ZENB, an expanding direct-to-consumer brand reimagining plant-based meal and snack options for the modern consumer, has teamed up with culinary personality, Hunter Fieri, to celebrate the goodness of nature as host of the new WHAT PLANTS CAN DO short-form documentary – a debut solo project for the rising young chef.
Fieri, the self-proclaimed “Prince of Flavortown” making a name for himself in the culinary world, is host of the mini-documentary designed to raise awareness of the value of plant-fueled foods and deepen appreciation for all that nature provides, showcased through ZENB’s whole-plant approach for its popular pasta made entirely from whole yellow peas. Fieri takes viewers on a farm-to-table journey as he learns more about the role legumes like yellow peas play in modern cuisine. From the farm, where he gets a farmer’s perspective while harvesting at one of the brand’s North Dakota-based yellow pea farms; to the kitchen, where he talks with nutritionists about the health benefits of plant-based foods; to the table, where Fieri and ZENB showcase delectable and accessible dishes shared with friends. WHAT PLANTS CAN DO is now available and can be viewed at www.ZENB.com/peastory.
“While many know me and my family for experimenting with crazy and indulgent foods, I’m also all about enjoying plant-based swaps that can still be just as out-of-this-world crave-worthy,” said Fieri. “However, beyond the great taste of the final dish, I’ve come to appreciate the important role plant-based foods play as they impact our bodies and the environment. I’m thrilled to collaborate with a brand that recognizes the power of living a balanced life and shares my belief in delivering delicious foods.”
ZENB is focused on making a positive impact on the environment while providing maximum benefit to our bodies, all while supporting the agricultural community through investment in yellow pea crops and farmers. Yellow peas require less water to grow than grains like wheat and give back nutrients like amino acids to the soil, resulting in a more sustainable crop with a lower carbon footprint that is the single ingredient in ZENB’s pasta. Using nearly 2,400 metric tons of yellow peas for products each year from nearly a dozen farmers, ZENB continues to identify new product innovations that embrace the power of the pea while supporting American farmers.
In WHAT PLANTS CAN DO, Fieri guides the audience in an understanding of how the planet provides everything needed to nourish and sustain the population, while bringing focus to the need for an evolving awareness of food. At Thomas Grain Farms in Karlsruhe, N.D., where many of the yellow peas used in ZENB products are grown, Fieri meets owner and farmer, Paul Thomas, to discuss the agricultural insights that lead to plant-based foods. Together, they go behind-the-scenes through the yellow pea fields and farming process, revealing how yellow peas improve soil conditions and contribute to a better future. Back in the kitchen, Fieri gathers with James Marin, RD, EN, and Dahlia Marin, RDN, LN, co-founders of Married to Health, an integrative dietetic practice, for a conversation around the health benefits of yellow peas as a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
“At ZENB, we’re passionately committed to providing a new way of thinking about what plants can do – for our palettes, our lifestyles, and the world we live in,” said Hugo Pérez, ZENB vice president of marketing. “We felt it was important to tell our story and impact more broadly and provide consumers with the first-hand knowledge and resources to enjoy delicious food with whole ingredients, while also preserving the planet and promoting food waste reduction.”
WHAT PLANTS CAN DO is written and directed by Pérez on behalf of ZENB, in collaboration with producers Angelo Restaino (KNIGHT TO D7, PROJECT H) and Ryan Cheevers (GRANDE DRIP, SO, HOW’D YOU GET HERE?) with Paper Crane Productions. Robin Pabello (YOU AGAIN, LEGION) and Anton Seim (DRINK, MORE THAN IT IS) serve as directors of photography.
The partnership with Fieri comes into play as the brand launches an expansion of its gluten-free Gourmet Sauce line. Added into the plant-fueled sauce portfolio – alongside ZENB Pastas made from 100% yellow peas – are ZENB Roasted Red Bell Pepper and ZENB Creamy Mushroom, bringing new hero vegetables into the brand’s sauce selection. The new, chef-inspired and delicious slow-cooked flavors join existing ZENB Roasted Tomato and ZENB Sweet Carrot & Tomato. ZENB Pasta and Gourmet Sauces are available exclusively on ZENB.com.
With exciting product innovations and happenings on the horizon for 2022, ZENB was excited to tap Fieri to be part of this impactful partnership launch, as the brand brings new ways for consumers to enjoy plant-based food while inviting them to taste what plants can do.