Upfield, the world’s largest plant-based consumer goods company announced a collaboration between Urban Bar & Kitchen and its new plant-based brand, Flora Plant. As a way of promoting vegan options in Dubai’s dining scene, Movenpick’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers’ Urban Bar & Kitchen [u]bk restaurant has created two special recipes using the 100 per cent plant-based Flora Plant butter and cream.
This is Flora Plant’s first hospitality partnership in the UAE and is part of a larger initiative from Upfield to support chefs in meeting increasing demands for plant-based options. More such collaborations with hospitality outlets are set to be announced over the year.
Speaking on the initiative, Upfield MENA’s head chef, chef Marwan Abidaoud, noted; ‘In recent years, many chefs have seen diners looking for varied menu options at their restaurants, whether it is for health reasons such as lactose or gluten intolerance, or a preference to have a vegan or plant-based meal for ethical or environmental reasons. The challenge chefs face is finding suitable ingredients that tick all their diners’ requirements, deliver on taste and at the same time reduce complexities in their kitchens. Using Flora Plant will make it easier for chefs to create a wider variety of plant-based dishes for their diners to enjoy, as these recipes we’ve created with Movenpick show.’
Chef Murugan Thirumalai, executive chef, Movenpick JLT Dubai added, ‘When you are in the foodservice business, you have to be on-trend to accommodate customer demands. As veganism or plant-based diet grows over the years, it is important to have a good variety of interesting options for guests. As chefs, we turn this challenge to explore our creativity to find ways and produce great results. I am also aware that plant-based food consumes significantly less water and land compared to animal products. Hence, increasing plant-based options in my menu not only allows me to keep up to date with the growing market demand but also gives me the opportunity to contribute to sustainability. As a Chef, I find that personally satisfying.”
Available to buy in local retail stores nationwide, Flora Plant is one of Upfield’s latest product innovations and is the only 100 per cent plant-based cream and butter without any allergens available in the UAE and across the Gulf. Flora Plant Butter and Flora Plant Cream are vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free with a rich and creamy taste and which consumers can use 1:1 in baking and cooking. It is made with plant-based oils and has no artificial flavours or preservatives.
As part of its wider initiative to support the shift to plant-based diets in the UAE, Upfield will also be sponsoring the inaugural vegan category in this year’s Expo Culinaire which holds this April. The event is an annual competition, which for the last 24 years has served as an opportunity for junior chefs to showcase their culinary skills judged by prominent chefs worldwide.