The Nuts Chef: A Gourmet Cashew Based Vegan Cheese Alternative
The vegan food world has long ceased to be a passing trend, and the supply of food products suitable for those who have chosen a vegan lifestyle continues to expand. One who took it a step further is "The Nuts Chef", a company that strives to develop the best cheeses on the market, and does not let the vegan specification interfere with it. I will walk you through their products from a very classy lunch that I attended at the organic vegetarian restaurant Meshek Barzilay, overseen by the founder Dan Shorer.
Clockwise from Top Left: With Dan Shorer, CEO, Gazpacho served with the Cashew-Crème and a skewer of Cashewrella and summer fruit.
All the Nuts Chef products are kosher and made from quality cashew nuts and other fine ingredients from vegetable sources only, without the use of any milk at all and without the use of food coloring or preservatives. Similar to the production of "regular" cheeses, the Nuts Chef's select food products undergo a long, meticulous and controlled process, lasting at least two weeks until completion.
It should be noted that the Nuts Chef products are aimed not only at the vegan crowd, but also at chefs and other culinary enthusiasts who are seeking additional flavors and high quality products to perfect their dishes. Also, the products contain brewer's yeast or other fermentations making them VEGAN, but NOT GLUTEN FREE.
Bottom from left to right: A ravioli filled with the Cashew Crème garlic dill white wine and lemon zest, Zucchini rolls filled with Cashew Crème garlic dill served with spinach and almonds and a cherry tomato filled with Cashew Crème dried tomatoes and basil served over an eggplant cream.
Among the products offered today to the general public is the "Cashew Delight" - a smooth cashew spread in the style of refined French butter, the "Cashew Crème dried tomatoes and basil" - a delicacy with a texture and taste of cream cheese seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and garlic, "Cashew More" in the style of French Sainte-Maure cheese and a variety of delicious cashew delicacies.
The Nuts Chef products are marketed in over 200 stores in Israel and are even exported to selected stores in France in a limited manner. Currently, the product range includes nine "delicacies" that are produced and marketed regularly and another delicacy, in the style of Roquefort cheese that is produced on special order. The company is planning to expand the plant soon and with it the range of delicacies.
Clockwise from top left: Baked Cashewbert with garlic, rosemary and maple syrup, a dessert based on Cashew Crème, a baked pear served wth Cashew-More served on maple syrup and a rolls filled with Cashew Velour, Cashew Delight, chutney and Roquette salad.
The Nuts Chef:
Cashew Delight: A cashew delicacy in the style of refined French butter. 25 NIS per jar.
Cashew Velour: A cashew delicacy with a hard velvety texture. 27 NIS per package.
Cashew-More: A cashew delicacy in the texture and taste of French Saint-Maure. 30 NIS per package.
Cashew-Chèvre: A cashew delicacy in the texture and a taste of French goat cheese. 27 NIS per package.
Cashew-Crème: A cashew delicacy in the texture and taste of cream cheese. 30 NIS per jar.
Cashew Crème dried tomatoes and basil: A cashew delicacy in the texture and taste of cream cheese with sun-dried tomatoes, basil and garlic touches. 30 NIS per jar.
Cashew Crème garlic dill: A cashew delicacy in the texture and taste of cream cheese with garlic and dill. 30 NIS per jar.
Cashewrella: A cashew delicacy in the texture and taste of mozzarella di buffalo. 30 NIS per package.
Cashewbert: A cashew delicacy in the texture and taste of excellent French Camembert cheese. 46 NIS per package.
The man behind "The Nuts Chef" is the businessman and artist Dan Shorer, whose life story can span several books. He studied philosophy in the United States, lectured at the university and at the young age of 25 won a Young Director award from the Theater Union in Germany. He was also the owner of a large consulting firm in the United States that advised the US Air Force, among other things. In between he took cooking courses at the Cordon Bleu in France, specializing in cheese production, and for a time held a restaurant on an island in Greece.
Shorer says he has been vegan for over seven years of choice and that initially, when he switched to a vegan diet, he looked for what he could eat but encountered a very limited variety: "As a cheese lover, I did not find a suitable substitute compatible with a vegan diet." At first I developed a vegan bechamel cream, and from there I expanded into more products with my children and wife serving as my primary tasters. My goal is to create a quality vegan substitute for elite cheeses, with the aim of creating culinary delicacies in general.
You can purchase them at the Teva Castel and Nitzat Haduvdevan chains or online through the Hebrew Website.
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