Hilton India partners with Wakao Foods for a unique Pop-Up Menu

A joint vision for a healthier planet and sustainable menus.

India,18th August 2021– Hilton India in partnership with Wakao Food launches “The Wakao Fest” promoting a gourmet food menu incorporating jackfruit meat into a versatile curation of dishes, spanning multiple cuisines. As a part of the joint vision of Wakao Foods and the Hilton, this brings jackfruit as a sustainably sourced, plant-based meat substitute onto mainstream menus.

Mr. Sairaj Dhond, Founder & CEO Wakao Foods commented, “It is a great honor to be associated with an international brand like the Hilton, so early in our life cycle. These kind of platforms and collaborations give brands and start-ups like ourselves a fillip to take our efforts to more people and help us educate the consumer as well. We are delighted to have partnered with Hilton India for this collaboration which brings their culinary expertise to one of our most loved indigenous products – Jackfruit.”

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. The pop-up therefore 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.

Commenting on the promotion, Mr. Prashant Kulkarni, Director F&B, India-Hilton said, “At Hilton F&B we wanted to keep innovation, sustainability and deliciousness at the front and centre of the creative process, 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. The Wakao Krapow, Parmesan Polenta and “Bar of Bliss” are some examples of how you can sample the dishes in our restaurants”

The Hilton and Wakao foods have a common goal of supporting local producers and products, as well as look at more plant-based alternatives to serve guests in a delightful manner. It also presented an exciting opportunity to get all the Hilton chefs across India to collaborate and curate one fest at the same time, using one unique ingredient as the core to multiple dishes with richly layered flavours and textures.

Mr. Prashant Kulkarni, Director F&B, India-Hilton, further added “From 10th of August for three months you can enjoy the Wakao fest at several of our hotels in India, for example Coriander Kitchen at Conrad Pune, @SAIPE in the spectacular Hilton Goa and even the Amber Kitchen at Double Tree by Hilton Amer to name few. With this promotion, we have got all our Executive Chefs to collaborate and bring this ingredient to life in our menus”

“The Wakao Foods x Hilton campaign goes a long way to promote sustainable farming and responsible eating on the mainstream menus. We at Wakao Foods are committed

to maximising the benefits of responsible farming while reducing the detrimental impacts of food wastage, packaging and pollutants on our planet. With this collaboration, we would like to introduce more people to healthier, sustainable and plant-based food.”-As quoted by Mr. Sairaj Dhond, Founder & CEO Wakao Foods.

The shift towards plant-based alternatives is the most dominant trend of 2021. This has been brought into more focus due to the pandemic and the need to boost immunity and provide an alternative menu for our guests. Immunity boosting food items have become a popular staple almost everywhere, especially after the pandemic. At Hilton, the success of business is linked to the ability to operate and grow sustainably. Hilton defines corporate social responsibility as a critical responsibility to protect communities and the planet. Complementing the joint vision of Indian start-up Wakao Foods and Hilton, the jackfruit is an obvious choice. A sustainable crop which does not need irrigation, and no pesticides or herbicides. A shade crop which can be intergrown with other crops to create a regenerative eco-system

About Wakao Foods: Wakao Foods is a sustainable Goa based company that brings plant based ethically sourced ‘Ready to Cook’ and ‘Ready to Eat’ products to the market. The first offering from Wakao, is the native jackfruit meat. Inspired by rising trends of veganism across the world and in India, as well, Wakao brings a new and disruptive approach with a sustainable focus. Launched in 2020, just before the pandemic hit Indian shores, Wakao has still shown a 25% month on month growth since its inception. The Ready to Cook varieties include the Raw Jack, that can be used as a meat substitute in any recipe for a decadent vegan alternative and the Jack Burger Patty, that makes cheat meals healthy in a never seen before avatar.

What: The Wakao Fest

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Ahmedabad

When: 10th August’21-10th November’21