From June 15 to 21, diners around the world will be challenged to take up a plant-based diet – at least for one week. Dubbed World Meat Free Week, the seven days are designed to prod people into thinking about the economic and environmental impact of the meat they consume.
Not that you have to give up too much these days to embrace a more sustainable diet. Each year, plant-based meat alternatives become more sophisticated. In 2020 a new Australian-based company v2food is making waves. Launched as a partnership between the CSIRO, Main Sequence Ventures (the CSIRO’s innovation fund) and Competitive Foods Australia, v2 is turning heads with its legume-based meat-alternative product.
For Meat Free Week, v2 is partnering with Deliveroo, a food delivery service committed to sustainability. Together, they aim to showcase how far plant-based dining has come. For one week only restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast will use its product to create dishes especially for the initiative, which you can deliver direct to your doorstep.
We’ve rounded up the operators along the east coast taking part in the v2 x Deliveroo collaboration, talking to a chef in each city about their dish and how it’s changing their menus for the better.
Bhavesh Patel from Arthur’s Pizza in Maroubra is using Meat Free Week as an opportunity to create a salsa pizza that slaps v2mince atop a tomato pizza base along with chickpea and corn salsa, jalapenos and vegan cheese (yes, you can have regular cheese, if you’re so inclined).
“It’s Mexican-inspired with fresh flavours,” says Patel. “The v2 product is great … We cook it in the same way as the meat equivalent and can hardly tell the difference when we’re eating it.” Patel reckons Arthur’s Pizza will likely keep plant-based meat dishes on the menu in future. “We’d love to,” he says. “If the demand is there we’ll definitely keep working with it.”
Other Sydney venues taking part:
The Italian Bowl Newtown
Little Viet Kitchen
Brisbane and the Gold Coast
Hashtag Burgers and Waffles’ Matthew Rollo is dishing up something a little more familiar for Meat Free Week: a burger. Dubbed the Kevin Faken, it features a deep-fried v2burger patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato and white onion, finished off with a liberal squeeze of mayonnaise and ketchup.
“We wanted to create a burger that was fresh and available to the non-meat market,” Rollo says. “We feel they miss out when it comes to dirty burgers.”
It’s the first time Rollo has used the v2 product on his menu. He says while it’s a very different product to the burger joint’s own beetroot patties, it’s just as easy to work with. “The biggest bonus is we can deep fry it, which keeps the taste but gives it this wicked crunch,” he says. “It keeps its moisture like a normal [beef] patty, which creates a great texture on the burger.
Other Brisbane and Gold Coast venues taking part:
Shiraz Persian Restaurant (Gold Coast)
Origin Kebabs Burgers n More (Gold Coast)
Crispy Fried Chicken (Gold Coast)
It's Burger Time (Gold Coast)
Soprano’s Woodfired Pizza (Gold Coast)
Burger Smallz (Gold Coast)
Ese’s Burgers (Gold Coast)
HSP Bros (Gold Coast)
Like Bhavesh Patel in Sydney, chef Dario LoNigro from Little Rita’s Pizza in Abbotsford is using Meat Free Week to test run a new pizza dish.
“It’s a vegan meatball pizza [on a vegan-friendly base] with San Marzano tomato, vegan mozzarella, fresh basil and v2 meat,” says LoNigro. “The meatballs will be made from onion, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic, flax egg and breadcrumbs.”
“It’s a fantastic plant-based product,” says LoNigro of using v2. “We’ll definitely look at using it for our future menu.”
Other Melbourne venues taking part:
Hecho en Mexico
Small Print Pizza Bar
Secret Kitchen Noodles & BBQ Chadstone
Boss Burger Co (Geelong)
Lasagna Del Rey
The Vegie Bar
Peace Love & Burgers
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Deliveroo and v2food. Deliveroo and v2food have partnered to prove you can eat great food that is sustainable, without changing your order.