Plant-Based Future

Innovations in plant-based foods will promise delicious, sustainable choices for diners.

 
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Minh Tsai

Founder and CEO of Hodo

Minh Tsai is disrupting tofu in America. His artisan tofu, yuba, soy milk - and collaboration with some of the country's most creative chefs - earned Hodo the namesake, "The Trendiest Tofu" from the New York Times. As a child in Vietnam, Minh took morning strolls with his grandfather to the neighborhood tofu shop. The freshness and artisan-quality of the tofu of his childhood eluded Minh for many years. Starting with a single Farmer's Market stand in 2004, Minh's tofu and yuba are now sold in 1,800 stores nationally.  In the Bay Area, Hodo can be found at stores Whole Foods to 99 Ranch Markets. Hodo’s tofu and yuba are served by restaurants from sweetgreen and Chipotle to Benu, The Slanted Door, Mister Jiu's, State Bird Provisions, and Daniel. As a tofu maker today, Minh's mission is to craft delicious tofu, introduce eaters and chefs to the art and science of this misunderstood yet versatile ingredient, and create traditional and innovative tofu-based dishes that changing what we know of tofu.

 
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Ranjani Varadan

Director of Research (Proteins) at Impossible Foods

Ranjani Varadan, PhD, is a Director of Research (Proteins) at Impossible Foods. Since joining the Research and Development team as a scientist in 2011, she has worked on a number of projects, including the development of IF's platform for functional characterization of plant proteins, development of protein extraction processes at pilot scale, and the development of early versions of the Impossible burger. Ranjani now leads the Protein Discovery team and oversees projects related to protein chemistry and behavior in the context of food.

Prior to joining the Impossible Foods team, Ranjani was a Postdoctoral Associate at the New York Structural Biology Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She received her BE in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and MS in Biological Sciences at the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (India), and her PhD in Biochemistry at University of Maryland. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking with her family and learning Indian classical music. 

 
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Jenny Eu 

Founder of Three Trees

Jenny Eu is the founder of Three Trees, whose mission is to create a healthier world by making delicious, nourishing, clean plant-based foods.  Launched from the San Francisco Bay Area, Three Trees’ organic almondmilks have grown in markets across the United States. The inspiration for Three Trees came from Jenny’s grandmother, who showed her the nutritional value of edible plants that grew nearby.  Three Trees is founded on grandma’s food philosophy, and only ingredients that you would find in your kitchen pantry are used.  The company takes pride in the 100% clean ingredient list of each of its products. Jenny started her career in food at Wallaby Organic and Nestle.  Prior to food, she worked in Asia and the U.S. as a management consultant.  Jenny has a MBA and Bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.  When she’s not busy making almondmilk, Jenny enjoys hiking, preparing and eating food, and gathering friends for game night.


Moderator

 
 

Tara Duggan 

Staff Writer at the San Francisco Chronicle 

Tara Duggan is a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle Food Section where she covers seafood, the restaurant industry, food trends, agriculture and food policy, all with a Northern California focus. A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Tara also wrote The Working Cook, a recipe column that appeared biweekly in The Chronicle for over a decade. The author of four cookbooks, Tara is the recipient of a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award and has won other awards from the California News Publishers Association and the Association of Food Journalists.