September 30, 2019

Derek talks to the Vegconomist

We’re up to something here at Wicked!

 

We’re in the middle of a roll-out of 80 new game changing products to hit the shelves of Tesco stores in the UK, full of comfort food classics and easy-going meat alternatives. And that’s not including the Plant Chef range, a completely different line of affordable vegan products formulated by Derek!

We’re making waves in the plant-based movement, why? Because we want to make it easier for people! We want to tick all your boxes – we want to make sure you don’t miss a thing when eating plant-based. We make Chef-standard food that’s good for you AND the animals.

The Vegonomist interviewed Derek about every damn thing we are up to here at Wicked, from our vision for the Wicked Kitchen line, our “We make vegan food for meat eaters,” motto and why we want to help chicken farmers flip the script and get to growing ‘shrooms!

 

Thanks for the feature, Vegconomist!

Click here to read the full article.

 

March 9, 2019

WICKED KITCHEN’S PLANT-BASED FOOD RANGE DOUBLES IN SIZE!

The demand for vegan food is rising so rapidly that it has become the UK’s fastest growing culinary trend of 2018 and is sure to kick off more in 2019. And rightly so because we all know it’s not a trend! In fact research shows avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce our impact on Earth.

Wicked is here to do our part in supporting by creating delicious, flavourful foods, free from animals! Any reason you can find to reduce and cut out animal products from our diets is a good reason AND eating more plants has never been more important, delicious and easier than it is now!

In the last year, sales of chilled vegan foods at Tesco have soared by 25 per cent, helping to swell the UK vegan market to £310 million. Now, to meet the soaring demand, Wicked Kitchen food range is doubling in Tesco, nationwide!

Wicked initially launched with 20 items in January 2018 with phenomenal success and we’ve been in the kitchen round the clock since, working on continuous improvements and new creations to meet demands. Included in the 26-piece, new item launch are Wicked Kitchen’s own crafted savoury pies, ‘sausage’ rolls, more wood-fired sourdough pizzas, chilled sharing desserts and deli foods plus much, much more, such as:

All The Rage Rolls (kale, mushroom and garlic in flaky puff pastry)

Packed Puff Pie (roasted cauliflower and oyster mushrooms in brandy gravy)

Pesto Lasagne (White and pumpkin seed pesto layered with pasta and wicked style‘ricotta’)

Charred Pineapple Dream Cake (with passion fruit glaze and biscuit crumb crust)

And Spicy Mushroom and Veg Sourdough Pizza (Reminiscent of a childhood favourite and based off of the Wicked sourdough recipe featured in THE WICKED HEALTHY COOKBOOK published earlier this summer).

The Wicked Brand was created by Tesco’s pioneering chef and head of plant-based innovation Derek Sarno, (that’s me) with the support of his brother Chad (that’s my brother) whose mission is to provide the best, most delicious plant based food options geared towards meat eaters and everyone who needs and wants to eat more veg! Retail will never be the same again!

As mentioned in the Tesco press release, Tesco Product Development Director Kate Ewart said:

“We know from our own data that flexitarianism is on the rise and many more customers are dabbling in cutting out meat for a day or so during their weekly diet. With the new range we’re now hoping to attract an even wider audience including customers looking for on-the-go delicious snacks such as a plant based sausage roll, pie or pasty as well as dessert lovers.”

The first batch of the 26 new Wicked Kitchen lines will be launched on Monday October 15, which will be the sharing desserts. Much more will be launched in segments over the next month just in time for Christmas and ready for those taking advantage of Veganuary.

Chef Derek Sarno said:

This is a dream come true for us. When we launched Wicked Kitchen back in January, the response was just phenomenal. We’re excited to be able to announce the expansion of the range today. At the start of the year, I said that veganism was going mainstream, and—as plant-based options are taking over the supermarket shelves—that belief is fast becoming a reality.</p> <p>Thank you so much to everyone who has bought and loved Wicked Kitchen food. I can’t wait for you to try these new items, too.

Chef Chad Sarno said:

Having more plant-based options readily accessible to the public has been a priority for us at Wicked Healthy. The launch of Wicked Kitchen last January was the first important step in making an impact on the market. We could not be more excited to launch this line extension and I want to acknowledge the incredible work that Derek, our partners, and of course Tesco have done to bring plants to the forefront of the food conversation throughout the United Kingdom and with retailers across the globe.

More product photos and fun bits about each item will be shared over the next couple months so be sure to watch this space and stay up to date!

In September, Wicked Kitchen won PETA’s 2018 Vegan Food Award for ‘Best Vegan Range’. 

Another Wicked Healthy note:

Our priority is to remove animal products from foods. And we are also working on the less plastic solution and eliminating the use of other environmentally destructive ingredients. Although some things take more time than others we continue to ask the questions and challenge the current system we’ve been dealt with, that is our mission and the wider view.

Thank you so much for supporting, caring and sharing. We appreciate you and will continue to work hard for what we believe in to be of benefit to the widest audience possible.

And right now we believe a brownie and Charred Dream Cake are in order! Much more to come … stay tuned.

The complete 26 new Wicked Kitchen range is as follows bringing the range to a total of 40 items to choose from:

Charred Pineapple Dream Cake

Red Velvet Brownie

Smoked Carrot Celebration Sandwich (Holiday Sandwich)

Bubble and Squeak Sandwich (Holiday Sandwich)

Cali Roll Cold Cuts Sub

Mac Attack Salad Bowl

Citrus Noodle Salad Bowl

Tex-Mex Salad Bowl

Turmeric Cauliflower and Coconut Bites

Curried Protein Pot

Toasted Three Onion Dip

Hella’ Cold Cracked Corn Dip

Hipster Salad

Street Market Rainbow Slaw

Almighty Green

Painted Potato Salad

Packed Puff Pie

Pesto Lasagne

Big Bros Enchilada

Fiery Filthy Fries

Stir Fried Black Pepper Tofu

Chinese BBQ Shreds and Greens

Margarita Sourdough Pizza

Spicy Mushroom and Veg Sourdough Pizza

All The Rage Rolls

Curried Cauli Pasty

February 21, 2019

LAUNCH OF GOOD CATCH™ FISH-FREE TUNA!

Today is a vegan, plant based win! Today we launched GOOD CATCH with our great team! Some Wicked crazy cool shit if you ask us! What started as a thought and aspiration turned conversation and then into development. Lots of work! It’s now manifested into a tangible product, an action that is part of a solution to some of the crazy issues we face.

After almost two years in development, we’re excited to announce that our Good Catch™ Fish-Free Tuna is launching three shelf-stable products: Naked in Water, Mediterranean and Oil &amp; Herbs. We are so excited to see this product come to life and could not be more proud of the team behind it!

Cheers to bringing dreams of creating solutions and alternatives to animal based products to market with a compassionate focus!

“We’ve created a true tuna texture and taste profile,” said Good Catch Co-Founding Chef Chad Sarno. “Good Catch products are a one-to-one swap in any recipe that calls for tuna, and can be the centerpiece of any entrée, sandwich, chowder, or salad. Plant-based Tuna is the culmination of our experience as plant-based chefs, combined with our passion for healthy eating as well as animal and environmental welfare. We’re redefining seafood for omnivores and plant based eaters alike.”

Good Catch is the first plant based brand that truly rivals animal seafood.

“Our mission is to disrupt the seafood category with delicious plant based options,” said Good Catch co-founder and CEO Chris Kerr. “And give consumers everything like they like about seafood, but without the mercury poisoning”

In the meantime, check out this video and stay tuned for Good Catch recipes and videos like the one below for our Deli-Style Tuna here on the blog!

To purchase, visit your local Whole Foods or go online to Thrive Market (click on logo below)!

December 20, 2018

LAST-MINUTE WICKED HOLIDAY LIST!

 

We’re not ones to play favorites, but c’mon! The Wicked Healthy Cookbook is packed with delicious flavors and super-vibrant, emotionally comforting, fresh AF food with a wicked twist on great ingredients. GET IT!

 

Vegan Fat Kid | Plant Pusher Tee

 

Vegan Fat Kid hanging out in our our Plant Pusher tee … get your own: they are super soft + super sexy!

 

The Whole Foods Cookbook

 

The Whole Foods Cookbook, packed with 120 plant-forward recipes, low in oil, whole-foods centered and wicked delicious!

 

How to go vegan - Veganuary

 

What to go vegan, but don’t exactly know how to go vegan? Get How to go Vegan by our friends over at Veganuary and get plant empowered!

 

 

Bamboo steamers. You know we love ’em. Pack them with plants and watch the magic happen.

 

mortar and pestle

 

Mortar and pestle. Grind up yer hottest peppers, spices and savor the fresh flavor!

 

vegan chocolate

 

Vegan Chocolate. Need we say more?

 

Need a wicked awesome knife? We love Shun Cutlery!

 

VitaMix

 

Vitamix. Life changing! Use it in smoothies, for vegan cheese making and so. much. more!

 

cutting board

 

Wooden cutting boards. Easy to clean and won’t dull your knives!

November 28, 2018

WICKED HEALTHY INTERVIEW SERIES | TIMOTHY PAKRON OF MISSISSIPPI VEGAN

Our Wicked Healthy Interview Series features individuals who are making a big impact in the plant-based world and beyond. Today we’re featuring Timothy Pakron—photographer, forager, food stylist and passionate southern chef behind the blog and instagram account Mississippi Vegan.

Taking the vegan food world by storm with his wicked welcoming southern style and gorgeous + comforting dishes , Timothy’s taking it a step further with the recent release of his debut cookbook, Mississippi Vegan: Recipes and Stories from a Southern Boy’s Heart. We’re stoked to sit down with him to chat about some of the influences behind his work, how he’s recently settled into NOLA, and share a recipe from the cookbook!

We’re wicked excited about your cookbook! Can you tell us a little bit about the concept behind it?

Yes! Mississippi Vegan is a cookbook that explores the undercurrent of veganism. I wanted to show people that you can still have delicious southern, Cajun, and Creole food without using animal products. I also wanted to prove to people that it’s not that crazy of a concept to veganize these recipes. Some of them are already pretty close to being vegan! Furthermore, I wanted to show people that you can still recreate these recipes with loads of flavor. I wanted to share recipes that have a story attached to them. It’s basically a love letter to my childhood and my home state of Mississippi. I wanted to the outcome to be emotional, touching, and also funny.

What was one of the most challenging aspects of creating your cookbook? How did you evolve as a cook/food writer from the beginning of the process to putting on the final touches?

Well, my process was a bit different than most because I wrote, styled, and photographed everything myself. This was definitely stressful and daunting, but I wanted to be in control of everything. I also wanted to end result to be as authentic as possible. Basically, this cookbook is like my baby. What happened during this process is I learned how to really write a recipe. At first, I had this vision of using lots of wild and unique ingredients. As I was writing the book, I realized that this would be frustrating to my readers and also make the book inaccessible. So I had to forego all of the wild and foraged ingredients ( well, there are some) and really stick to what most people can get a regular grocery store.

You recently moved from Mississippi to NOLA. What are some of the things you miss most about Mississippi and what kind of new-to-you things have you discovered that NOLA has to offer?

There were a beauty and charm to my neighborhood, Belhaven, in Jackson, MS which I miss. There is definitely a comfortableness there. It’s hard to explain. But I always feel it when I am there. Maybe because it’s where I was born and raised. When I finished my book, I knew that it was time for me to go somewhere else. New Orleans is where I landed and I am totally vibing with the city! There are so many fabulous restaurants and lots of delicious cocktails. What I’ve noticed about NOLA is there is a festive spirit here that’s infectious. There are lots of fun events always happening. Even with all of that, my favorite thing here is still my garden which is just a baby at the moment.

What is your favorite fall dish? We’d love to hear any special memory or story that goes along with it!

I love roasted pumpkin seeds! When I was a kid, my school would always take a field trip to a pumpkin patch. There was something about the gray sky, the burnt smell in the air, and the bright orange pumpkins laying in the field that resonated with me. After carving the pumpkin, my family always roast the seeds which I gobbled up! I love it when a recipe is connected with the process of harvesting the produce!

November 6, 2018

THE WHOLE FOODS COOKBOOK LAUNCH!

A week ago, we started out on the East Coast and then to LA to help promote the new cookbook, THE WHOLE FOODS COOKBOOK with our friend John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market. Check out the stations we visited and what we covered in each segment below!

First we stopped by Good Day New York to discuss the cookbook. Here’s what we chatted about! Next up, we visited the TODAY Show to make sweet potato barbecue pizza, whole wheat pizza dough and baguette pizza with veggies. If you want the recipes, check these out! We then flew over to the west coast for Good Day LA to discuss the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and trends around plant-based eating, while preparing some of the recipes from the cookbook. Here’s what we chatted about and cooked! Stay tuned! Several recipes from the cookbook will be available on Whole Foods Market’s hot/salad bars throughout the season. We’re wicked excited about it all!

September 30, 2018

WICKED HEALTHY’S SELECT SHROOMS | FALL INSPIRATION

We love these fluffy + soft bao buns by Alissa over at Connoisseurus Veg!  In her own words: “making your own vegan steamed buns at home really isn’t that tough” and lets us know how she created the dough and then steamed them in a bamboo steamer. Then she stuffed them with shiitake mushrooms … we’re into it!

Traci over at Vanilla and Bean shreds portobellos—stems and all—to make this wicked delicious burger! That sauce? It’s her homemade Smoky Bourbon BBQ Saucecheck it out!

Amanda over at My Goodness Kitchen caught our eye with these shroom burgers! She not only made her own charcoal buns, but also roasted then tossed Brussels with wasabi, mirin and a bit of sunflower oil to top the roasted portobellos.

Minds. Blown.

We always love to see what Melina is up to over at About That Food. Arugula, cashew cream, caramelized onion and roasted + sliced oyster mushrooms are tucked into buns for a perfect dish on a chilly day.

Ashley over at Eat Figs Not Pigs packed toasted sesame buns with pulled king oyster mushrooms, slathered them down with a smoky BBQ sauce, creamy coleslaw and crispy fried onion strings. Perfection!

Now we’re starving! Embrace the fall and all of the wicked awesome food that comes with it! Keep in touch on our instagram for shroom inspiration and more!

September 25, 2018

WICKED KITCHEN WINS “BEST VEGAN RANGE” IN PETA’S 2018 FOOD AWARD

The Wicked Kitchen range of vegan meals, salads, wraps and sandwiches, which was launched in 600 Tesco stores in January this year, has beaten all comers to the title of Best Vegan Range in the 2018 PETA Vegan Food Awards.

The Wicked Kitchen range, which was created by brothers and chefs, Derek and Chad Sarno, took the country by storm when it was launched, making national newspaper headlines and selling 2.5 million units in its first 20 weeks.

It seemed that every vegan on social media had tried the range and loved it but, insist the Sarnos, this was never solely about pleasing vegans, but about making great-tasting food to encourage meat-eaters to eat more plants.

Says Director-Chef of Plant Based Innovation at Tesco and co-creator of Wicked Kitchen, Derek Sarno:

It’s been a huge year for Wicked Kitchen, and we are so frickin’ grateful to everyone who has supported the launch, have made compassionate and mindful food choices, and shared how much they have enjoyed Wicked Kitchen. And we’re super grateful to PETA for naming us the Best Vegan Range. That’s awesome! And it’s only the beginning for Wicked Kitchen. Big news is on its way as the rollout of new and exciting line extensions into new areas is coming soon!

 

Says Dawn Carr, Director of Vegan Corporate Projects, PETA UK:

We’re delighted to honour Wicked Kitchen with the 2018 PETA Vegan Food Award for Best Vegan Range. A real game changer, Wicked Kitchen’s offering proves that vegan meals can have all the punch, crunch, and zing needed to satisfy hungry bellies and discerning taste buds. The award is well deserved!