Where chefs lead, we follow. Givaudan’s Chef’s Council is an annual event launched in 2006 that challenges the best chefs from around the world to explore new culinary concepts and develop the future of food. This approach has led the Swiss company, which makes flavours and fragrances for the food and drinks industry in areas including beverages, sweet goods, savoury and snacks, to discover some innovative culinary breakthroughs over the past decade.
For example, Givaudan’s 2010 Chef’s Council in Hong Kong focused on Umami (the fifth ‘savoury’ taste, after salt, sweet, sour and bitter) and Kokumi (a Japanese word roughly translating to ‘rich taste’ or ‘delicious’). This led to the launch of Givaudan’s TasteSolutions Richness platform, which promises to translate the authentic flavours of home cooking to a range of ready meals, snacks, soups and sauces and remove manufacturer’s reliance on the excessive use of salt or taste enhancers like MSG.
The 2014 Chef’s Council in New York inspired Givaudan’s Freshness range, which, using FreezeFrame technology, makes convenience dishes taste like they were prepared only minutes earlier.
Creating the next generation of plant-based foods
The focus of this year’s event, held in London this week, was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the plant-based trend: one of the strongest dietary shifts and greatest innovation opportunities in the food industry today.
Four world-renowned Michelin-star chefs were set the task of creating delicious tasting plant-based meat-alternatives, as well as generating new inspiration for, and redefining, traditional meat products.
The guest chefs were:
• Chantelle Nicholson, the multi-award winning Chef Patron at Tredwells in London
• Cristina Bowerman, chef and proprietor of Glass Hostaria in Rome
• Helena Rizzo, who runs Mani Restaurant in Sao Paulo, Brazil
• Amanda Cohen, the Chef-owner of New York vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy
Each were tasked with developing and presenting inspiring culinary approaches with a strong focus on plant proteins.
According to Givaudan, these chefs will help create the next generation of plant-based foods by addressing areas including plant protein snacks; modern barbecuing; and investigating how the techniques and benefits of slow cooking meat may be applied to meat alternatives.
Flavio Garofalo, Givaudan Global Category Director Savoury Flavours and Natural Ingredients, said the chefs’ culinary expertise and inspiration will be great levers in encouraging consumers to get more of their proteins from non-meat sources and to bring desirable new plant-based dishes to consumers’ plates.
“All our 2019 chefs are experts in protein and plant-based meals and we are very excited to see the ideas and solutions they will be presenting to our challenging protein briefs,” he said.
The dishes inspired by the event will be made available by Givaudan from mid-November.