Chefs Love SoyFibe™: An Interview with Zineb Hattab

Zineb Hattab

When we launched our company on this journey towards more sustainable fashion, we were massively inspired by the food world and the chefs who inhabit it. Top chefs are often leading the way in sustainable practices, closed-loop farming and delivering eco-conscious solutions to their guests.

One of the chefs who best incorporates this idea and our newest Terratela ambassador is Zizi Hattab from restaurants Kle and Dar in Zurich. We are proud to work alongside Zizi who has dedicated her restaurants towards developing some of the most delicious plant-based menus in the world.

We don’t say this lightly but no chef at the moment is being so creative, so sustainable and so downright delicious with purely plant-based cuisine. That’s why Zizi is the perfect fit to help launch our new, SoyFibe™ T-shirt. An innovative fabric made using byproduct from tofu production.

We’ll step back now and let you hear directly from the chef herself on why she decided to work with Terratela™, what sustainability means to her and why plant-based cooking is so important to her.

What were your first impressions when you heard about Terratela™?

I was very excited to hear that there’s a startup bringing the fashion industry one step ahead towards sustainability around food. One of the biggest challenges of our generation is to live sustainably so we can handover a healthy planet to the generations to come. We see this trend growing in our food consumption patterns or in the car industry but nobody seems to be brave enough to take the full challenge in fashion. I’m happy Terratela™ is taking the lead.

Zineb in Valencia
Close-up Terratela SoyFibe T-Shirt

Explain to us what you think of the SoyFibe™ T-shirt? Did it surprise you?

Very much. The t-shirt is more comfortable than a normal cotton t-shirt. It also looks very sturdy and its natural color is just so beautiful. Nowadays soy has many culinary uses. It’s great that Terratela found such use for a byproduct that otherwise would go to waste.

Why did you say yes to being a Terratela™ ambassador?

Terratela is very much aligned with our values at Restaurant KLE. We both aim to inspire people towards conscious and mindful consumption. We also want to showcase that an ethical business approach with our clients, teams and suppliers is a key for success.

Chef Zineb at the market
Chef Zineb shopping tomatoes

Why did you make the choice to switch to a fully plant-based diet?

My decision to open a plant-based restaurant and change my own diet was quite spontaneous. While I was researching for KLE I realized that both the planet and people are best impacted by a plant-based diet, and cooking delicious plant-based food at the restaurant is one of the best ways to connect with people and change minds.

My goal is to create inspiring experiences through food that surprises, excites, and encourages more people to open their mind to plant-based meals and functional foods.

We know that soy is a go-to ingredient for many plant-based chefs - why is this?

Soy is very commonly used for their high level of good quality protein and their unique functional and nutritional properties (unsaturated fat and fiber, as well as iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins) and it’s very versatile in cooking.

Soy milk and creams allow chefs to substitute dairy products in a very simple way and miso or soy sauce add umami to many creations.

Chef Zineb shopping soy at the market
Zizi's Recipe

How do you utilize soy in your kitchen?

We use soy in many different forms. Tofu, smoked tofu, miso, soy sauce, Okara, soy milk, soy yogurt, soy crème fraîche. We love to use soy sauce the traditional way like in dark stocks, marinades and pan frying. With tofu we make creams, croquetas, omelettes, cheeses and desserts.

Make sure to visit the latest recipe on the Terratela™ blog to make Zizi’s smoked tofu omelette at home.

Photo Credits: Arlei Lima and Erna Drion