Vegan Food Named Top New Zealand Restaurant Trend of 2018
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Two former steakhouse and seafood industry restaurant professionals have ditched animal products and announced the opening of Twelve, a vegan restaurant in Bournemouth.

Dalton Mello and Greg Rush “had the idea while working in very meat-orientated restaurants about three years ago,” the pair explained to Big Hospitality. Mello, a former supervisor at Gaucho steakhouse, and Rush, who worked for Hawksmoor steakhouse and eatery Burger & Lobster, are stepping away from their meaty pasts to embrace the future of dining.

“Animal welfare, promoting a healthy environment and minimizing waste,” says the founders, are at the heart of the new restaurant’s ethos, and Mello and Rush are determined to prove that plant-based restaurants can be slick” as well as ethical. Twelve will stand out from the “homemade vibe” of many eateries outside of London, by creating “something that’s a bit more professional and scalable.” It is located in The Triangle area of Bournemouth, an area which Mello compares to “Shoreditch 10 years ago.” 

The menu will complement the decor’s high standards. Its plant-based, organic meals will include both raw and comfort foods, and will be inspired by classic world dishes. Customers can expect options like spinach and “ricotta” cannelloni with cashew bechamel, and tagliatelle carbonara with smoked “bacon.” Mello and Rush are also in the process of creating Twelve’s very own vitamin-packed burger. Drinks will include cold-pressed juices, cocktails, and coffee, of which 12 percent of sales will be donated to the RSPB, to protect wildlife species.

Twelve’s menu will appeal not just to vegans; as Mello told The Breaker, “Twelve is a bridge for a lot of people who are not quite sure how to follow a plant-based diet.” Recognising the surging numbers of meat-reducers, Twelve hopes to bring delicious, convenient plant-based food to anyone exploring vegan-eating. No longer will “Flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans… need to go to a niche restaurant… to find a vegan option,” the pair said.

The pair have big plans for the future of Twelve. The eatery will become plastic and waste-free, and Mello and Rush hope that, eventually, Twelve will become the UK’s first national vegan chain.

“Twelve is a restaurant that just happens to be vegan,” Mello said.We want to take [the] plant-based diet to a different level and help people understand that you can still enjoy pretty much everything in your lifestyle without giving anything up.”


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