Nestlé, the largest food and beverage company in the world, launched a challenge adressed to Romanian Chefs, within the VeggieChef competition. On this occasion, he was named the first Chef to cook using the VeggiePlate, a nutritional method for balanced meals based on plant-based foods, through which Nestlé encourages the consumption of these products in a healthy diet.
„Together with three Chefs known to the general public for their work, we set out to show people how easy it can be to cook delicious herbal dishes. They demonstrated in just a few minutes that in such a menu you can keep the shape, color, flavor, consistency, textures and inviting flavors through imagination and courage in the plate, for a healthier lifestyle, and the Garden Gourmet products allowed us to combine beautifully what is good for us with what is good for the planet. Through this approach we try to offer people balanced and tasty options, encouraging the increase of consumption of plant-based foods in the daily menu”, says Ovidiu Tunaru, Business Executive Officer Nestlé Proffesional South East Market.
In search of the first VeggieChef, on July 15, the competition was attended by three well-known chefs – Chef Cristian Șerb, Chef Bogdan Vandici and Chef Cristian Voicu – who cooked only with plant-based foods and Garden Gourmet products from Nestle, presented in advance. They were carefully observed and noted by a jury of reference people for the gastronomy area: Chef Ștefan Popescu, Dr. Laura Davidescu, nutritionist, and Ștefan Oprea, President of The Institut Culinaire Disciples Escoffier Romania.
“No wonder they say health begins in your plate, and it is our duty, of all chefs, not to limit ourselves only to the taste and appearance of a plate, but also to its balanced nutritional content, adding as much vegetable food as possible”, says Chef Ștefan Popescu, member of the VeggieChef jury.
„Plant-based dishes are my favorite things to cook, because they are versatile, they are extraordinary colorful, playful, exactly what makes me happy – which allows me to express myself in style and in the vibe I want to put in the dish. VeggieChef, the first edition in Romania gave me a great feeling, with positive energy, beautiful people, gathered for a common goal, for nutritional education, the emancipation of tastes and textures and for food diversification. Garden Gourmet plant-based products are particularly tasty, with a texture close to meat, because they are substitutes for traditional meat. I felt great with the whole team, with my teammates, I don’t want to call them competitors, because we made friendships that would last for years. I am very happy to win the first VeggieChef title in Romania, the energy is like a tsunami that cleanses all negativity we were surrounded by in the last period. Thank you to the organizers for having the opportunity to prove that in Romania we can do interesting and delicious things”, says Chef Bogdan Vandici, VeggieChef winner.
To exemplify these educational initiatives to promote a healthier lifestyle, the three Chefs used Nestlé’s iconic range of plant products, under the Garden Gourmet brand. The Garden Gourmet range includes a variety of products that contain 100% plant-based protein foods and offers a tasty option to those who want to include more plant-based products in their diet, but without compromising on taste and texture. Under Nestlé Professional, Nestlé has already launched in the out-of-home sector in Romania Garden Gourmet Sensational Burger, a vegetable product rich in protein, with a content of 16.3 g of protein and 4.4 g of fiber per serving. The Garden Gourmet product range will be expanded in 2021, in line with Nestlé’s commitment to provide healthier and more sustainable food options, with the Garden Gourmet brand having a carbon neutral footprint by 2022.
Food is a fundamental element for a balanced lifestyle, which contributes significantly to the quality of life, once a flexible option is identified, suitable for each person’s program. Factors such as health or the desire to live as sustainably as possible have a positive effect on the way menu choices are made. Statistics show that 22.9% of Europeans have adopted a flexitarian diet. Interest in more plant-based eating styles has increased significantly in the last 5 years in almost all European countries, in Romania online searches have increased by almost 48%.
People who want to adapt their daily menu and choose to consume more plant-based foods can choose a flexitarian food diet. Thus, macronutrients and as many as possible micronutrients are provided by the consumption of plant-based foods, regardless of the lifestyle they normally adopt. To help them, Nestlé has proposed a nutritional method in the form of a plate, to help those who want to include more plant-based meals in their diet and to increase the intake of plant-based protein foods.
VeggiePlate can be downloaded from the website www.nestle.ro/veggieportia and is a guide to quantity, inspiration, and diversity. The plate shows the optimal proportions and the right combinations between different groups of plant-based foods, so that the plant-based meals are well balanced and provide the necessary proteins. The plate is divided into three segments: 50% vegetables, 25% plant-based protein foods from vegetables, nuts, and seeds, 25% whole grain products and potatoes.
Discover other Nestlé initiatives in the field of food on www.nestle.ro/nutritie/