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Leading humanitarian chef José Andrés has joined food tech startup Eat Just. He has taken up a board position for the GOOD Meat brand. Alongside his appointment, Andrés has pledged to serve cultivated chicken in one of his U.S. restaurants, pending regulatory approval. As a board member, he will offer introductions to potential farm partners and provide culinary counsel.
The partnership between GOOD Meat and Andrés represents a cultural shift within food production and service. Andrés brings experience as a Michelin-starred restaurant owner, head chef, and humanitarian. Securing a future high-end restaurant to serve its cultivated products will be a coup for parent company Eat Just.
Changing the world with food
Andrés is the founder of the World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that seeks to support communities and economies in times of hardship. It is a passion project for the acclaimed chef. “The future of the world depends on how we feed ourselves, as the great food thinker Brillat-Savarin wrote almost 200 years ago,” said Andrés in a statement. “We need to innovate to adapt our food to a planet in crisis. We need to create meals that feed the people at the same time as we sustain our communities and environment. I’m proud to join the GOOD Meat team in that mission, as a board member and as a cook.”
Andrés will offer guidance to GOOD Meat’s chefs. As owner of ThinkFoodGroup, he operates more than 30 restaurants across the U.S. He will bring his Michelin-star and Bib Gourmands expertise to the GOOD meat kitchen. Working with the in-house chef team, and company scientists, he will aim to deliver the best combination of taste, texture and user-friendliness. This will be across the full range of cultivated products already in development.
In addition to offering taste notes, Andrés will be instrumental in helping secure a reliable supply chain. He will introduce GOOD Meat to respected small-scale farmers, for improved quality cell sourcing. The end goal will be to secure long-term cell line agreements with farmers. This will enable consistent results and support the local economy simultaneously.
“José has fed millions of guests at his award-winning restaurants and nourished entire communities through his visionary social impact work,” said co-founder and CEO of Eat Just Josh Tetrick. “He has used food as a way to connect and to bring a bit more fairness and compassion to our world and I am honored to welcome this culinary icon and hero to so many, including me, to GOOD Meat’s Board of Directors. His relentlessly innovative approach to food and his dedication to pushing everyone around him to do more good in every moment will be of enormous benefit to our team and our mission.”
GOOD Meat’s board welcomed two other notable additions earlier this year. Andrés joins former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Jim Borel, former vice president of DuPont.
The year of Eat Just
Eat Just has celebrated numerous milestones in 2021. Chief amongst them is the just-announced second regulatory approval for the sale of cultivated chicken products in Singapore. Coming one year after its landmark world’s first approval for a cultivated meat product, the company continues to make traction.
With one of Andrés U.S. restaurants lined up to serve GOOD Meat cultivated chicken in the near future, stateside regulatory approval is likely to be a top priority in 2022.
Lead image courtesy of ThinkFoodGroup.