New York City, already home to a number of amazing vegan eateries, is about to welcome a new one from famed chef and restaurateur Jean Georges Vongerichten. 

The 56-year-old recently told The New Potato that he's embracing the meatless scene with a new vegan/vegetarian eatery set to open next year. "We’re doing a food market that just opened, and then we’re opening a vegetarian restaurant in the spring – 100% vegetarian, raw, and vegan. Right now we’re starting to import and use local things that we don’t make," he said. 

The new restaurant will be Vongerichten's 12th in New York City and his 37th around the world. While it's unclear what exactly the menu will contain, Vongerichten does have one love at the moment that's likely to heat things up. 

"We use about twelve different kinds of chilies," he says. "First, because it’s the healthiest thing you can eat. If you look at the number one anti-inflammatory (preventing cancer and such) it’s chilies. That’s why I think there is less sickness in the world in Southeast Asia or India, because they eat spicy – they eat with chilies. Chili is my new passion."

Vongerichten, who reveals that he would love to serve the Dalai Lama something under his vegetarian menu, says that farm-to-table is the trend he's keen to develop further. 

"I couldn’t cook with those gels and all of the different chemicals that people are using," he says. "I think food as a science is not for me. Food for nutrition, food for well-being, food for nurturing your soul – yes."

Check out the full interview over on The New Potato.

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