Thank you Tal Ronnen. Chef Tal Ronnen won my heart when he was on the Oprah show and introduced the world to Gardein products. He first became famous preparing vegan meals for Oprah when she did her 21-day vegan cleanse. He also catered Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s wedding. He has worked at my very favorite Ft. Lauderdale restaurant, Sublime (where they cook with a lot of Gardein) as well as Candles 29 in NYC. What I didn’t know until recently was that he not only brought Gardein to the masses, but he actually worked with the company to develop the products!
Now he has become a partner in a company called Kite Hill, which produces cheeses made using traditional artisanal cheese making processes, but WITHOUT dairy. Ronnen says, in a recent interview with Alicia Silverstone, for the her Kind Life website, that “unlike other non-dairy cheeses, we make our own milk, and mix it with cultures and enzymes that our team developed. We then form curds, which are then cut, drained and pressed. Once the cheese has been brined, it goes into one of our aging room, which are specifically calibrated to the style of cheese that we are making. The aging rooms and equipment were all built in France and imported to Northern California.”
This new cheese is scheduled to be available at Whole Foods Market this month! Don’t look for it in the processed and vegan cheese section of the store thought. This one is going to be the first non-dairy cheese sold in the store’s fancy gourmet cheese department. Ronnen never mentioned if this product has “meltability,” something that is often missing from non-dairy cheeses, but my guess is if it’s half as good as it sounds like it will be, we won’t even want to wait for it to melt! Since I am at Whole Foods a couple of times a week, I will be keeping my eyes open for it and will let you know when I find it, and of course how it is!
Thanks Ron and thanks Alicia. If you haven’t stopped by her site lately, check it out at thekindlife.com She’s got tons of great info, recipes and more. Since she’s a mom of a youngin’ she has lots of great advice for raising kids on a plant-based diet, too. And thanks to all of you for stopping in for some peaceandfitness on this vegan Thursday. We can all do wonderful things for ourselves, our furry friends and our planet at each and every meal. I hope you’ll consider that at your next one….much love.