Living a vegan lifestyle is extremely difficult. Finding and preparing foods that adhere to the diet can be challenging and, depending on where you are, often nearly impossible. Eating out is a problem as well. In larger cities, there are more vegan-friendly restaurants, but if you are in small-town America, you can pretty much forget about it.
For one celebrity chef, if you are in his restaurant, you can definitely forget about it because you are banned! A famed British chef has taken the extreme steps of banning vegans from his establishment altogether for what he says are “mental health reasons.” We aren’t sure whose mental health he is referring to, the vegans or his, but either way, the “not welcome” mat is now out, and he isn’t backing down.
Celebrity British chef John Mountain gained fame for his show, “Great British Menu.” he opened multiple eateries in his native Britain but retired from television in 2016 and moved to Australia. Once there, he opened a restaurant he called “Fyre” in Connolly, Perth, in Western Australia. Though his goal was to live a calmer, more low-key life, Mountain now finds himself broiled in controversy, pun intended, for drawing the line on vegans in his restaurant.
Mountain recently wrote on his social media: “Sadly All Vegans are now banned from FYRE (for mental health reasons). We thank you for your understanding. Xx. Yep. I’m done. #vegan #not #pleasegoelsewhere #veganfreezone #nomorevegans.”
So, what led to Mountain’s controversial decision to ban all herbivores from his place? Apparently, it was a fussy vegan diner that he failed to accommodate to her satisfaction: “A young girl reached out to me and said she was coming to the restaurant… and asked if there were vegan options. It was my only shortfall… I said I would accommodate her, I said we had gnocchi, vegetables… and that was that.”
Unfortunately, Mountain was busy with a private event and forgot to prepare the promised dishes for the finicky vegan diner, leading her to take to social media and roundly criticize the restauranteur: “I think it’s incredibly important nowadays that restaurants can accommodate everyone and to not be able to have actual plant-based meals shows your shortcomings as a chef.”
After watching numerous cooking shows, it is probably not best practice to criticize a chef or even suggest one has shortcomings. In this case, Chef Mountain had a fiery, definitive response: “Thanks for your negative review… please feel free to share your s..tty experience and I look forward to not seeing you again. How very childish. You and all your vegan mates can all go and enjoy your dishes in another venue. You are now banned.”
Since then, the restaurant has received a large number of negative reviews, but Mountain isn’t conceding to the vegan pressure. He continued: “F–k vegans seriously… I’m done. At the end of the day, it’s not what I want to do, they can f–k off. It’s not a vegan restaurant… if they want vegan food, they can go to a vegan restaurant. The rebuttal, and attitude (of vegans) is the reason for the ban… they are piling on trying to ruin my restaurant.”
Mountain is not wrong. It is his business; if he wants to exclude vegans, that should be his right, especially if they are trying to hurt his business. It looks like vegan diners in Perth, Australia, might have to move mountains in the future to fit their specific dietary wishes.
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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