April 14, 2024

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Trailblazing Chef and Entrepreneur Matthew Kenney Joins New School Foods Culinary Council, Leading to US Commercial Launch

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Culinary Council to collect insight from established chefs and restaurateurs, guiding the final development of whole-muscle meat alternatives and growing network of New School Foods restaurants

Toronto, Ontario – Today, plant-based seafood innovator New School Foods announced a partnership with renowned chef Matthew Kenney, who joins the New School Culinary Council (NSCC). NSCC is an invite-only collective of esteemed chefs and restaurateurs around the world; as the company gears up for a commercial launch of its plant-based Salmon Fillet in restaurants later this year, the Council will work closely with New School Foods to guide product ongoing development, recommended preparations, and support the adoption of its whole muscle, plant-based alternatives that faithfully match the look, cook, texture and taste of ordinary seafood.

As an inaugural member of the New School Culinary Council, Chef Kenney will develop brand new recipes throughout the year featuring New School Foods whole-cut salmon filet. Chef Kenney’s recipes highlight the menu flexibility & cooking versatility of a whole filet ready for cooking, be it sous vide, baking, roasting, sauteing, smoking, or anything else a chef might want to craft. He will also serve as a New School Foods advocate and consultant, directly working with chefs to ensure New School Food menu placement, particularly in the Los Angeles area, which Chef Kenney calls home. He will also work closely with New School Foods’ team by providing ongoing feedback during regular sessions with the product development team ahead of the product’s 2024 launch. A leading industry expert and globally recognized culinary professional, Chef Kenney continues to drive the cutting edge of innovation in the plant-based category through his company Ascention.

“When it comes to meat alternatives, there is no more demanding audience than professional chefs. If your product does not look, cook, and taste like the real thing, you are better off in the grocery store, because chefs will not compromise,” said Chef Kenney, “I speak from first hand experience when I say that the products New School Foods developed are nothing short of a plant-based miracle. When the New School Foods team visited me, I was stunned by how versatile the product was – how it was a product that I could prepare any way I wanted. It cooks and transforms just like the real thing, raw-to-cooked transition and all, while delivering an amazing taste and texture experience.”

“From Day 0, we developed this product with chefs in mind. As tastemakers, chefs and restaurateurs sit at the intersection between product and consumer – they represent a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to developing a product that consumers crave. If it won’t work for a chef, why would the consumer care?” said Chris Bryson, Founder and CEO of New School Foods. “By putting our fish in the hands of Chef Kenney, not only are we able to make sure our products is battle-tested for the rigors of a commercial kitchen, but we’re able to provide a diverse range of easy & delicious recipes that are sure to delight and surprise customers, while highlighting the flexibility that comes with the different ways our Salmon Fillet can be cooked. Together, we’re creating a culinary experience that customers won’t believe can be done with plants.”

New School Foods announced its plant-based salmon filet in February 2023. Developed using its proprietary scaffolding technology, New School Foods’ salmon marked a number of firsts for the meat alternatives industry, including:

  • The recreation of muscle fibers to mimic the texture of raw meat and fish
  • A Directional Freezing-based technology to allow their whole cuts to be sold “raw” and provide a clear transition from raw to cooked, just like ordinary meat and fish
  • A novel connective tissue solution that not only preserves the “flakiness” consumers expect in a good piece of fish, but also broadens the set of technological avenues available to plant-based products available today

To date, New School Foods has raised $12 million USD in seed funding from global investors including Lever VC, Blue Horizon, Hatch, Good Startup, Alwyn Capital, Joyance Partners. The company is using the funding to continue deepening its focus in research and development, including expanding its team of food scientists and scaling its scaffolding technology.

To learn more about New School Foods, visit newschoolfoods.co.

About New School Foods

Founded in 2020 and based in Toronto, Canada, New School Foods Inc. develops whole-cut, plant-based seafood that emulates the same texture, taste, nutritional benefits and cooking experience of conventional seafood.

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