Twenty years ago David Lee, a vegan chef in Seattle, was unimpressed with the meat substitutes available to him. The products relied on gums, emulsifiers and fillers to mimic meat. David wondered if he could make a plant-based protein that could be appreciated by its own merits. With research, he learned that protein has been made for centuries in Asia using grains, vegetables and spices.
In 1997 David and his brother, Richard, launched Field Roast using traditional meat processes but with grains instead of animal products to make heart-healthy, environmentally- and animal-friendly proteins that can easily be substituted for meat in any recipe. They offer Field Roast in deli slices, roasts, sausages, frankfurters, burgers and meatloaf. Interestingly, their frankfurters and burgers are now offered at many major league baseball parks and football stadiums across the country.
A couple years ago, Field Roast started offering Chao – a vegan product that can take the place of cheese. Chao is actually an ancient Asian food made from fermented tofu. They offer it in slices in three varieties: Creamy Original, Coconut Herb and Tomato Cayenne. With this product they have mastered the “melt” which has been a real challenge for other companies making vegan cheese.
If you’re looking for some fall comfort food recipes look no further than the Field Roast website which has lots of delicious suggestions, including a vegan fondue which would be great for a holiday party! Other recipes include Cheesy Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms; Pumpkin Farro Field Roast Stew; Breakfast Polenta with Sausage, Peppers and Onions; and Cornbread Stuffing with Smoked Apple Sage Sausage and Mushrooms.
How about trying your hand at making your own grain based proteins? Field Roast offers a cookbook, Field Roast: 101 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share and Savor. You can use their prepared products in the recipes if you want to skip that step.
Expecting a vegan at your holiday table this season? Consider offering Field Roast’s Celebration Roast packed with Butternut Squash, Apples and Mushroom or their Hazelnut Cranberry Roast en Croute – a decadent roast filled with hazelnuts, cranberries and apples wrapped in puff pastry.
Field Roast was named VegNews Company of the year in 2015 because of their employee-focused approach to food production. They keep many steps that could be mechanized in the hands of employees working side by side to maintain camaraderie and an artisanal craftsmanship to their products. They also offer a starting wage of $15 an hour.
If you’re ever looking for something to do in Seattle, Field Roast offers tours of their facility. You just need to call ahead to arrange a visit.
Field Roast “celebrates and honors the great food-making traditions of Europe and Asia and brings them together in Seattle to create something special.”
Field Roast Company Snapshot
- Founded in 1997
- Headquartered in Seattle, WA
- Sustainable Palm Oil Source
All this information and more can be found at fieldroast.com
Amy Newsome’s favorite restaurant in Spokane is Mizuna. For years, she has been ordering their Field Roast and Shitake Mushrooms Lettuce Wraps. They’re delicious and come with a lemongrass-ginger sauce, red pepper and ground hazelnuts.