Announcing the four finalists in the Bon Appétit/Impossible Foods recipe contest, competing for a VIP culinary grand prize and plant-based glory
Palo Alto, CA (February 14*, 2019) — Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat is much more than a sustainable substitute for burgers. Bon Appétit Management Company chefs have been having a lot of fun experimenting with a sneak preview of Impossible Burger 2.0 in a wide variety of dishes from across the globe. The plant-based innovator teamed up with the food service pioneer to allow its chefs to get their hands on the new formulation, which just won accolades at the popular consumer electronics show CES — and the four finalists’ dishes show how mouthwateringly versatile the new product can be:
- Glenn Christiansen, Executive Chef at FireEye in Milpitas, CA, for his Impossible Dan Dan Noodles
- Mayet Cristobal, Executive Chef at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA, for her Impossible Filipino Embutido
- Derek Ivancic, Executive Chef at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, for his Impossible Chorizo Tamales
- Mikhail Shvarts, Executive Chef at SAP in Palo Alto, CA, for his Impossible Lumpia with Caramelized Banana Ketchup
More than 50 volunteers each received 25 pounds of the Impossible 2.0 mixture, which now gets its meaty texture from soy protein, not wheat protein; adds sunflower oil to the coconut oil (enabling it to move from griddles to grills); and is kosher- and halal-certified.
They got to play around with it at the same time as fine-dining superstars such as David Chang of Momofuku Nishi of New York City; Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière and School Night (who is also Bon Appétit’s chef-partner at The Commissary and Arguello, and Public House in San Francisco); and Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill in California and Nevada (and Bon Appétit’s chef-partner at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, CA).
In late January, the contestants served their dishes to their customers — corporate employees, university students, and museum guests around the country — and let them know they were getting a sneak taste of the not-yet-released formulation. They took any feedback they received and tweaked their recipes, then submitted them along with photos to Impossible for judging.
“We challenged the chefs at Bon Appétit to think outside of the bun and create an original recipe that highlighted the new and improved versatility of Impossible 2.0,” says Jared Levan, head of account management at Impossible Foods. “Finalists selected to move to the next round demonstrated their culinary point of view and proved that the new Impossible performs as well as beef across cuisine types and preparations.”
What’s next: The four finalists will prepare the same dish that got them to the final phase and serve it at a special pop-up event for their guests, encouraging them to share their reaction on social media (follow along on Instagram via #BAMCOxIMPOSSIBLE). Impossible will also cook and taste-test the four recipes, take a look at the public feedback, and choose a winner and a runner up to be announced March 11.
The grand prize: An all-expenses paid trip to New York or San Francisco (winner’s choice), dinner at either Saxon + Parole with Chef Brad Farmerie or at Jardinière with Chef Traci Des Jardins, and a chance to learn all about Impossible. (The runner-up will receive a gift certificate for a custom knife from Bernal Cutlery in San Francisco.)
“Any chef is excited to work with a new ingredient. The chance to get to experiment with something as cutting edge, versatile, and popular as the new formulation of the Impossible Burger made this contest something very special for me and my crew,” says Mayet Cristobal, executive chef for Bon Appétit at Walt Disney Studios.
Bon Appétit Management Company was the first food service company to serve the Impossible Burger to its guests, in June 2017, and has since served more than 15 tons of it at over 100 of its corporate, university, and museum cafés nationwide. The company has long been committed to plant-forward menuing, and in 2015 made a formal commitment through its Low Carbon Lifestyle program to prioritizing plant-based proteins as well as tracking and reducing its purchasing of animal proteins. The Impossible Burger uses dramatically less land and water, and creates far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its beef counterpart.
*Because we❤️ plant-based foods!
About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Company is an on-site restaurant company operating 1,000-plus locations in 34 states for corporations, universities, and museums. Bon Appétit chefs cook from scratch, including sauces, stocks, and soups. The Palo Alto–based food service company is a recognized industry leader in environmentally and socially responsible practices, with awards from organizations including the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, Acterra, James Beard Foundation, and many others.
About Impossible Foods
Based in California’s Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products directly from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The privately held company was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Investors include Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project.