As the co-creator, host, and executive producer of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, Andrew Zimmern has tried it all—fermented shark meat, tarantulas… even cane toads. So the celebrity chef’s latest job role may come as a surprise. Zimmern has signed on as Next Gen Foods’ business and culinary advisor for its flagship vegan chicken brand, Tindle.
The startup’s vegan chicken debuted globally back in March 2021. It features a blend of soy, wheat, and gluten, and the distinctive taste of traditional chicken is made possible by Tindle’s proprietary plant-based fat, Lipi.
“Tindle is a fantastic example of how the food choices we make can create positive change for our planet—without sacrificing amazing flavor or any of the memories created around the dinner table,” said Zimmern. “Tindle’s ability to mirror the flavor, aroma and texture of chicken and take center stage in any dish is remarkable and makes it a true stand out among plant-based companies.”
In addition to Zimmern, Tindle’s plant-based chicken has received praise from a slew of chefs, including Rocco DiSpirito and Chad Rosenthal.
According to the company, its plant-based chicken is the first to be “created specifically by chefs and for chefs.” The company now works with nearly 110 chefs and its vegan chicken is on the menus of more than 400 restaurants around the world.
Andrew Zimmern embraces vegan meat
In addition to his new role as Tindle’s culinary advisor, Zimmern is embracing plant-based meat in his personal life as well.
In an interview with Fast Company, the television personality revealed he was cutting back on his meat intake in order to reduce his environmental footprint. “We can’t take the horse and buggy back, we can’t take fossil fuels back, but we’re smart enough to make a difference,” he said.
A 2021 study published in Nature Food found that factory farming accounts for 60 percent of the food sector’s greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, meat production causes twice the amount of pollution than that of plant-based foods.
Zimmern’s joining of Tindle’s advisory board is a sign of its burgeoning success. The company has been steadily gaining momentum in the world of vegan meat. Since its debut, it’s become popular in a number of countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Amsterdam.
It recently raked in $100 million in Series A funding, bringing the startup’s total funding to more than $130 million. And in February, the company expanded into the US, launching its plant-based chicken in restaurants across the country.