Before his untimely passing at 57 in 2016, the artist always known as Prince was a staunch advocate of a vegetarian diet. Even in death, it turns out, the longtime supporter of PETA continues to advocate a plant-based lifestyle. Prince’s Minneapolis-area Paisley Park estate, now open to the public, is maintained as a meat-free campus — to the extent that even the staff are prohibited from eating meat on the grounds.
Job listings on the Paisley Park website stipulate that applicants must “adhere to a pescetarian environment.” That extends from archivists and tour guides to janitorial and security staff.
“Prince was outspoken about animal rights and nutrition and it was not uncommon for these themes to show up in his music as well,” Paisley Park tour operations manager Mitch Maguire told The Daily Meal via email. “Out of respect for Prince and his personal ethos, Paisley Park remains a vegetarian facility for both staff and guests alike.”
According to Maguire, the rules have applied equally to artists who’ve visited Paisley Park’s studio to record, rehearse, or perform, a high-profile roster that includes names from James Brown to R.E.M. to Kendrick Lamar. “If anyone wanted a hamburger for lunch,” he explained, “you had to leave the campus to do it — and still do!”
Prince’s personal chefs Ray Roberts and his wife, Juell, (also proprietors of the Peoples Organic chain) explained some of the quirks of his diet in a 2016 interview with Minneapolis’ City Pages, noting that Prince was vegetarian, not strictly vegan as was often rumored. Some readers’ strongest impression of Prince’s kitchen might stem from the legendary Chapelle's Show sketch that prominently featured pancakes, and Roberts confirmed that while Prince was very strict about animal products, he wasn’t exactly a health nut; Prince had a serious sweet tooth and loved pastries and sweets — pancakes and otherwise.
Though Paisley Park was criticized for offering alcohol for the first time at an event earlier this year, the meat-free menu seems destined to stay. Roberts continues to run Paisley Park’s kitchen, offering meals for tour guests that include many of Prince’s favorites. We’d have relished the opportunity to share a vegetarian meal with Prince — and we might have suggested one of these 15 vegetarian recipes better than a hamburger.