Montclair, NJ – Mercado and Faubourg are the winners of the chef’s challenge for Montclair’s Plant Based for the Planet initiative! Winners were determined by the votes of diners at participating restaurants during the month of March.

Mercado, a breakfast and lunch restaurant owned by Marcelo and Carla Silva, swept 4 of the 5 awards, winning top spot Best Overall, as well as Best Plant Based Lunch Options, and Most Creative. Mercado’s Crispy Tofu Banh Mi also won the votes for Best Plant Based Special. Faubourg, a fine dining French restaurant owned by Dominique Paulin, won the honor of Best Plant Based Dinner, thanks to the selections created by Chef and co-owner Olivier Muller.

A post-initiative community survey revealed key insights into how the Montclair community perceived the initiative, with most responses indicating support for this and future plant-based projects. Restaurant patrons were also encouraged to vote for various favorites among categories in the initiative’s “Chef Challenge.”

With over 2,500 plant-based dishes sold during the initiative, Plant Based For The Planet inspired permanent change: Many of the participating restaurants committed to adding more plant-based dishes to their regular menu, and the township’s Department of Environmental Affairs made commitments of its own, including offering plant-based options at every meeting.

The program’s success in Montclair serves as a reminder that small cities can make a big dent in climate change: The effect of diners purchasing plant-based specials in Montclair included saving an estimated 67 thousand pounds of greenhouse gasses, nearly 1 million gallons of water, and over 8 million square feet of land.

Plant Based For The Planet attracted support from local and national leadership, including U.S. Senator for New Jersey Cory Booker, Montclair Mayor Sean Spiller, Farm Sanctuary Founder Gene Baur, former New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak, and others.

Read the Impact Report HERE.