Sodexo Ireland teamed up with leading conservation organisation WWF-UK to host a pop-up vegan restaurant, the ‘Finer Diner’, at the Forum restaurant in the new Trinity Business School on Thursday 24th and Friday 25th October 2019. It was to encourage students, staff and visitors to sample, for free, street food dishes made from 100% plant-based ingredients and was very successful, with over 1500 dishes served up over the two days.
The three street food dishes on offer, Kofte Kebabs, Pulled Reggae Reggae Jackfruit Tacos and Tikka Masala Curry, all featured ingredients from Knorr Professional and WWF-UK’s Future 50 Foods report; 50 plant-based foods identified that are healthy, tasty, accessible and have a high nutritional value but a low environmental impact. The dishes will be introduced into the menus at all Sodexo-run university restaurants in Ireland and the UK. In Ireland, Sodexo manages the Perch Café and the Forum restaurant at TCD and An Bhialann restaurant in NUIG.
Kofte Kebabs is a tasty beetroot version, in a kobez tortilla, served with watercress slaw and significantly less greenhouse gases. It has spinach/beetroot falafel with kale onion and watercress slaw, horseradish and beetroot relish and crispy kale garnish . Reggae Reggae Jackfruit Tacos – a tortilla base topped with reggae reggae jackfruit, adzuki beans, drizzled with soya yoghurt and garnished with amaranth. Tikka Masala Curry ventures into new taste territories with a planet-friendly tropical twist, with pineapple, puy and split lentils, spiced soy yoghurt and garnished with amaranth.
David Mulcahy, food innovation director at Sodexo, said: “We know that Generation Z are increasingly turning towards vegan and plant-based diets to improve their health and reduce their impact on the environment.
“The dishes that students will be able to sample at Finer Diner have been created to reflect the growing trend for street food and, of course, feature some of the Future 50 foods such as kale, spinach and lentils, all of which are really versatile and can be included in many dishes that people might usually associate with meat.
“We are looking forward to demonstrating that popular dishes like curries, kebabs and tacos, can be just as delicious when they’re 100% plant-based.”
Nick Hughes, food sustainability adviser at WWF-UK adds: “Our aim is to encourage students to explore plant-based foods and help them make the connection between what they put on their plates and its impact on the planet.
“Young people represent the future of our society, and we feel that encouraging them to make the switch could have a major influence in the fight for our world.”
Sodexo delivers services that improve the quality of life to clients in business and industry, education, financial services, government services and healthcare in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It employs approximately 3,700 people in 230 locations with a combined turnover of €141 million in 2018. It is part of the Sodexo Group, the world’s largest services company. The company spent €22.7m on Irish food products in 2018.
At the event were l/r Jamie Costello student experience manager, Sodexo; Andrew Burke, the Dean of Trinity Business School; David Fountain, executive chef and Denise Arthur, business manager for Sodexo at the Forum.