On March 24th, over 100 guests from journalism, finance and the alt-protein industry gathered at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills for Taste the Future: an exclusive culinary experience showcasing some of the best innovations in animal-free protein. Organized by SOSV and Apeiron Investment Group, the event featured host appearances by Paul Wesley, Liam Payne and The Good Food Institute.
Eight food companies – Abbot’s Butcher, Grounded, Perfect Day, The Every Company, NotCo, Impossible Foods, Formo and California Cultured – representing plant-based, cultivated and fermented proteins, were present to offer unique dishes prepared by famed chef Matthew Kenney.
The menu’s signature entrees included:
- Grounded Grilled Cheese on Sourdough
- Perfect Day Animal-Free Soft Cheese Ravioli
- Abbot’s Butcher Beef & Chorizo Tacos
- Questlove’s Impossible Cheesesteak
- NotCo NotBurger Slider
- California Cultured Chocolate
High-performance food products
Guests also sampled The EVERY Company Hibiscus Agua Fresca, a specialty beverage that incorporated the company’s EVERY chicken-free egg white protein. According to Sean O’Sullivan, Managing General Partner at SOSV, the luncheon revealed the potential of each company’s products to perform as more sophisticated ingredients: “When chefs start to work with ingredients, they can make concoctions that are completely tasty and elegant [and are] high-performance, high-value and high-end food products.”
For O’Sullivan, the event’s greatest significance was in showing what is possible when companies strive to create better versions of meat, dairy and eggs using plants or food tech instead of animals.
“We eat three times a day and our overdependence on animal agriculture has really caused a lot of suffering for the world, not just through climate change and bad implications for human health, but also because we’re causing animal suffering as well. So if we can raise awareness, which is what this event is about, we can hopefully change people’s daily habits.”
He adds, “The event was packed with celebrity and venture capitalists and media, and they stayed for hours. It’s not due to my scintillating conversation, it’s because the food is great and because they are passionate about trying to make a better future.”