Philadelphia, PA Chef Mark McKinney, Executive Chef of Royal Tavern, Cantina Los Caballitos, Cantina Dos Segundos, Khyber Pass Pub, and Triangle Tavern. Announced he is leaving his culinary director position after 15 years. The Chef now plans to focus on a Primary Plant-Based, vegan pop-up he launched last winter out of the Khyber Pass Pub kitchen. McKinney plans to reopen Primary Plant-Based in a brick-and-mortar location later this year.


Chef Mark McKinney Plans to Make Popular Vegan Pop Up Permanent

McKinney is well known for its creative vegan dishes. As a long-time vegan, he has wanted to do a plant-based concept for many years. As it has for many of us, the coronavirus pandemic helped clarify McKinney’s thinking about what’s most important to him. 

“I’m very excited to expand Primary Plant-Based,” McKinney said. “Developing menus based around what’s available locally has always been my dream. I’ve been vegan most of my adult life. I enjoy cooking health-forward food, influenced by cuisines from all over the world. It’s not defined by what it’s missing, but by the nearly limitless selection of plant-based options.” 

Primary Plant-Based features an all-vegan menu that changes frequently and reflects the season. 

“I’m sad to see Chef Mark leave, but I admire his commitment,” said Stephen Simons, co-owner of Royal Tavern, Cantina Dos Segundos, and Khyber Pass Pub. “He’s a phenomenal chef, and I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished together over the past 15 years. His food is delicious, and I expect Primary to be a huge success.”

Health, sustainability, and diversity will be some of the hallmarks of Primary Plant-Based.

“I’m looking forward to being in a stable location. It will allow me to fulfill my vision for Primary,” McKinney said. “My goals are to offer items that are healthy in ingredients and cooking techniques, to cook ‘nose to tail,’ utilizing every scrap, trim, peel to be as close to waste-free as possible and above else add something new to Philadelphia’s vegan dining scene.”

McKinney is currently scouting for the ideal location for Primary Plant-Based and expects to have more news on his concept later this spring.

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