Until now, vegan meat on a Michelin-starred menu has sounded like an unlikely pairing. Harwood Arms, a Michelin star restaurant in London, is changing that. Hardwood Arms is now offering a scotch “egg” wrapped in vegan bacon from THIS plant-based bacon, to create the same classic savory taste and meaty texture. Hardwood Arms is the first Michelin Star restaurant to offer plant-based imitation meat on its menu. The restaurant hopes the addition of the dish will begin to break down the stigma around using plant-based meat alternatives in fine-dining. Although the dish features an egg, this menu item is still a nice option for vegetarian diners visiting Harwood Arms.

Sally Abe, the head chef at Hardwood Arms, is excited about the restaurant’s newest menu item, “The venison scotch eggs at the Harwood Arms have become a much-loved favorite over the years, so we knew that if we were going to offer a vegetarian version, it had to really deliver on taste and texture. We spent a great deal of time perfecting the recipe, and the addition of THIS has given us just what we were looking for,” she said.

THIS, the imitation bacon product Hardwood Arms selected, produces a line of vegan imitation meats made from soy. The co-founders of the brand–former burger restaurant owners–wanted to create soy-based imitation meat for people that didn’t like tofu. Like other popular imitation meat brands, such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, the UK company has been incredibly successful. After launching a crowdfunding campaign, THIS raised four million pounds from investors: the soccer star, Chris Smalling, one of many vegan soccer stars.

The founders are thrilled that a restaurant like Harwood Arms chose to serve their product: “Meat alternatives have often been met with skepticism by Michelin-starred restaurants and chefs, so I was quite emotional when The Harwood Arms team told us they wanted to put THIS on their menu. Our collaboration represents a major step forward in plant-based food innovation, where products are now so realistic, they are welcomed into the world of fine dining,” said Andy Shovel, the co-founder of THIS.
It seems like more and more top chefs are beginning to explore imitation meats. From vegan “wagyu” to vegan sushi, you can expect to see more plant-based alternatives appear in restaurants that serve the finest of dining.

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