SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Impossible Burger is making its West Coast debut at three award-winning restaurants in California.
Starting Thursday, the Impossible Burger will be a standing menu item at Jardinière and Cockscomb in San Francisco, and Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles.
Impossible Foods will announce additional restaurant locations later this year. The burger is not yet available at grocery stores or other retail outlets.
The Impossible Burger is the only burger that looks, handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows -- but it's made entirely from plants and has a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The Impossible Burger has no hormones, antibiotics, cholesterol or artificial flavors.
"The Impossible Burger is a delicious and provocative way to begin an important dialog about food: how it tastes, where it comes from and where we go from here," said Traci Des Jardins, the multiple James Beard Award-winning chef and owner of Jardinière and five other restaurants. Jardinière will serve the Impossible Burger with caramelized onion, avocado, special sauce and a side of pommes frites.
At Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles, Chef Tal Ronnen will serve the burger with lettuce, tomato, pickles and a custom Crossroads sauce, with truffle fries.
"Everybody wants to do the right thing when it comes to the environment--but if it doesn't taste good, you're not fooling anyone. That's what makes Impossible Foods such a game-changer for conscious eating," said Ronnen, author of "Crossroads" and "The Conscious Cook." Ronnen has cooked for Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and the U.S. Senate, among others.
Chef Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's Cockscomb will serve the burger at lunch with caramelized onions, lettuce, gruyere, grandma Helen's pickles, dijon and mixed greens. Cosentino, known for spearheading the "whole animal" philosophy in the United States, decided to feature the Impossible Burger after tasting it raw and working with it in his kitchen.
"The taste and texture of the Impossible Burger completely changed my thoughts on a non-meat option. It's a game changer that I'm excited to share with my guests," said Cosentino, winner of the Bravo TV show "Top Chef Masters" and author of the book "Offal Good", to be release spring 2017.
Maximum taste, minimum footprint
The Impossible Burger is a result of five years of development by Impossible Foods, the first company to rigorously study meat at the molecular level to analyze precisely why it tastes, cooks, sizzles and smells like meat. Impossible Foods' scientists, chefs and flavor experts then recreated that sensory experience by using specific, carefully selected proteins, amino acids, fats and vitamins from plants.
The company also studied texture, a key attribute of meat from animals, then recreated the basic components of muscle, connective tissue and fat with simple ingredients from plants. The Impossible Burger's ingredients include wheat protein and potato proteins, coconut oil and other nutrients.
Impossible Foods also discovered that one molecule serves as the "magic ingredient" that gives meat its uniquely craveable flavor and aroma: "Heme" is an essential molecular building block of life that occurs naturally in every animal and plant. Heme gives blood its ability to carry oxygen, and it gives meat its red color and distinctive, meaty flavor.
Although found in all living organisms, heme is super abundant in animal muscle. To produce heme in larger quantities from plants, the company uses yeast in a fermentation process similar to that used to make Belgian beer for the past several centuries.
Mission Impossible: Accelerating the switch to a sustainable food system
By making meat directly from plants -- bypassing energy-intensive animal farming -- Impossible Foods aims to dramatically reduce the resources needed to feed the world's population and free land for wildlife and biodiversity.
The Impossible Burger uses about a quarter of the water, 5% of the land, and contributes 13% of the greenhouse-gas emissions compared to a burger from cows.
Animal farming is a leading contributor to losses of habitat for endangered wildlife and plants. Including all lands grazed by livestock and crops grown to feed livestock, animal agriculture uses half of the world's ice-free land area. It produces around 15% of global anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions, including methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, which all contribute to global warming; that's as much as every car, truck, train, ship, airplane and rocket combined. Animal agriculture also consumes 25% of global freshwater use.
"The long-term goal of Impossible Foods is to accelerate the switch to a sustainable food system that creates new markets for farmers and helps feed 9 billion people by 2050," said Impossible Foods CEO and founder Pat Brown. "We plan to expand to a full range of delicious products, including pork, chicken, fish and dairy so that people can continue to eat the foods they love. The burger is just the beginning."
Calling all carnivores
The Impossible Burger made its worldwide debut this summer in Manhattan at Momofuku Nishi. (Lunch, 232 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10011.)
Starting Thursday, the burger will also be offered on a first-come, first-served basis at the following restaurants during the following shifts:
- Jardinière, after 7:30 p.m., seven days a week, in the bar and lounge, 300 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102. $16.
- Cockscomb, lunch, Monday through Friday, 564 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94107, reservations: (415) 974-0700. $19.
- Crossroads Kitchen, lunch, Monday through Friday, 8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90046, reservations: (323) 782-9245. Cost: $14.
About Impossible Foods:
Based in Redwood City, California, Impossible Foods makes delicious, healthy, affordable meat and dairy foods made directly from plants. The company's first product, the Impossible Burger, delivers the irresistible taste, texture and aroma of ground beef while using far less of the Earth's finite resources.
Impossible Foods is a private company with financial backing from Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors and others. The company was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., formerly a biochemistry professor and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Stanford University.
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SOURCE Impossible Foods Inc.