Saturday, March 31, 2007

Media Watch: hammerhead shark attack!: meatpaper and The Stranger

There is a new zine in SF called Meatpaper. Embracing meat but veggies too. Check out the hats. Vegetarian meat?

hammerhead shark attack!: meatpaper

Seattle Stranger Weekly does it again.....last weekend we did VegFest in Seattle. They sent a non veg reporter to trash the event. When I saw the article headline I waited for the usual "too-cool-for-school" intro. "I am not a vegetarian, but I like food, I like free stuff, and I like gently teasing hippies"....

THOUGH.....The first positive thing she wrote was about Field Roast sausages (spicy and delicious) - must have been the Mexican Chipotle. The article is below:

The Stranger: Everything's Gone Green

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


This was my first year going to Vegfest!

To go as a vendor was a great because you get to meet with lots of other people that work for the veggie and vegan food companies...not to mention sample their wares. We had the prime spot this year front and center Thanks to Stewart from the Vegetarians of Washington. There must have been a couple thousand people through on Saturday DESPITE the typical downpours outside.

Aaron Lee, vegan and production/pallet shipping guru of Field Roast joined me for most of the day. David Lee, owner and founder (but no relation to Aaron Lee), helped get us rolling and came back for some of the evening events since our booth at VegFest was all his on Sunday. This was truly a great experience for me, to be able to meet with tons of customers, hand out the samples and tell people a bit about who we are and what we do. From some of the contacts I made I venture that there will be some new business and a donation opportunity or two.

For the festivities we got some buttons made to hand out. Rex and Rebecca from, resident button producers of Georgetown, made it happen within a day, so much appreciation to them! They were a hit! We did little buttons that were hip and said boldly "EAT vegetarian MEAT" which conveys that we at Field Roast make meat, just not from animals. Our meat is 100% vegan, made with grains and vegetables, and artisan made into netted and linked chubs and the charcutterie style smoked meats, old school techniques that are key to flavor and texture.

We had a line around the corner for our sausage bites, and with the help of a lovely volunteer, grilled em up just as fast as they disappeared. Some of my other favorite tasty bites I sampled during my walk through the fest was Mighty O, with their delectable vegan doughnuts...Healthy Hedon Chocolate Silk pie...Naked Juice...Wildwood Tofu burgers...and the sushi Tofu Phil made with his flavored tofus by the name of Small Planet Tofu.

Now I am REALLY looking forward to VegFest Portland!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

New Cutlet Recipes Coming Soon!

Porcini Dijon
and Pimenton Masa De Maiz are two, new cutlet flavors we've recently put together for some of our customers requests.

Soon they will be available to you...that is if you work in food service as we don't make retail packs of our hand breaded cutlets....that would be way too much work, not to mention the need for a conveyor par-fryer.

We've been making cutlets for just about as long as we've been making Field Roast. Our customers are deli's, restaurants and colleges. They are a "different" kind of veggie patty, more multi-dimensional and textural...more like the classic chicken fried steak or chick patty style thing. Hand breaded using our own breadcrumbs and a combination of different nuts, seeds, coconuts etc for flavor. They gotta be fried...can't get around that....but when they are.....that could be heaven!

Porcini Dijon....a breaded cutlet of wild mushroom porcini grain meat, dipped in a Dijon mustard infused batter and breaded with house special and chunks of fresh mushrooms...! Thanks to Field Roast Chef Steve Holtz for this one!

Pimenton Masa De that IS a mouthful. Lets start with a pimenton (smoked paprika) spicy cutlet of grain meat (chipotle, arbol peppers, etc) and breaded with a combo of traditional bread crumbs, a chunky corn masa (the corn flour used to make corn tortillas), red bell peppers and chunks of fresh corn. Wow....try it with some salsa and sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro.

We welcome our new cutlets into our cutlet fold...of Hazelnut Herb, Sunflower Country-Style and Coconut cutlets. If you are interested in learning more about our new flavors, give us a call at 800-311-9497

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Notes from the Kitchen - Producing the Roast

We have been busy in production that last few months….ramping up for increased volumes and refining our systems. Regular readers of the Field Roast Times will remember when Cary went off to get trained in HACCP. Cary, Malcolm and I (David) have been busy assembling our new program. We’ve been refining our production process from A-Z: receiving, storage, mixing, forming, cooking, cooling, slicing, packaging and labeling. We’ve also re-arranged our plant, expanded our warehouse space and purchased an experienced 140 quart Hobart mixer for mixing batters and flours.

Being 100% vegan, Field Roast is much safer to handle (and to eat) than animal meats. Animal meat production facilities have to have full time USDA inspectors onsite - we don't. We are inspected by the FDA and the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Have you ever wondered how we make Field Roast? Our process is remarkably simple:

Step one: - Mix wet ingredients (red wine, fresh cut vegetables, lemon juice, filtered water)

Step two: - Mix dry ingredients (wheat protein flour, yeast extract, our own in-house blended spice mixes, etc)

Step three: Combine wet & dry to make a dough. (We use a dough mixer to do all of this.)

Step four: Form the dough (into a loaf, a link, or into a vegan casing)

Step five: then cook. We now use a steam cabinet to cook the dough, but we used to use a kettle. Back in the beginning, we used to use stock pots, then steam kettles. Times have changed!

One of the essential differences between Field Roast and our "competitors" is that our process is much less mechanical and processed. In natural food grocery stores, the section with the most processed foods is the vegetarian meat section. Many of these products are made using the same techniques that are used to make baloney and other highly processed animal meats: they first create an emulsion (like you would to make mayonnaise) in order to put as much water in as possible and then add gums to hold/stabilize the water. That's why so many vegetarian meat products ('specially the slices) resemble baloney - they are made just the same way. The meat they make is very homogeneous in appearance and texture, and it's rather “jiggly” - that's the effect of the added water and gum.

Our slogan written on every package using Chinese characters is “Flesh of the Earth” - Field Roast isn't about emulsians and gums, holding water and tasting like animal meats. It's earthy, fiberous and firm. Flesh of the Earth means vegetables, wheat flakes, lentils, the power of the grain! We buy fresh eggplant, fresh Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh celery, fresh carrots and dice them in-house to add flavor, texture and the energy of the sun and the earth to our meats!

So that is how we do it…from our kitchen to yours. There are no secrets in how we make our veggie meats. We believe that our customers deserve to know. There ARE many secrets, patents, etc in the food biz....but you won't find them here at Field Roast.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Field Roast distribution by UNFI Atlanta

At the beginning of 2007 our longtime distributor in the South, Culinary Masters, was bought by Atlanta Foods, making the distribution in that region up in the air. The good news is that now we are more available in the South than ever before.

UNFI (United Natural Foods) is the largest natural food distributor in the US. Now you can get your Field Roast delivered seven days a week in the following states: Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky (except Lexington and Louisville), and Tennesee!

They will be stocking our Celebration Roasts and Sausages, and product just hit their warehouse this week! We look forward to serving our customers growing needs better in the South region and will be running several promotions through them this coming year. Many thanks to those who helped keep our unique vegan products on the shelves when it wasn’t so easy to get!

New Offices For All Of Us!

Through the better part of January and February, the Field Roast office was dismantled, packed up and moved to the upper story of our production plant. Our production plant, as you may know, was originally a single-family home built in the first part of the 20th century. We remodeled the upper story to house our swanky new office, a test kitchen, and a new breakroom - and we built in a sophisticated loft style apartment next door.

Renovations were a long grueling process! We had to refinish wood floors, patch holes, paint the walls, and install heating. Malcolm Lee headed the project with a host of workers under his lead. It was somewhat of a family affair: everyone chipped in to create the vision and do the work. I myself put my "engineer" hat on and put together all of the new aerodynamic IKEA furniture.

The whole Field Roast family - cooks, labelers, and our office staff - now enjoy a full kitchen and sunroom for breaks and lunches. We have a new seating area for waiting customers and associates, and expanded storage for ingredients, and office supplies. David has created a secluded office space upstairs where he can work undisturbed, and is loving it, though the heat during the summer may change his mind. (he has put in a request for an air conditioner.)

If you are planning a trip to Seattle, please stop by! We welcome you to come in for a quick tour.

Hey Seattle customers and fans...Come on by! Pick up some Field Roast! Save the shipping cost and come see our new digs. We would love to see you.