Inspired by the growing appetite among consumers for sustainable and naturally available alternatives to animal-based meat, Hilton India, in partnership with Wakao Foods, has put up a sustainable food showcase for guests. The exciting food festival - 'The Wakao Fest,' aims at offering an unforgettable dining experience through an exquisite menu with jackfruit as the core ingredient. The innovative food menu will be available across dining outlets at Hilton properties in the country.
Commenting on the association, Prashant Kulkarni, director F&B, India-Hilton, said, "At Hilton F&B, we wanted to keep innovation, sustainability, and deliciousness at the front and center of the creative process, and we challenged our chefs to take Jackfruit, the humblest of ingredients, and come up with a menu which will excite and intrigue the palate. With Wakao we have been able to do just that. Wakao is an expression that perfectly captures the flavorful twist of our dishes as well as the guests' reaction when they dine at any of our Hilton outlets."
Kulkarni added, "The shift towards plant-based alternatives is the most dominant trend of 2021 triggered by the growing consciousness about mindful and healthy eating. The Wakao Fest explores unique dishes that are sustainable to serve and bring guest delight."
With the joint vision of placing jackfruit as a sustainably sourced plant-based meat substitute, the collaboration between Hilton and Wakao Foods aims to support local producers and products and bring plant-based alternatives prominently to the food and beverage scene in India. A sustainable crop, sourced locally, which does not need irrigation, pesticides or herbicides, jackfruit can be intergrown with other crops to create a regenerative ecosystem.
Sairaj Dhond, founder and chief executive officer, Wakao Foods, said, "As the world looks at more plant-based alternatives, which are healthier and more sustainable options, there is a growing interest in meatless meals off late. The versatile and indigenously grown jackfruit is bursting onto the scene and finding itself being used more often. Therefore, the pop-up explores the versatility of the humble jackfruit, which is considered a superfood but needs to be more relevant across the cuisine culture of the country."
Dhond said, "It is a great honor to be associated with an international brand like the Hilton, so early in our life cycle. These platforms and collaborations give brands and start-ups like ours a fillip to take our efforts to more people and educate the consumer. The collaboration brings Hilton's culinary expertise to one of our most loved indigenous products - Jackfruit."
The culinary experts have curated the artisanal menu at The Wakao Fest at Hilton to offer multiple cuisines and gourmet delights comprising starters, main course and desserts, leveraging the versatility and richly layered flavors and textures of the Jackfruit. Guests can sample dishes like Faux Pao, The Wakao Krapow, Parmesan Polenta, and "Bar of Bliss" and much more during this festival across the FnB outlets at @SAIPE at Hilton Goa, Coriander Kitchen at Conrad Pune, The Amber Kitchen at DoubleTree by Hilton Jaipur Amer, Terazzo at Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat & Spa to name a few. The festival will be celebrated from August to November 2021 across Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Goa, Bangalore, Chennai, Lucknow, Agra, Jaipur and Trivandrum.