Burger Culture’s Chris Williams takes a bite of their new meat-free offering called The Beyond Burger. Photo: Charles Anderson.

Giving burgers a meat-free makeover


It looks like a burger, it tastes like a burger, but rest assured, the new offering at Burger Culture is something entirely different.

The top of Trafalgar St eatery is one of the first in the country to offer a meat-free burger patty that treads the border of what is possible with food science.

The Beyond Meat Burger is a patty created from pea proteins and beetroot extract, which represents a breakthrough in the global plant-based food revolution that has rapidly spread around the globe. And soon it will be in Nelson.

“For me it’s about giving something that meat eaters can get behind,” says Burger Culture’s Chris Williams. “You are probably not going to know the difference and, if you do, then you aren’t going to complain about it.”

Chris says the motivation behind offering the patty might seem strange for a company where meat is the staple.

“As a young team of people we are all aware for what is going on and what needs to be done. We need to cut down on our carbon footprint and the damage that farming is doing to the planet. If we can be a small catalyst for that then that’s great.”

He hopes it might allow carnivores to cut down on their meat eating and allow room for other options of their diet.

“I never not want to eat meat again, that’s not what it’s about. But it’s an opportunity to stay ahead of a trend that is going to come around because the world can’t keep up with the amount of meat we are eating.”

Chris says the restaurant has 300 trial patties that will go on sale in May. They will be offered as a choice in any of their burgers and will likely be slightly more expensive than a usual burger, because of their cost to import.

“Hopefully though, as it becomes more common that cost can come down.”

In the meantime, he invites patrons to come and try the patty and see what they think.

“I reckon you will be pretty surprised.”