Five minutes with: Andre Menezes

The CEO of plant-based ‘chicken’ brand Tindle describes how they developed their product with chefs to cook and taste like the real thing, launching in London and what’s next for chicken made from plants

Food and Drink 25 May 2022

Andre Menezes, founder of Tindle

Andre Menezes, founder of Tindle

Can you describe Tindle and what the brand does?

Tindle is our first brand and product – a delicious plant-based chicken that offers mouthwatering taste, texture, and versatility. It was developed with chefs and for chefs from the very start and offers that same authentic meat experience that chicken from birds delivers on – but with none of the downsides.

Started in March 2021 – first in only 11 restaurants in Singapore – Tindle is now served in 500+ restaurants across four continents. Across the world, we’re seeing chefs enjoy the experience of creating delicious masterpieces with Tindle on the centre of the plate – including everything from Tindle waffles and ice cream to noodles, kebabs, and sushi.

Can you describe what makes your plant-based chicken different from alternatives?

Tindle is uniquely malleable and can be marinated to infuse different flavours, sauces, or spices directly into the protein. While many plant-based products are already sold in pre-formed shapes, thus pre-determining and perhaps limiting the type of cuisine a consumer might have, Tindle has versatility built into its core.

Tindle is made of only nine simple ingredients, including soy, oat fibre, and coconut oil. It is high in protein and fibre and contains no antibiotics, hormones, cholesterol, or genetically modified ingredients.

Vegan Tindle Wellington with smoked tomato sauce and pickled mushroom salad with a merlot reduction
Vegan Tindle Wellington with smoked tomato sauce and pickled mushroom salad with a merlot reduction from Paternoster Chop House

Can you describe how Tindle is more sustainable than eating chicken?

On average, chicken made from plants requires less land, less water and produces less CO₂ than chicken from birds. Based on a 2020 Blue Horizon report, choosing plant-based chicken over avian meat uses 82% less water, 74% less land and 88% less greenhouse gas emissions.

Why did you want to explore and develop a business focused on plant-based foods?

Prior to co-founding Next Gen Foods in 2020, I served as general manager of Country Foods Singapore, the largest meat distributor and processor in the country. Through this work and through an introduction from our now current CFO, Rohit Bhattacharya, I met my co-founder and our executive chairman, Timo Recker, which led to the conception and establishment of Next Gen Foods in Singapore.

We decided then and there to work on products that reduce humanity’s reliance on animal agriculture – and this led to Tindle being born!

What about Tindle particularly appeals to chefs?

Tindle was developed with chefs, for chefs, to give them complete freedom to cook whatever kind of chicken style they imagined. Tindle is malleable, easy-to-work-with plant-based chicken that can take centre stage in any dish; from fine dining to street food, kebabs and katsu to curries, burgers and tacos.

Chefs have really enjoyed the versatility of Tindle – particularly in its raw form – as it can not only mimic the qualities of cooking chicken, but also show off the desired leanness of white meat mixed with the umami and rich flavour of dark meat chicken.

Neyba's Tindle Makhani
Neyba’s Tindle Makhani

 

Are you excited to be launching in London? What marks London as different from other cities in its approach to food?

Since the very start, we have known that bringing Tindle to London would be a critical milestone for the company. It is not only one of the world’s premier food destinations and birthplace of widely adopted culinary trends and experiences, but also a global hot spot for innovation.

With the UK also being one of the largest consumer markets for plant-based foods and meats, we knew that the consumers would be ready for Tindle and currently there is no other product on the market that provides the same type of chicken experience that we know we can provide.

Can you tell us some of the restaurants we can find Tindle in London and why you wanted to partner with them?

We are thrilled to be working alongside some fantastic restaurant partners and chefs in the UK, who are helping us achieve our goal of bringing delicious – but also sustainable – options to diners.

We wanted to partner with some of London’s most iconic eateries and restaurant groups, so you can find Tindle in locations such as BrewDog, City Spice, Get Plucked, Let’s Do Maki, Neyba, Other Side Fried, Paternoster Chop House, Refuel Your Soul, Sketch London and Unity Diner. These top-rated London eateries have been able to showcase Tindle in a ridiculously good way.

Stay tuned for more restaurants in the UK where you can try delicious Tindle in months to come.

Whats next for Tindle?

We plan to bring Tindle to additional cities throughout the UK and increase the number of restaurants serving it in the coming months. Our current plans include growing our distribution – working alongside chefs, restaurants, and operators – and widening the availability of where consumers can find Tindle. This includes outlets like pubs, hotels, event sites, and more.

We want UK consumers to understand that great experiences and meals do not necessarily need to involve animal farming and hope to bring this to more parts of the country following our London launch.

We are also launching in some of the most incredible food-forward cities of Germany in June, so keep your eyes peeled! 

If you could ask one chef in the world to cook you something with Tindle chicken – who and what would it be?

Personally, I can’t get enough of Tony Singh’s curry concoctions with Tindle as the star of the dish. His north Indian sauces served at Neyba, London are so rich and delicious, they pair beautifully with the meaty flavour and texture of Tindle. I’d love to have more of these curry options on menus across the globe!

 

Tindle is available at more than 50 London restaurants and eateries including Paternoster Chop House, Sketch London, BrewDog, Let’s Do Maki, Neyba, Other Side Fried, Refuel Your Soul and Unity Diner. tindle.com