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What’s for Dinner at the Met Gala? A Look at the 2021 Menu and Table Decor

The Met Gala featured a sustainable plant-based menu with recipes from ten up and coming chefs based in New York City

By Vogue US | September 14, 2021 | Category

Picture: The Met Museum, Instagram/@metmuseum
Picture: The Met Museum, Instagram/@metmuseum

For this year’s Met Gala, acclaimed culinary maestro and Bon Appetit advisor Marcus Samuelsson gave 10 New York chefs—Fariyal Abdullahi, Nasim Alikhani, Emma Bengtsson, Lazarus Lynch, Junghyun Park, Erik Ramirez, Thomas Raquel, Sophia Roe, Simone Tong, and Fabian von Hauske—a challenge: craft a sustainable, plant-based menu that fits the theme of “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”

“After a difficult two years for the restaurant industry, this will showcase the work and tell the stories of a dynamic group of chefs while presenting an exciting menu of delicious, plant-based dishes. The gala offers an incomparable opportunity for emerging talent to elevate their careers and share their perspectives and craft,” Samuelsson said.

They rose to the occasion. Tonight, guests from Lil Nas X to Lorde enjoyed passed canapés like Lynch’s collard greens hot chow served on coconut buttermilk cornbread, Roe’s black rice porcini arancini with pumpkin Calabrian chili sauce, and Tong’s watermelon tart with smoked yuzu soy on a panipuri cracker.

During the seated dinner in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur, Samuelsson and Abdullahi came up with a refreshing salad with farm-to-table ingredients for a first course. The main dish was Bengtsson and Park’s creamy barley with corn, pickled turnips, and roasted maitake, followed by Raquel’s “Apple”: apple mousse and apple confit with a calvados glaze—served in the shape of its namesake fruit.

Waiters later served dishes on dinnerware from Tory Burch’s Oiseau collection. The hand-painted plates, adorned with botanical motifs, were flanked by bamboo flatware and earthy green napkins. In lieu of place cards, guest’s names were inscribed on autumnal leaves.

Burch, an American designer herself, felt a full-circle moment when her home designs were chosen for the Met Gala: “I have always been obsessed with pottery and porcelain for as long as I can remember. It’s something my mother taught me about when I was growing up,” she says.

On each table was a centerpiece by Raúl Àvila, comprised of North American flora—including chamomile flowers—all plucked from different states. There’s a deeper decorative meaning: “The diverse stems come to union in the center of each table, atop strategically sculpted moss, empathizing togetherness in variety,” Àvila says. Famed landscape artist Miranda Brooks also oversaw the dinner’s creative direction, which saw the Temple lined with towering hedges and trees that changed colors throughout the evening. America the beautiful, indeed.

Written by Elise Taylor.

This article originally appeared on Vogue.