WASHINGTON — Chef Kaimana Chee had an audience as he made omelets at the bar at Equinox restaurant Tuesday morning just two blocks from the White House.
First, he poured in the base. Then he added a few chopped vegetables. He watched the omelet bubble, listening to it sizzle. And at the right moment, he used a spatula to roll it. He cut the golden brown omelet into large pieces, and handed them to the people on the other side of the bar who were watching his every move.
Vegan products masquerading as meats or other animal-based ingredients are hardly new. For years, companies have been turning tempeh into bacon or soy protein into cheese. But replicas rarely resembled anything close to the real thing. Then came the Impossible Burger—a plant-based beef substitute that came surprisingly close to ground meat. It even (kind of) “bleeds.” Restaurants bragged when they were one of the first to offer it.
JUST, a plant-based food startup company, is expanding its groundbreaking JUST Egg to Washington, D.C. The vegan egg alternative (formerly called JUST Scramble) will be served at Equinox, a D.C. restaurant by Chef Todd C. Gray beginning on June 26.
Equinox will be the second restaurant in the US to serve the new JUST Egg; it first debuted at San Francisco’s Flore. The innovative plant-based product is made with mung beans, which provide ample protein and the proper texture to replicate a chicken egg scramble. Chef Gray said in a recent interview, “It’s a remarkable product—it really does mimic a real egg and scrambles like one.”