The Impossible Burger: the taste of meat without the meat
In the fast-paced world of food-tech, where start-ups are revolutionising the whole concept of food, everything seems achievable. A company called Impossible Food has even invented the next-generation ‘beef' burger. Naturally created from plants and the result of several years in the lab, this burger reproduces the taste and texture of meat to perfection. The illusion is so overwhelming that several great chefs in San Francisco have added the Impossible Burger to their menus.
One of these is Traci Des Jardins whose restaurant, La Jardinière, is the epitome of fine-dining. Raised by a Mexican grandmother and a grandfather who became a master of Cajun cuisine, the chef developed a passion for the culinary arts. Her dominant theme is to give guests a unique sensory experience by playing with textures and aromas. It was only natural then that she adopted the Impossible Burger and added her own personal take with caramelised onions, avocado and homemade Dijonnaise sauce. She also has a little surprise up her sleeve: the burger is cooked rare to reveal a tender inside in perfect imitation of animal flesh. Pretty impressive!
300 Grove Street
+1 415 861 5555
The fully automated food experience
At Eatsa, technology is everywhere you look. In this next-generation restaurant, founded by a former Google engineer, service is 100% automated. When entering the restaurant, there are tablet kiosks where you place your order. The restaurant was one of the first to trial this concept. You then get a huge selection of quinoa-based vegetarian dishes to choose from, featuring toppings such as grilled corn, chickpeas and beetroot. As soon as you confirm your order, the receipt is sent by e-mail, while little hands – human this time – get to work preparing your meal in the kitchens. Behind the scene, algorithms calculate the exact time your dish will be ready. A transparent LCD screen lights up on your cubbie and displays your name. All you have to do then is lightly tap the surface and the door automatically opens. Lift the lid on your quinoa bowl, San Francisco's latest vegetarian food craze, and treat your taste buds.
1 California Street
+1 415 930 4006
Food-tech reaches the grocery store
In the Californian city, new technologies do not stop at the restaurant door. Even in grocery stores, you can unearth some enterprising culinary innovations. One of the most surprising can be discovered in the aisles of the Whole Foods Market chain which specialises in organic products. Here, you can find a mayonnaise, a cookie dough and even a Caesar sauce, all guaranteed to be egg-free! The start-up Hampton Creek has actually replaced products of animal origin in its recipes with a clever blend of plants. Its imaginative range, called Just, mimics its counterparts so effectively that your taste buds won't believe it.
To sample some of its inventions, head to the gay village of Castro in the heart of San Francisco. At the mythical bar-restaurant Flore, open since the 1970s, you can try out the start-up's scrambled eggs (without egg) served with spinach, mushrooms and goats' cheese. Sit back on the restaurant's sunny terrace and prepare to be amazed by the original flavours.
Hampton Creek Food
2298 Market Street
+1 415 621 8579