Chef Bans Vegans From Australia Restaurant

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

( – Renowned British chef John “Johnnie” Mountain recently made headlines with his controversial decision to ban vegans from dining at his restaurant. Widely recognized for his appearances on the popular culinary competition show “Great British Menu,” where talented British chefs compete against each other under the discerning eyes of esteemed judges, Mountain justified his ban by citing “mental health reasons.”

Having opened multiple restaurants across the United Kingdom, Mountain retired in 2016 and went to Australia. Settling in Connolly, Perth, in Western Australia, he established his latest venture, Fyre restaurant. The tranquil surroundings and a change of pace allowed him to lead a more serene and balanced life. However, he ended up in the spotlight when he decided to exclude vegans from dining at his establishment.

Mountain’s announcement of the vegan ban was shared with the public through a Facebook post on Fyre restaurant’s official page. Mountain even went as far as sharing a screenshot of the post on his own social media account, accompanied by hashtags such as “vegan,” “not,” “pleasegoelsewhere,” “veganfreezone,” and “nomorevegans.” This move sparked intense debates and drew attention from both vegans and non-vegans alike.

In an interview with The West Australian, Mountain shed light on the reasoning behind his controversial decision. Apparently, a young woman contacted Fyre restaurant asking about vegan options for her upcoming visit. Mountain initially assured her that they would be able to accommodate her dietary preferences, mentioning dishes such as gnocchi and vegetables that would be available. However, the chef forgot about the request on the same day, as he found himself catering a private party.

Disappointed by the oversight, the customer took to Facebook to express her dissatisfaction with the restaurant’s failure to provide suitable vegan options. She emphasized the importance of inclusivity and the ability of restaurants to cater to the needs of all diners. The restaurant, however, responded to the criticism by saying that vegans and vegetarians only made up a small number of people in the area and that it wouldn’t be serving them anymore. In his interview, Mountain acknowledged his mistake in not keeping his word to accommodate the customer, but said she made it “personal” in her review.

According to Mountain, the woman’s negative review prompted other people to start leaving negative reviews as well, which he complained is a problem for his business. However, he also noted that business has been booming since he implemented the ban and many chefs and customers have supported his decision.

The controversy surrounding Mountain’s ban on vegans at Fyre restaurant highlights discussions on the boundaries of culinary freedom, the rights of customers with dietary restrictions, and the responsibility of restaurants to accommodate diverse needs. Supporters often argue that chefs should be able to curate their menus based on personal desires, while critics say that inclusivity and adaptability are important in the modern climate.

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