For many chefs, adapting recipes for a dairy-free audience is a headache. Violife® helps prevent such stress. With a masterfully developed plant-based product line containing a stunningly wide breadth of dairy-free alternatives that both taste great and are effortless to cook with, Violife has quickly become a chef’s best friend.
Violife is no stranger to creating award-winning quality dairy alternatives that taste delicious. The brand, whose name is a portmanteau of the Greek ‘vios,’ meaning life, and its English equivalent, was founded in the ‘90s in Greece by the Karakas family as a solution to the Orthodox Church’s 100-day fast in which Greek Orthodox Christians were forbidden from consuming dairy products. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Upfield, a global leader in plant-based offerings, acquired the Violife brand and brought its portfolio of products to North American consumers.
In promoting its portfolio of products, Violife has focused on working side by side with professional chefs, restaurants, hotels, and other foodservice establishments. In so doing, Violife’s Chef Zack Gochin has been instrumental in educating foodservice professionals about the benefits of cooking with the brand’s portfolio of products, and leans in on his years of culinary and sales experience to steer Violife into new frontiers. Gochin has an extensive background as a chef, including ten years of training in Europe, opening several high-end restaurants in his hometown of Los Angeles, and experience as an R&D chef for a pasta manufacturer, and works as both a Violife sales coordinator for several states and a recipe developer. His passion for plant-based cooking is evident. Gochin says, “I can go in front of customers and cook a wide range of recipes with our line. This enables chefs to taste the products and paints a full picture.” Not only does Gochin help to demonstrate and sell the products, he also assists in developing numerous delicious recipes that embrace Violife’s plant-based ingredients, including a queso recipe he masterminded that is used by numerous chains nationwide.
Gochin praises Violife’s product line as both broad and versatile, enabling chefs to have a perfect dairy alternative in every culinary situation. Violife’s line of cheese products, alone, demonstrates the brand’s dedication to including options that suit a variety of palates, including alternatives to cheddar, mozzarella and colby jack cheeses, which come in an easy-melting shred form, and cheddar and provolone alternatives that come in slice form. Violife also offers blocks, including grateable parmesan, a delicious, crumbly feta that Gochin describes as a “cross between traditional goat cheese and feta,” and tubs of smooth and creamy vegan cream cheese. Gochin cites Violife’s plant butter and plant cream as the stars of their vegan offerings: “the Plant Butter is a one-to-one replacement for dairy butter and is made from pea protein, so it has a higher heat resistance and shelf life and is cheaper than its dairy counterpart.” Similarly, Violife’s heavy whipping cream alternative, which is lentil-based, whips effortlessly to stiff peaks and requires less reduction when cooked in sauces.
Gochin, who draws from his experience as a commercial chef, explained, “Our Violife professional products are very much chef-driven and perform well in all of the recipes I’ve made over the course of my career. The perfect pizza cheese, for example, has a higher heat tolerance and better stretch, which is what all customers and chefs are looking for on a pizza.”
The company’s ethos is not geared towards one demographic segment or culinary specialty: “We target anyone using butter and cream – or any dairy products – because Violife products taste delicious, deliver that cheesiness and creaminess consumers want, and perform incredibly well,” Gochin detailed. What’s more, the Violife portfolio of products was carefully designed to exclude common allergens such as nuts, gluten, lactose and soy, and is certified kosher, which enables foodservice professionals to offer diet-flexible options to their customers. By creating experiences that can be enjoyed by both the omnivore, the flexitarian, and the vegan, Violife accommodates a greater number of guests without compromising on flavor, and helps boost customer retention and social media engagement. “At the end of the day,” Gochin stated, “there’s nothing worse than steering the Titanic – if chefs can swap out dairy with our products on a one-to-one basis, it saves a lot of headaches, stress, and recipe reinvention.”
Clearly, Violife is a brand that creates delectable products with their customers – both chefs and consumers – in mind. Violife’s line of products helps to create a memorably delicious culinary experience for all.
For more information regarding Violife, its product line, or purchasing, visit their website.