Life & Culture

At last! A fake steak to satisfy my own Mr White

Top chef Marco Pierre White is serving Israeli plant-based 'meat'. Francine White (no relation) had to give it a try


Dining out with my kosher hubby, Ray, is a potential nightmare. We live in Leeds which is not blessed with kosher restaurants. Never mind, most menus these days do include vegetarian or vegan options. Marvellous …except many contain nuts and he has a nut allergy.

Fish dishes are often embellished with prawns or other seafood. More often than not he’ll settle for say a plant-based burger with varying degrees of indifference. It all makes going out for a special dinner fairly stressful.

So when the legendary chef, Marco Pierre White told me about the new plant based products he was serving in his restaurants, in all honesty I thought “Oh, yeah?”
He extolled its virtues. “It’s the most clever thing I’ve seen in my 45 years of being in the kitchen’”

This from the man who was the first British chef to achieve three Michelin stars.
He was talking about Redefine Meat, created by an Israeli company, and made from soy and other plant products using 3D printing. “I think it’s going to revolutionise our world,” the chef enthused.

I admit to a soft spot for Mr White, Marco that is, as he grew up in Leeds not far from me. Despite his fiery reputation, I’ve always found him warm, gentle and very knowledgeable about all things in the kitchen.

So, when he assured me :“I tasted it, it reminded me of braised cheek of beef. The truth is, we all want something that is very real, and this is, it’s like eating real meat.” I was eager to give it a try. Next stop, London and the glamorous surroundings of Mr White’s in Leicester Square.

My own Mr White was agog with curiosity ordering the Redefine Steak with buttered English leaf spinach, woodland mushrooms, and extra virgin olive oil. I ordered a similar one with garlic butter.

Sipping a very acceptable G&T I tell Ray what Marco Pierre White had said “We’ll see,” he says, ever the cynic.

The plates arrive. There it is, a piece of “meat”, beautifully garnished and presented, looking for all the world like a juicy, succulent chunk of fillet steak. We dive in for the taste test. “It cuts like meat,” says Ray. Then a moment later, a beatific smile spreads across his face “Wow, you would never know!”

He’s right. It tastes just like a real steak, with the same density. And it is very filling.

My husband loves a pudding, the gooey and creamier the better. You can imagine his joy at being able to order a slice of baked cheesecake with blueberries for dessert. Even if he couldn’t quite get his head around having something so “milky”after what felt like a “meaty” main.

Other Redefine dishes on the menu include a gnocchi bolognese, a burger and even a pizza with Redefine pork sausage.

It’s the first time we’ve been out for dinner where Ray has eaten a non-meat dish that he has been genuinely thrilled with.

And on the train home he was ringing all his kosher buddies to enthuse about it!

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive