Experts agree: Reshape restaurant eating habits and customers will come

Chef Jeremy Bearman of New York’s Rouge Tomate fares well with a healthy menu.
Chef Jeremy Bearman of New York’s Rouge Tomate fares well with a healthy menu.Credit: CHARLIE MAHONEY FOR THE GLOBE

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Rouge Tomate, a New York Michelin-starred restaurant, was part of the zeitgeist around healthy and sustainable food when it opened a food cart two years ago. Business boomed over a menu of $6-to-$8 burgers: beef, bison, chicken and mushrooms, each infused with spices. Their success is more than the sum of their philosophy to use healthy ingredients and local foods, and reduce the carbon footprint. The cart took off because the key ingredient in this food is flavor. Social media is agog at how good the burgers taste. At a Menus of Change conference in Cambridge last week, a discussion of Rouge Tomate’s food cart seemed to epitomize what the future might hold. MOC, which calls itself a GPS model for the future of food, argues that the food industry needs to reshape eating habits for the well-being of consumers and the planet.

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