Shake Shack is adding a new vegan burger to its menu, courtesy of plant-based chef Pinky Cole—the founder of the popular Atlanta restaurant, Slutty Vegan. Cole partnered with the fast-casual chain for its new collaborative series called Now Serving. The series enlists chefs from around the United States to create burgers of their choice.
Cole’s vegan burger, dubbed the SluttyShack, features a Shake Shack veggie patty topped with an ingredient known as “Slut Dust,” lemon ginger kale, caramelized onions, vegan ranch, and vegan mayonnaise. It’s served on Slutty Vegan’s signature toasted Hawaiian bun.
Shake Shack has limited vegan options, which include the chain’s French fries, Veggie Shack patty, and some soft drinks. But, given Cole’s culinary background, it should come as no surprise that the burger is plant-based. It combines Slutty Vegan’s “the secret is in the sauce” mantra with Shake Shack’s all-American burger.
Where to buy Shake Shack’s vegan burger
The SluttyShack will be available for a limited time on August 11 at the Shake Shack in Harlem, the same neighborhood where Cole opened her first restaurant, Pinky’s.
“We’re thrilled to be teaming up with Shake Shack to serve the Harlem community,” Cole said. “My first restaurant business was in Harlem, so it will always hold a special place in my heart. We can’t wait to give our Harlem neighbors a slutty plant-based option with Shake Shack and bring some Atlanta vibes to NYC!”
The vegan burgers were previously available at select Shake Shack locations in New York City and Atlanta on April 8. They were initially planned to launch in Harlem the same day; however, a Shake Shack representative told LIVEKINDLY that the event was postponed due to a team member testing positive COVID-19. The restaurant was subsequently closed and sanitized.
Proceeds from the vegan burger will be donated to ROAR in New York, a community of hospitality leaders advocating for the NYC restaurant industry.
Pinky Cole’s impact
Despite being a vegan chef, Cole notes she doesn’t want to push others into her lifestyle. Instead, she wishes to encourage people to try plant-based foods.
“Our mission isn’t to tell people to go vegan – but rather, to inspire guests to open up horizons with something new and different,” she said.
Speaking about the importance of giving back, Cole added: “Philanthropy is the core of who I am, and I’m encouraged by Shake Shack’s aligned outlook on giving back to its communities. Our goal with this collab is to build support for communities and industries close to our hearts.”
Cole is also the founder of the Pinky Cole Foundation. She told Bon Appétit in October 2020 that her goal is “to provide opportunities and financial literacy resources to people to help bridge the generational wealth gap.” Last year the foundation offered scholarships to 30 juvenile offenders at Slutty Vegan restaurants.
“We’ve been long-time admirers of Pinky Cole and wanted to create a sandwich with her that celebrates the beauty and simplicity of real vegetables, while also being craveable and delicious to eat,” Shake Shack culinary director Mark Rosati explained.
“The SluttyShack brings together Shake Shack and Slutty Vegan in a special way,” he added. “And is nothing short of inspiring, as well as very meaningful, as we’re giving back to local nonprofits helping those in the restaurant community.”