For those who eat up anything related to the world of celebrity and veganism, this week has been a veritable buffet.
First Russell Brand announced he was going vegan, followed by the unlikely Ozzy Osbourne with a similar declaration. Both men made the decision following a viewing of the documentary "Forks Over Knives," which advocates dropping all animal products for better health and longevity.
Now comes word that Ellen DeGeneres and wife actress Portia de Rossi are investing in a new vegan restaurant in Los Angeles. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde (whose own vegan establishment sadly shut down earlier this month) is also involved, as well as deep-pocketed film producer Steve Bing.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new eatery will be located on Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. It will feature a menu created by the most popular vegan chef on the planet, Tal Ronnen (who catered Ellen and Portia's wedding), and be designed by the famous Waldo Fernandez.
In other words, this is going to be a seriously luxurious and upscale gourmet vegan establishment.
Back in August, Ellen announced a new section of her website called "Going Vegan with Ellen," which features recipes, how-tos and other helpful information on the popular, plant-based diet.
"I personally chose to go vegan because I educated myself on factory farming and cruelty to animals, and I suddenly realized that what was on my plate were living things, with feelings. And I just couldn't disconnect myself from it any longer," she wrote. "I read books like 'Diet for a New America' and saw documentaries like 'Earthlings' and 'Meet your Meat,' and it became an easy choice for me."
What's really impressive about this new venture is that it brings with it a tremendous amount of experience and money. For one thing, Steve Bing is loaded (estimated wealth of $590 million) — and is currently among the nation's leading donors to environmental causes. Hynde ran her top-rated vegan restaurant "VegiTerranean" in Akron, Ohio, for the past four years, until it was shuttered. The celebrity backing of Ellen and Portia is only going to help float this eatery through whatever economic hell might yet await us.
Let's hope this one works out. The nation could use a lot more plant-based eateries, and there's definitely a need to bury misconceptions regarding the quality and taste of veg dishes. No word yet on when it will open, but you should certainly look forward to hitting the San Fernando Valley soon!
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