Chef Gabe Smith’s travels and no-waste philosophy inspire exciting alternative protein dishes. Vegan chorizo, made from Impossible Foods burgers, is seasoned to perfection and served grilled or atop a salad. Gillerson’s Grubbery in Aurora, Illinois offering healthier, plant-based options on the menu.
Nicole Astra: You guys have asked for more plant-based products, and I'm telling you, chances are if you've been to a restaurant lately you've seen Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, on the menus. Restaurants are responding to consumer demand, providing you with more plant based options. We're going to make it today, and I'm going to tell you how it tastes. Jeff, tell me the inspiration behind your plant-based chorizo sliders that we're going to make.
Gabe Smith: Recently, me and my wife like to travel every once in a while, and that's how I kind of get into my new recipes for the season. I thought about it. And in my kitchen I like to use each item that I have twice to three times. And the Impossible was sitting there one day, and I said, "Why not? There's no reason I shouldn't be able to do that."
Nicole Astra: Why is plant-based protein important to you?
Gabe Smith: It's just really cooking with something different, using the recipes that aren't readily available to anybody, like customer base. And it's trying to teach them different ways to cook with it.
Nicole Astra: I say, let's just head to the kitchen and I'll see your magic in action.
Gabe Smith: All right. Sounds great.
Nicole Astra: All right. Tell me what has gone into this. You've really manipulated it to suit your needs.
Gabe Smith: Yes. So it's that 20 to 25 ingredient seasoning that I put on it, and then you let it marinate overnight and it really absorbs all that seasoning and the flavor of the lime juice that's in it, to recreate actual chorizo that it's really hard to tell the difference. ]
Nicole Astra: And why did you use plant based?
Gabe Smith: It's just easier to reuse each item in a kitchen twice for food costs and stuff like that. It keeps it lower and it's just nice to always reuse everything in a recyclable fashion.
Nicole Astra: How is the chorizo slider selling?
Gabe Smith: One of the top sellers for us right now. I've had to up everything in my kitchen to actually accommodate this because I didn't think it was going to go over so well.
Nicole Astra: That's great.
Gabe Smith: So it's awesome.
Nicole Astra: Okay, I will meet you at the table.
Nicole Astra: This creation started last night?
Gabe Smith: Yes.
Nicole Astra: Right?
Gabe Smith: Correct.
Nicole Astra: Grilled it up fresh just now. I'm very excited. Just dig in?
Gabe Smith: Yep.
Nicole Astra: Okay. This is the Impossible Foods protein with your secret ingredients. Here we go, gang. We're going to give you the honest truth. Again, we vegetarians don't get this kind of food, you guys. This is phenomenal. I would second guess this, if I got it on my plate. So many different spices.
Gabe Smith: Yeah.
Nicole Astra: That fruit on top is fantastic.
Gabe Smith: Yeah.
Nicole Astra: I think what's important too to say is that you don't have to be vegetarian to want to eat this way or substitute this.
Gabe Smith: No, not at all.
Nicole Astra: The health benefit alone, if you don't really want to have sausage in your diet, this is fantastic.
Gabe Smith: Yep.
Nicole Astra: Okay, you talk now, because I need another bite.
Gabe Smith: We also make like a, it's called a toro sauce. You can put it on or not. It's actually made out of vegan based mayo to make this entire dish vegan.
Nicole Astra: Incredible.
Gabe Smith: Thank you.
Nicole Astra: Thank you so much for having Talking Plant Protein and we're going to be back.
Gabe Smith: Awesome.
Nicole Astra: All right. Gillerson's Grubbery, Aurora, Illinois.