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Plant-Based Foods: More Than Just a Trend



By Great Performances

Plant-based foods have been gaining momentum lately, especially in the fast food world. It’s not surprising as these venues are more accessible points for consumers to interact with plant-based foods, particularly those who may have reservations about going meatless. At Great Performances, we’re delighted to see plant-based foods becoming more mainstream. It’s a lifestyle we’ve advocated for decades now and spans Katchkie Farm, our NOFA-certified organic farm in upstate New York which serves as the inspiration for many of our dishes and to our adoption of Meatless Monday for our family meals.

Vegan Demi-Glace Ingredients; Photo Credit: ©Chip Klose

Vegan Demi-Glace Ingredients; Photo Credit: ©Chip Klose


This past year, our chefs have been innovating in the kitchen and have developed a vegan demi-glace which is not only 100% plant-based, but in sync with our mission of sustainability, reducing food waste, and lowering our carbon footprint. Made from vegetable trimmings, including carrot tops, onion roots and radish scraps, they’re cleaned, roasted and simmered into an umami-rich, mouth-wateringly delicious sauce that complements many of our dishes—vegan and otherwise. A traditional demi-glace is made with veal stock, which has myriad implications. Our vegan demi-glace is ethical, sustainable and delicious.

Meet Our Chefs. L to R: Dana Marie Moore, Sous Chef; Rob Valencia, Executive Chef, Catering Production; Justin Schwartz, Executive Sous Chef, Catering Production; Thomas Alford, Sous Chef

Our Chefs share their inspiration Behind the vegan demi-glace:

As chefs, many practices are rooted deeply in tradition–beautiful traditions that create beautiful food–and the veal demi-glace is undoubtedly one. And while tradition is great, here at Great Performances, we wield a responsibility to act not only because our impact is so profound, but because when we act, others follow.

With the strong culinary technique brought in by Chef Thomas Alford, if you have the ability to take a beautiful culinary tradition and re-imagine it to create a brighter future–while still making mouth-watering food–you do it!

Justin Schwartz, Executive Sous Chef, Catering Production

Here at Great Performances, we have access to many farmers, including our own at Katchkie Farm, who provide us with beautiful produce day in and day out. Within our high volume operation, we naturally produce a lot of waste, so instead of simply disposing of the waste, we take full advantage of our abundance and incorporate that into our menus. We utilize everything, employing expert practices and techniques, from mushroom stems to onion peel—even the ends and seeds of vegetables that are typically thrown away.

I took it upon myself, with the help of the GP production team, to collect as many vegetable scraps as possible to create something that exemplifies the love and diligent efforts of the workers from the farms and delivers it to the tastebuds and stomachs of our clients. From there, the vegan demi-glace was developed; it started in the depths of our earth where we are all from. We at Great Performances work hard to protect it, and it tastes so good!

Thomas Alford, Sous Chef