The chef behind London's vegan fine dining restaurant Gauthier Soho is opening a restaurant at the Fenwick department store on Bond Street this month.
Alexis Gauthier, whose Gauthier Soho site offers a £70 plant-based tasting menu, is launching 123 Vegan for outdoor dining on 12 April.
The all-day restaurant will serve more casual dishes including a £14 cheeseburger with a Beyond Meat patty; £12.50 salads and plant-based bowls; and daily specials such as poached rhubarb with pomegranate and lemon pepper broth.
123 Vegan's 36-seat terrace is opening next Monday ahead of the 70-cover indoor dining room launching on 17 May.
"I want to convince people the future is plants and not animals, the idea is to bring affordable and delicious plant-based cuisine wherever we can," Gauthier told The Caterer.
The French chef trained under Alain Ducasse at Le Louis XV in Monaco and opened his first solo restaurant, Roussillon, in London in 1997. He launched Gauthier Soho in 2010 and despite previously serving 20kg of foie gras a week, Gauthier announced it would begin transitioning to a fully vegan menu in 2018.
Although Gauthier Soho was able to reopen last year, its layout made it difficult to meet Covid guidelines. The restaurant is set to welcome diners back on 23 June, two days after the prime minister said limits on social contact could be lifted, after which Gauthier will split his time between the two kitchens.
The chef is passionate about promoting plant-based cuisine and said he was open to launching further 123 Vegan restaurants if the first was successful.
"If the restaurant works and someone else asks us to go and open we will do it, but we're not driven by money. I've run restaurants in London for 20 years and gone through all sorts of ups and downs but now it's more about carrying the cross for the vegan world," he said.
Gauthier added: "Ultimately, I really believe that it's the future. After everything we've lived through there is going to be a compassionate revolution and eating plant based food is going to be part of it. People are going to realise they need to leave the animals alone, but that won't stop them from enjoying life and going to restaurants and enjoying delicious food and wine."