While the general public can see the amazing outfits celebrities and influencers pull off on the Met Gala’s red carpet, what happens inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art after remains shrouded in mystery. What is known is there is a secret performance from an A-list musician, drinks are flowing and a gourmet meal is served. 

Or, so we thought. According to Vogue’s livestream host for the evening, Keke Palmer, the meal fell a little flat. The actress shared a photo of her plate at the 2021 Met Gala via Twitter — and to some, it looked less than appetizing.

Keke Palmer/Twitter

“This is why they don’t show y’all the food. I’m playinnnn,” she wrote on the image, adding a side-eye emoji. Arguably, the photo could have been taken after the Hustlers actress had already dug in.

So, what was served at the 2021 Met Gala?

This year’s menu is different from the ones served in the past. Instead of being catered by one chef, Bon Appetit advisor and head chef of Red Rooster Harlem, Marcus Samuelsson, handpicked 10 New York chefs to “craft a sustainable, plant-based menu that fits the theme of ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,'” according to Vogue

The chefs who prepared the entirely vegan menu at the gala were Fariyal AbdullahiNasim AlikhaniEmma BengtssonLazarus LynchJunghyun ParkErik RamirezThomas RaquelSophia RoeSimone Tong and Fabian von Hauske.

“We thought it was important to really talk about what’s present, what’s happening — how food is changing in America,” Marcus told Bon Appétit. “We want to be the future of American food, of plant-based food. That conversation is happening now.” 

Following the theme, food served at the Met Gala included canapés passed around by waitstaff. 

These portable appetizers included collard greens hot chow served on coconut buttermilk cornbread, (“chow” is a type of Southern relish). Also being passed around was black rice porcini arancini with pumpkin Calabrian chili sauce. Arancini are Italian rice balls, in this case, stuffed with black rice and porcini mushrooms. The third option was sweet, sour, spicy tarts made with watermelon and smoked yuzu soy on a panipuri cracker. 

The seated dinner at the Met Gala was served by the Temple of Dendur, possibly one of the museum’s most popular exhibits. The Temple sits behind a reflection pool and beside floor-to-ceiling windows.

Alys Tomlinson/Shutterstock

The first course at this year’s gala was a farm-to-table salad, followed by the main course, creamy barley with corn, pickled turnips and roasted maitake (a wild mushroom also known as “hen of the woods” that is currently in season). The main course may be what Keke shared on her social media, which left many fellow Twitter users confused, with one commenting, “the hell is that?”  

For dessert, apple mousse and apple confit with an apple-flavored brandy glaze was served inside a carved out apple. 

Vegan diets aren’t for everyone. Some celebrities may have stopped by another important New York City institution — a hot dog stand.

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