Restaurateurs Ellen Kassoff Gray and Todd Gray have already nailed down their 2019 New Year’s resolution. The owners of Equinox Restaurant in Washington, DC, decided their 20th year in business will involve a major push to cut down on waste—going well beyond recycling by trying to repurpose kitchen scraps like carrot tops and broccoli stems, replacing beverage napkins with silicon coasters and training kitchen staff to compost what can’t be salvaged.
I’m allergic to dairy, so whenever I look at a restaurant menu, I have to play a guessing game as to what I can eat — or overwhelm a server with tons of questions. So I tend to eat vegan often out of convenience. There’s no better feeling than walking into a place and knowing I can eat everything on the menu. And at Equinox’s Sunday brunch, I literally have. For 3½ hours every week, the fine dining establishment gets casual, ditching the china and fancy tasting menus for a $35 buffet-style all-you-can eat smorgasbord of some of the city’s best plant-based cooking
At Tuesday's event, some of restaurant chef Todd Gray's creations were being shared. Taking full advantage of the ingredient's egg-like properties, attendees could try a custard or bearnaise sauce made with JUST Egg, as well as more traditional egg dishes like "huevos" rancheros and an "egg" and cheese sandwich on English muffins. Chee said the ingredient can do almost everything an actual egg can, except make cakes fluffy.
Vegan products masquerading as meats or other animal-based ingredients are hardly new. For years, companies have been turning tempeh into bacon or soy protein into cheese. But replicas rarely resembled anything close to the real thing. Then came the Impossible Burger—a plant-based beef substitute that came surprisingly close to ground meat. It even (kind of) “bleeds.” Restaurants bragged when they were one of the first to offer it.
Equinox Restaurant in Washington, DC recently became the first East Coast location to carry Just Egg. The fine-dining establishment from Todd Gray is already 50% plant-based, as well as hosting a weekly vegan brunch.