Were you dreaming of a vegan croque-monsieur? Ladurée will serve you one on a platter. Though the French pastry brand’s location in Beverly Hills, California went 100% vegan on September 25, Ladurée has been offering a variety of vegan options in Paris, London, and New York since the last week. In New York, the vegan options represent about 30% of the new menu.
This change is the result of a meeting between Elisabeth Holder, Director of Development of Ladurée USA, and Matthew Kenney, pioneer of vegan cuisine in the United States. Holder discovered the chef’s work on Instagram. “His account was impressive, everything was pretty, aesthetic, appetizing, gourmet,” she explained. “I contacted him on the app. Two days later, we had coffee, an hour later we shook hands. Ladurée was going vegan.”
If the vegetarian offerings of the house, famous for its macarons, had been expanding for several years, this change is of a much larger magnitude. “It was a desire to be more and more responsible and green. But I didn’t think I would go so far as becoming a vegan,” confessed Holder. The meeting with Matthew was a revelation. I thought to myself that a brand like ours, which has 150 years of French tradition, had to get moving, go fast and create an electroshock.”
As for the food itself, the group revisits the house’s classics in a vegan version. “We wanted to stay with a very Ladurée menu, in the culinary tradition that makes up the DNA of our house, but just offer another way of preparing the food.”
Kenney was trained in French cuisine, before becoming a vegetarian and then a vegan. “He knows perfectly well all this culture that is ours, the dishes in sauces, working with cream and butter,” affirmed Holder. With a chef of this caliber, with this savoir-faire, and the whole team behind it, it was the perfect meeting.”
On the menu: omelettes, salads, croque-monsieurs, vol-au-vent, pâté, cheeses, onion soup — all vegan. Outside the Beverly Hills location, the Ladurée macarons will not be vegan, but instead “super macarons,” rich in “super foods” (matcha, moringa, lucuma…) will make an appearance in stores. “That was the most challenging part. We’ve reworked the viennoiseries, pastries, macarons… It was a huge challenge.”