Claridge’s chef quits after bosses reject calls for vegan menu

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Daniel Humm  (Getty Images for Keep Memory Ali)
Daniel Humm (Getty Images for Keep Memory Ali)

A Michelin star chef at Claridge’s hotel in Mayfair has dramatically quit after bosses rejected his calls for an all-vegan menu.

Daniel Humm, 45, will leave his post at £125-a-head restaurant Davies and Brook at the end of the year after proposals for a plant-based kitchen were shot down.

The five-star hotel – which charges £400 per room for a night - said it is “not the path we wish to follow” but thanked the chef for his service.

Mr Humm shared a message from fellow chef George Baldwin on Instagram criticising the restaurant for having “missed a huge opportunity to champion” a plant-based menu. “Be a visionary, not a sheep”, Mr Baldwin added. 

In a statement posted on Twitter, Claridge’s said: “We wish to thank Daniel Humm and his extraordinary team at Davies and Brook for what they have created here at Claridge’s since they opened in 2019, gaining accolades along the way under challenging circumstances.

“We completely respect and understand the culinary direction of a fully plant-based menu that Daniel has decided to embrace and champion and now wants to introduce to London.

“However, this is not the path we wish to follow here at Claridge’s at the moment, and therefore, regretfully, we have mutually decided to go our separate ways.

“Daniel has been a long standing friend of the hotel for many years and we wish him nothing but continued success as he spearheads this bold new vision.

“Davies and Brook will continue to operate under his direction until the end of December 2021, and we will update on future plans at Claridge’s in due course.”

It comes after a hotel insider told the Daily Mail that “if they turn the restaurant vegan, they will upset thousands of regular guests”.

They added: “Bosses are terrified that Humm will leave if his demands are not met, which would mean they would be without him during the Christmas season, their busiest time of year.”

Mr Humm recently introduced a plant-based menu at his Michelin-starred restaurant in New York called Eleven Madison Park.

Menu items include cucumber with melon and smoked daikon, fried pepper with Swiss chard and courgette with lemongrass and tofu.

In a statement posted on Instagram, Mr Humm said: “@davies_and_brook was a dream come true. My career started at Claridge’s and to go back was an incredible gift. 

“It is a beautiful restaurant, with a dedicated and passionate team led by @dmitri_magi and @annekabrooks who have won a Michelin star and numerous other accolades—and who continue to push forward even under challenging circumstances.  

“The future for me is plant-based. This is our mission and what we stand by as a company, and at this time this is not the direction that @claridgeshotel feels is right for them. 

“It is with sadness now that we’ve mutually announced that we will go our separate ways at the end of this year.”   

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