The Impossible Burger - the only burger that looks, handles, smells, cooks and tastes like ground beef from cows, but is made entirely from plants and has a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals - is making its West Coast debut at three award-winning restaurants in California. Form this October, 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 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 caramelised 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 caramelised 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 analyse precisely why it tastes, cooks, sizzles and smells like meat. Impossible Foods' scientists, chefs and flavour 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 flavour 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 flavour.
Find out more on the Impossible Foods website, here.