Previous New York City vegan cafe Pure Food items and Wine—which is highlighted in Netflix’s new docuseries Poor Vegan—is bringing the eatery’s most well-liked dishes back again to NYC admirers 1 final time. Netflix teamed up with supply app Postmates and two former Pure Foods and Wine chefs to provide a a few-program food for free of charge until March 27.
The Netflix pop-up, named “The Bad Vegan Kitchen area,” provides three primary Pure Food stuff and Wine dishes: the Caesar salad, the Signature Raw Lasagna, and Mallomars for dessert. Pure Food and Wine previous head chef Nikki King Bennet and former pastry chef Missy Maidana are cooking the meals in a ghost kitchen area in NYC’s Lower East Aspect all weekend lengthy. NYC locals can position an order by means of the Postmates shipping application at any time through lunch or supper for the next a few days—for absolutely free, which includes no cost delivery—while supplies past.
Negative Vegan premiered on Netflix on March 16 as a four-episode documentary that chronicles the downfall of Sarma Melngailis, co-founder of Pure Foods and Wine, a famed uncooked vegan restaurant in NYC that captivated celebrity diners these kinds of as Alec Baldwin and Owen Wilson. The cafe was forced to near in 2015 after Melngailis was caught in a legal plan that involved fraud, grand larceny, and violations of labor laws.
Bad Vegan’s surprising tale
It all started off when Melngailis fulfilled and married conman Anthony Strangis (who known as himself Shane Fox). She alleged that he coerced her into thieving money from her individual cafe and later on going on the operate from authorities.
Around the training course of two many years, Melngailis wired neary $2 million to Strangis, who promised to spend off her debts and make her doggy, Leon, immortal. Strangis inevitably took management of the cafe while he and Melngailis traveled close to Europe. In the course of this time, Pure Foodstuff and Wine stopped having to pay workers, who walked out in protest. Strangis was located to have put in the restaurant’s funds on gambling, traveling, and browsing.
A pizza get placed at Domino’s led federal authorities to a Tennessee lodge home in which the duo was ultimately arrested with a litany of expenses. It was also afterwards located that Strangis took virtually $450,000 from Melngailis’s mother, a crime he was never ever charged for. Strangis eventually used practically a calendar year in Rikers Island jail in New York although the lawful proceedings took position, and was then put on probation. For her involvement, Melngailis pled guilty to expenses of grand larceny, prison tax fraud, and a plan to defraud in exchange for 5 years’ probation. She also served four months at the rear of bars all through the summertime of 2017.
What transpired to Pure Food and Wine’s employees?
Even though the Netflix documentary portrays the story as one of manipulation, viewers are still left asking yourself what in fact occurred, and who was at fault. The initial Pure Food and Wine restaurant has been sitting vacant due to the fact it closed in 2015, and its workforce were being still left unpaid and devoid of positions.
“The superior individuals who’d labored at the business enterprise again then were being appropriate to be devastated and indignant,” Melngailis wrote on her weblog. “It was as if I’d deserted them, which in result I did. There was no actual gun to my head so it will be explained that of training course I experienced a preference. I get that.”
However, Melngailis claims she organized for producers to pay out her in trade for the supply elements she presented for the Netflix documentary. She statements that funds went straight to her former employees—who sued her for unpaid wages—for the overall amount they had been owed immediately after she fled in 2015, and that the Netflix producers paid out an lawyer on her behalf who then wired entire payment right to the attorney representing the staff.
“Of all the harm and the quite a few debts resulting from my downfall, this portion weighed heaviest,” Melngailis wrote. “I was relieved the moment this payment went via, but that was just a little section of what continues to be fantastic. I want to be crystal clear that I’ll hold operating in the direction of addressing it all—one way or another—eventually.”
For additional vegan news in NYC, study:
NYC Joins 40 Towns and States in Adopting a Meat-No cost Holiday getaway
NYC is A person Action Closer to Receiving a Vegan Mayor
NYC’s Prime Restaurant Eleven Madison Park Goes Plant-Based mostly
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