VSP Now Stands For Very Special Plants

Breaking down jackfruit

Executive Chef Brian Trykar and the Bon Appétit team at VSP in Rancho Cordova, CA, are teaming up with guests to offer new plant-based dishes that everyone is excited about.

Visions Café has a central serving area that highlights plant-based meals, and there’s a “PB” (plant-based) Yammer group (an internal online social network) at VSP that Brian and General Manager Judy Judkins both belong to. In fact, they recently purchased two cookbooks suggested by PB group members: How Not To Die by Michael Greger, M.D., and Gene Stone, and Engine 2 by Rip Esselstyn. Guests’ mentions of beet burgers, West African peanut stew, or past favorites like king mushroom scallops and vegan faux pho inspire the team to offer these dishes. When they do, Brian or Judy will tag the person who recommended it on VSP’s Yammer, and that guest will then make sure everyone tries it. Case in point: A Yammer entry that reads, “Today’s Visions Café menu features a fantastic African peanut curry (a personal request — thanks Brian Trykar!). It’s delicious!”

Vegan carrot bites with almond and coconut crema

Recently, Brian turned his attention to jackfruit, featuring the popular plant-based yet “meaty” staple in several daily specials, including in sliders and tostadas. Chile-braised jackfruit with peppers and onions, black beans, cilantro brown rice, citrus-dressed kale, pickled daikon and carrot, coconut crema, and pico de gallo are served over baked corn tortillas.

Daily signage encourages guests to ask for any entrée to be customized to vegan, vegetarian, or celiac-friendly. For example, the vegan version of macaroni and cheese features a purée of nuts, carrots, and sun-dried tomatoes to achieve the texture, consistency, and flavor of dairy cheese. Sides are always vegan or vegetarian, giving diners ultimate flexibility. The station has been very popular, and the team loves coming up with creative ways to keep surprising and delighting their vocal PB guests.

Submitted by Judy Judkins, General Manager