intimate celebration of the Costume Institute’s next exhibition, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” the event on 13 September has made a conscious effort to celebrate American culture in every detail, from the dress code of “American Independence” to the night’s menu. The sustainable, plant-based canapés, entrées, and desserts will all focus on each chef’s interpretation of regional American cuisine.
Many of the chefs are behind a set of starry restaurants that have defined New York City’s dining scene. Fabian von Hauske co-owns the Lower East Side hotspot Contra, while Nasim Alikhani’s Park Slope Persian restaurant, Sofreh, ranks high on “best of Brooklyn” lists. Emma Bengtsson is the first female Swedish chef to win two Michelin stars for her work at Aquavit, while Junghyun Park runs Korean fine-dining destination Atomix.
“Climate change, food sovereignty, global value chains, accessibility, species conservation, and industrial accountability must be the driving force in every facet of our lives”
Others have made a splash on the screen. Lazarus Lynch is a two-time Chopped champion, while Sophia Roe hosts Counter Space for Vice TV. Roe sees the Met Gala as an opportunity to inspire change across industries. “The world looks much different now. There’s nothing to hide behind as we move through a rapidly changing world,” she explains. “Climate change, food sovereignty, global value chains, accessibility, species conservation, and industrial accountability must be the driving force in every facet of our lives, and yep, that means fashion too. What better way to integrate these necessary action-forward conversations into the fashion sphere than with the Met Gala?”
Enjoying the creations of these chefs is not just for Met Gala guests! Here, see a set of the Met Gala chefs prepare some of their favourite recipes—and follow their directions to DIY.
Sophia Roe’s Plant-Based Nicoise Inspired Salad
4 cups baby Yukon gold potatoes, steamed/boiled
1 cup chopped heirloom tomato
1 cup French green beans
¾ cup cannellini beans, boxed/organic
1 cup sliced version cucumbers
⅓ cup chopped castelvetrano olives
1 cup chopped herbs of choice
⅓ cup olive oil
2 clove garlic, minced finely
2 tbsp finely minced shallots
4 tbsp champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tsp dijon mustard
½ tbsp white or yellow miso
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the dressing, whisk together the minced garlic, minced shallot, champagne vinegar, lemon zest, dijon mustard, white miso, and olive oil until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a large pot of salted water, add the baby Yukon gold potatoes. Boil them for around 10-12 minutes, or until tender. Drain them, and set aside in a bowl. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and a 1 tsp of salt to the potatoes. Repeat this process for the green beans, cooking them in heavily salted water for 3 to 4 minutes, until they are tender. Drain the beans, squeeze the other half of lemon on the beans, and set aside.
In a separate large bowl, add the chopped tomatoes, cannellini beans, sliced cucumbers, 1/3 cup castelvetrano olives, and chopped herbs.
Serve potatoes, green beans, and tomato/cucumber/olive mixture on a large platter. Top generously with dressing, plenty of cracked black pepper and lemon zest.
Junghyun Park’s Burdock Mini Gimbap
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
2ea cooked rice (pack)
⅓ tbsp salt
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed
1 tbsp sesame oil
- Microwave the instant rice for about 1 minute, or as stated on the package.
- Remove the rice immediately into a mixing bowl and add salt, sesame seed, and sesame oil. Mix well until fully incorporated. Let cool to an ambient temperature.
12g sesame oil
30g gin soy sauce (ganjang)
30g Korean rice syrup (jocheong)
- Using a peeler, remove the skin of the burdock and wash in cold water. Julienne the cleaned burdock in matchstick sizes.
- In a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, pour in the sesame oil along with the burdock and pan fry for about 1 minute or until the burdock is well coated in the oil.
- Add in the sugar and soy sauce and pan fry for about 3 to 4 minutes until the color is absorbed into the burdocks. Once color is evenly incorporated, add in water and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
- When the burdocks are pleasantly crunchy and only a bit of water is left, add in the jocheong (Korean rice syrup) and let reduce.
- Once there is little moisture remaining in the pan and the burdocks are fully cooked, remove from heat and let cool on a flat wide plate.
Drizzle of neutral cooking oil
Pinch of salt
- Using a peeler, remove the outer skins of the carrot and wash in cold water. Julienne the cleaned carrot in matchstick sizes.
- In a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, add in a small amount of neutral cooking oil and pan fry and add in a pinch of salt.
- For about 3 minutes or until the carrots are cooked. Remove from heat and let cool on a flat wide plate.
Danmooji (Pickled radish)
- Slice to 2-inch lengthwise and then to batonnet width (about ¼ inch wide).
Good quality gim (aka nori) sheet
- Slice to 2-inch by 2-inch square slices.
- Atop the 2×2 gim square, place one spoonful of the seasoned rice and spread evenly across the square using your hands.
- Add in the desired amount of prepared burdock, carrot, and danmooji.
- Roll the gimbap using your hands.
- Optional: for a more nutty taste, the finished gimbap can be lightly coated in sesame oil using a culinary brush or hands, and sesame seeds can be used as garnish.
This story was originally published on Vogue.com.