The Stories We Tell

Matthew Kenney’s take Veganism

By: Meredith Eldred

If you’ve jumped on the plant-based trend wagon, then you’ll want to be in the know about Matthew Kenney’s philosophy on restaurants! Whichever big city you’re in, there’s a chance he’s got a place for you.

With locations ranging from New York City to Chicago to Dubai, they have hospitality concepts “designed to reimagine the way guests experience food” (Matthew Kenney). These concepts are rooted in the fact that art and nutrition should go hand in hand to elevate the healthy dining experience to improve how the modern world consumes food.

The Matthew Kenney restaurants currently boast an international market and continue to expand their offerings. New York City alone has 8 locations, ranging from pizza to pasta to desserts.

Recently I had the pleasure of trying Double Zero, located in the heart of the East Village on 2nd Avenue. Of course, double Zero being a pizza restaurant, I had to try the plant-based Margherita pizza.

It did not disappoint with cashew mozzarella, the perfect thickness of crust, and ample basil on top. Next door is Sestina, a Pasta Bar also a part of the Matthew Kenney vision. Vegan Caprese? Check. Spicy rigatoni? Check. Not to mention an extensive wine/cocktail menu.

As one might guess, the genius behind the brand is chef Matthew Kenney. In 1993, he opened up his namesake restaurant, “Matthew’s,” in New York City and became Food & Wine magazine’s “1994 Best New Chef”.

Over the years, he’s written books on the plant-based diet, expanded his restaurants globally, and changed the game to educate the masses on veganism with the companies Matthew Kenney Cuisine and Matthew Kenney Culinary.

As we all know, one of the beautiful aspects of cuisine is that it’s constantly changing and evolving. Unfortunately, veganism has always had a stigma of bland and unappetizing foods.

Still, the way Matthew Kenney has revolutionized plant-based cuisine, as well as its popularity in today’s popular culture, is changing that. In addition to his trailblazing plant-based popularity, Kenney gives back to each community he opens a restaurant in and educates the next generation of chefs with plant-based training programs known as the Food Future Institute.

In the words of VegNews, “over lunch, dinner, brunch, or just a glass of wine, you’ll understand why Kenney is heralded as one of the world’s top vegan chefs.

Look around and see the future of veganism, a world in which clean, fresh ingredients blend with [the] glitz and glamour”.

Gone are the days of gag-worthy tofu and bland broccoli!

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