Ayesha Curry's Healthier Lifestyle Is Inspiring New Dishes at Her Meat-Centric Restaurants

Ayesha Curry tells PEOPLE that "a lighter, brighter, fresher take on all of our classics" is coming to her International Smoke restaurants

Ayesha Curry's healthier lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic got her creative juices flowing.

After dropping 35 lbs. and following a vegan diet, the restauranteur felt inspired to make some changes to her meat-heavy menu.

"For about 10 months, [I] was not eating meat, which our main thing that we serve at the restaurant is our rib trio," Curry tells PEOPLE of her International Smoke restaurant, which she heads up with chef Michael Mina. "I just felt inspired to create."

The mom of three, who has "so many friends that are vegan," thought about the importance of including everyone when it comes to a dining experience in her MGM Grand Las Vegas and San Francisco locations.

"I was like, 'We need to create some sort of full, vegan spread where somebody can come in and say, 'I'm going to do the vegan tasting menu,' and it's just as good if not better than everything else that we're offering," she says. "So, just really focusing on being inclusive of all of the customers and guests that come through the door."

She also adds that diners can expect "a lighter, brighter, fresher take on all of our classics."

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Although Curry has started incorporating her staple dishes like steaks and ribs back into her diet, she's being much more careful about what kinds of meats she's putting into her body.

"I love looking for local ranches and local farms and really leaning into the community and trying to eat responsibly," she says.

Curry made the best of things during the pandemic. Not only did she put her health first, but she found a way to feed 25 million children in need with the help of local restaurants just like hers with her Eat.Learn.Play Foundation that she runs with husband Steph.

Stephen Curry and Ayesha Curry attend Stephen and Ayesha Curry's Eat. Learn. Play., unveiling a new mobile resource center at Franklin Elementary School on September 08, 2021 in Oakland, California
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"The pandemic just decimated the restaurant industry and everybody's just now getting back on their feet and opening their doors," Curry explains. "Getting the crowds back in and re-staffing up the kitchens and all of that stuff."

Curry, who also owns her line of Domaine Curry wines, is looking forward to debuting her new dishes as she gets diners comfortable with eating out again.

"I think our focus right now is really on our Vegas and San Francisco locations and making sure that everybody is comfortable and everything's up to par and up to speed," she says. "And then from there, we'll see what happens. But we are working on refreshing and brightening up the menu a little bit, because the way I eat has changed so much over the past couple of years. I'm just ready to switch it up a little bit."

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