2023 Man of the Year: Anti-Vegan Chef John Mountain

John Mountain
December 27, 2023

Chefs can be very accommodating. Nut allergy? No problem. Sauce on the side? Sure thing. But every chef has his limits. And for chef John Mountain, that limit was met when a customer last summer complained about the scarce vegan offerings at FyRE, his fine-dining restaurant in Perth, Australia.

"I think it's incredibly important nowadays that restaurants can accommodate everyone and to not be able to have actual plant-based meals shows your shortcomings as a chef," the complaint supposedly ran. "I hope to see some improvements in your menu as I have lived in Connolly for quite some time and have seen many restaurants come and go from that building and none of them last. If you don't get with the times, I don't hold out faith that your restaurant will be the one that does."

Needless to say, Mountain was primed to deliver a searing response: "Sadly All Vegans are now banned from FYRE (for mental health reasons) We thank you for your understanding. Xx," he posted on social media, adding, "Yep. I'm done."

Or, should we say, "Well done!" Contrary to the vegan's bland assessment, FyRE continues to thrive. And the first thing you'll see on the homepage is "#novegans Merch Now Available!" You won't find soy-based patties designed in a lab on FyRE's menu. But you will find Pig Croquettes, Amelia Park Lamb Shank, and Humpty Doo Barramundi. Bonzer!

Mountain does have a sense of humor: At the very bottom of his entrée list, you will find "Veggie Risotto (FML)…at Least I'm Trying!!!"

No need to try, chef. These people are hopeless. (Though perhaps you can cook the risotto in a hearty veal stock?) For taking a stand on a meaty subject and roasting your critics with such relish, we salute Chef Mountain as a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.