Marcus Samuelsson has restaurants focused on chicken, burgers, and seafood—but he isn’t opposed to lab-grown meats.
On Wednesday, it was announced that the acclaimed chef has invested in and partnered with Aleph Farms, an Israeli cellular-agriculture company focused on finding new ways to create animal products. Samuelsson will now advise Aleph Farms from a culinary perspective, helping with product development and marketing strategies. Once the brand’s steaks are approved in the United States, he’ll also serve them at his restaurants.
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“It’s essential that we look for new ways to feed our planet sustainably, which is why I was attracted to the mission of Aleph Farms and being part, both as a chef and as an investor, in bringing delicious, cultivated meat to the table,” Samuelsson said in a statement. “Right now, it’s a pioneering movement and one that I think will only grow to be more important and increasingly commonplace in our lives. What once felt futuristic—like electric cars—soon becomes familiar.”
Aleph Farms, which was founded in 2017, introduced the world’s first cultivated thin-cut beef steak in 2018, before debuting a lab-grown rib-eye in 2021 and cultivated collagen in 2022. Now it’s gearing up to commercially launch the first Aleph Cuts product, a Petit Steak grown from the non-modified cells of a premium Black Angus cow. (As Aleph Cuts does not yet have regulatory approval from the FDA or the Department of Agriculture in the U.S., it will debut the steak in Singapore later this year.)
In the creation of all Aleph Farms products, no animal slaughter is involved. Rather, the company can grow thousands of tons of cultivated meat via a single fertilized egg. As Aleph Farms continues to innovate, it’s hoping to make different cuts of steak and other products based on animal cells in a bid to make the meat industry more sustainable. Samuelsson will seemingly be involved in finding ways to make sci-fi-esque foods more palatable to both chefs and diners.
“Like us, Chef Marcus believes in making a positive impact on our food systems with creativity, courage, and care,” Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia said in a statement. “With his vast experience and focus on creating accessible and inclusive cuisine, Marcus’ insights and expertise are perfectly suited for developing and promoting Aleph Cuts to a wider global audience.”
The question now is whether carnivores will buy into lab-grown meat. Receiving backing from a big name like Samuelsson at least sends a signal that some in the culinary industry believe in the sector’s potential to modify our meat-eating habits.
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