Pia Werzinger
Post published at June 20, 2023

Michelin-Starred Chefs Cook Up Treats with WNWN Cocoa-Free Chocolate

Coca Free Dessert

Three world-class chefs showcased vegan cocoa-free chocolate from WNWN Food Labs, the first to bring alt-choc to market, at Sweden Foodtech’s Big Meet in Stockholm June 1-2. Big Meet is the flagship event of the Nordic food/food tech industry and boasts the world’s largest test kitchen, where Chefs Estefania Simon-Sasyk, Martin Berg and Cecilia Tolone prepared a variety of dishes featuring WNWN’s choc to show how it can serve as a one-to-one replacement for conventional chocolate.  


A Michelin-trained chef turned food innovation and foresight practitioner, Estefania Simon-Sasyk has cooked and led kitchens in Asia, South America and Europe. She now uses her expertise in gastronomy to help bring systemic change and impact issues like health, sustainability and regional economic development as the head of Mycelium Gastronomy Network, an interdisciplinary food and gastronomy creative consultancy. Her sundae fused new, pioneering foods into a classic treat combining sweet, smokey and savoury flavours. Smooth vegan ice cream supported a dark choc ganache and caramelised spiced hazelnut brittle.

Cocoa-Free Chocolate GanacheCocoa-Free Chocolate Ganache

Cecilia Tolone is Sweden’s first three-Michelin-starred pastry chef, with more than ten years of experience in restaurants and bakeries in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Stockholm. Tolone created a decadent cocoa-free choc brownie topped with choc ganache using WNWN’s new “milk” choc that gets its creaminess not from dairy but from oats and tiger nuts. 


One of the early proponents of the New Nordic food movement, Martin Berg has a rich background in sustainable and sensitive cooking as the executive chef at Michelin-star restaurants, co-founder of the Green Rabbit rye bakery and organic café in Stockholm and head chef and concept manager at ARKET café. He served attendees “virgin vegan Bailey’s” shooters of a 50/50 blend of WNWN’s dark choc and “milk choc” with hints of star anise, fennel seeds, mace, vanilla and sea salt, sweetened with dark brown muscovado sugar and agave syrup. 


“We were floored by how differently each chef approached the choc, yet how ‘on brand’ each of their dishes was to their personal cooking style,” said WNWN CTO Dr. Johnny Drain. “The creativity of these exceptional chefs shows how versatile our choc can be, and how many possibilities there are for replacing conventional chocolate with a more sustainable and ethical ingredient that performs exactly the same.”  


WNWN employs a proprietary fermentation process to transform widely available plant-based ingredients like cereals and legumes to create cocoa-free choc that tastes, melts, snaps and bakes just like conventional chocolate. It is vegan, caffeine-free, gluten-free, palm oil-free, and lower in sugar than comparable products.  


According to an internal lifecycle analysis, WNWN’s dark choc emits 90% less greenhouse gases than conventional chocolate, and does not contribute to deforestation, habitat destruction and unfair labour practices like the conventional chocolate supply chain. Cocoa crops are also highly vulnerable due to climate change, including rising temperatures and reduced rainfall, which has led experts to predict chocolate shortages in the coming years as well as higher prices. 

Pia Werzinger, Digital Media Manager for Viva!'s Vegan Recipe Club

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This post was written by Pia Werzinger
As Viva!'s Food and Cookery Digital Media Manager, Pia is keeping you up to date on the latest recipes and vegan food news.