MeliBio, a startup that makes real honey without bees, has announced that its flagship honey is now available at BAIA Restaurant in San Francisco for a limited time. From July to September, guests at BAIA can order their award-winning start-up honey in two exclusive summertime dishes. The new collaboration comes ahead of the official launch of MeliBio at select US restaurants later this year.
“MeliBio is exactly what I and the other chefs have been looking for”
BAIA will feature honey, which MeliBio says is indistinguishable in taste and texture from traditional honey, in two of its vegetarian menu items — an appetizer of bruschetta with tomato, chili and basil, and honey-free panna cotta.
Filling a “critical gap” in flavor
According to BAIA Executive Chef Joshua Yap, the brand’s honey helps fill a critical flavor gap. “Often while developing a new vegetarian dish, I think I wish I could use honey,” Yap said. “Unfortunately, many chefs struggle with standard industrial substitutes, such as agave, which lack the distinct flavor and nutrition characteristic of honey… MeliBio is exactly what I and other chefs have been looking for.”
BAIA’s appearance comes after the upscale Eleven Madison Park lunch hosted by MeliBio in May to celebrate World Bee Day, which brought together dozens of guests to sample their special honey menu.
To support its mission, MeliBio says it recently hired Maja Toft, a former director at Clif Bar, as a strategic advisor to the Executive Director of Product and Application Development. The company is looking to officially release its honey in a number of select restaurants later in 2022, starting in California and New York.
MeliBio also notes that rather than retail sales, the company is focusing on building its brand through strategic partnerships with leading food companies and culinary influencers. It also plans to work with major CPG companies and international food producers, and reveals that it is collaborating on several products to be launched in 2023.
“Restaurants and businesses from all over the world have expressed their need for delicious, nutritious, sustainably produced honey,” Darko Mandic, co-founder and CEO of MeliBio, told Today’s Vegan Economist. “We are excited to see chefs like Chef Joshua Yap of BAIA Restaurant in San Francisco love working with our bee-free honey and creating delicious and visually appealing culinary creations.”