Iron Chef Jose Garces Opens His First Vegan Restaurant in Philadelphia
Iron Chef Jose Garces has just opened his first vegan restaurant, Livy's Plant-Based Foods in Philadelphia. The Food Network regular named his new eatery after his daughter, Olivia, whose veganism inspired him to launch a plan-based menu. Her plant-based diet has influenced his cooking style, and lead him to fuse his decades of culinary experience with the plant-forward meals he prepares for his daughter.
“The exploration of cooking plant-based foods has led me to believe that we really don’t ‘need’ to have meat to have amazing flavors and culinary experiences,” Garces said. “There are challenges, for sure, but meat isn’t necessary to have something that is delicious and satisfying.”
Livy’s operates from a ghost-kitchen, preparing sustainable meals for delivery and serving a variety of customizable burgers. Customers can choose between an Impossible Burger patty or a housemade black bean vegan 'chorizo' patty. The burger can be stacked with an exciting selection of non-dairy cheese including feta, smoked gouda, parmesan, cheddar, and even a vegan version of cheese whiz. If you're craving a loaded burger, Livy's offers plant-based meats like vegan chorizo and bacon or specialty toppings like vegan chili, vegan egg, and hashbrowns. For a finishing touch, the restaurant offers a range of house-made sauces such as vegenaise, cilantro aioli, sriracha remoulade, Carolina mustard barbeque, and tzatziki.
Chef Garces is a well-known name in the industry thanks to years of Food Network appearances and renowned restaurant concepts, but none until now that dove into plant-based options. For a celebrity chef to launch a plant-based restaurant is still a novelty in the food scene, where meat-heavy options are typically are treated as irrefutable gourmet staples. The introduction of more publicized plant-based restaurants showcases this upward trend of meatless options.
Chef Garces Was Inspired by His Daughter's Drive for Sustainable Food
Livy's Plant-Based Foods' website sheds some light on just how deeply the Chef was inspired by his daughter and her generation as a whole, saying, "The idea of cooking with a conscience wasn’t Chef Jose's alone. His 18-year-old daughter, Olivia, is committed to a gluten-free and plant-based lifestyle. Chef Jose has watched Olivia and her generation grow into thoughtful, conscious, and active young consumers who care about the future of our planet and strive to eat and live ethically."
"In cooking for Olivia, Chef Jose has been inspired and challenged to apply his traditional techniques and know-how to making foods that are both delicious and sensitive to the wellbeing of our planet, animals, and future generations."
The fresh, sustainable restaurant is opened for pick-up and delivery. Livy's Plant-Based Foods is serving up delicious, plant-based burgers, so if you are in the Philadelphia area you can try out the eatery's plant-based options by placing an order on popular services including Postmates, Grubhub, or UberEats.