New Line, Well Known Name

Television celebrity chef and Chinese cuisine icon Chef Martin Yan has partnered with business strategist Richard Gray, Gray Growth Strategies, to form WokAsia, New York, N.Y. The start-up will create frozen entrées under the Yan Kitchen line.  

The company’s website ( says Yan perfected a proprietary gas-fired tumble kettle method to produce authentic, fried rice entrees. The business talks about debuting with three 6oz entrée varieties including Tumble Fried 7 Grain Rice, Tumble Fried Rice with Vegetables and Tumble Fried Rice with Tofu.

Chef Yan is a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He has appeared on 3,000 PBS shows and is the author of 26 cookbooks that have reached 300+ million people worldwide. WokAsia’s website identifies Gray as CEO and Yan has head of product development. Certified Food Scientist Alfred Cheung, a 35+-year industry veteran, is consulting head of R&D.

Share the Dream     

This fall saw African Dream Foods (ADF), Vancouver, Wash., announce that California Sprouts Farmers Market locations would carry the company’s an all-natural hot sauces and seasonings can contribute 10 cents to African wildlife conservation organizations for every 5fl-oz bottle purchased.

Specifically, Sprouts is carrying ADF’s African Ghost Pepper Sauce, Sweet Dream Sauce, and the 2022 Sofi award-winning Lemon & Garlic Peri-Peri Sauce. ADF says the sauces—produced in Cape Town, South Africa—are all-natural, gluten-free and vegan.

ADF says its Sweet Dream Sauce has a thick, chutney-like consistency and mild flavor with notes of sweetness, jamminess, and a little spice. Lemon & Garlic Peri-Peri Sauce delivers a “lemony garlicky” flavor, and a little spice. African Ghost Pepper Sauce is spiciest, hottest sauce of the bunch.

Tour—by Tastebuds

Last fall saw Nuovo Pasta Productions, Ltd., Stratford, Conn., introduce its Tour of Italy Collection based “on the growing consumer demand for the diverse regional Italian food offerings.”

Ravioli varieties Fragrant Lemon & Marscapone; Wild Mushroom & Truffle; Roasted Porchetta; Calabrian Pepper, & Smoked Mozzarella; Shimp, Lemon & Garlic; and Chicken Cacciatore. There are two varieties of sacchetti: Parmigano & Prosciutto, and Italian Basil and Fresh Mozzarella. Products come in 9oz modified atmosphere pouches.

"Italian cuisine is distinct and renowned, tracing back thousands of years. As with all great cuisines of the world, Italian cuisine is a composite of influences from many different cultures over a large expanse of time. Nuovo Pasta Tour of Italy Premium Collection, celebrates the typical cuisines from each region – from USA to Italy through inspired chef crafted ingredients," said Nuovo CEO and Founder Carl Zuanelli.

Plant-Based Chinese

China’s Youkuai Group International, Shanhai, brought its plant-based Zrou brand to the US’ Plant-based World Expo this past September. Founded in 2019, the company offers a wide range of plant-based products in restaurants, supermarkets, canteens, and other locations throughout China.

“From day one, we created Zrou to be a global brand, showcasing a ‘More Good’ version of Chinese cuisine,” said Franklin Yao, Youkuai Group International co-founder and CEO. “We are excited to share the yumminess of Zrou Chef Creations for the first time to a North American audience.”

The Zrou line includes Northern Style Buns with Shiitake and Bean Sprouts, Singaporean Curry Meatball and Rice, Shanghainese Braised Zrou Rice, Mapo Tofu and Old Beijing Zhajiang Noodles.

Authentic Options

V&V Supremo Foods, Inc., Chicago, expanded its crema (sour cream) line with five new artisanal offerings. Here’s how the company describes each new variety:

Crema Chihuahua, the “crème fraiche of Mexican cremas” with full dairy notes and a hint of tanginess;
Crema Mexicana, authentic Mexican style crema agria with an appealing light golden hue. Its slightly tangy flavor is ideal for all applications within Mexican cuisine;
Crema Mexicana de Casa, with a slight tang and creamy hue. It suits authentic Mexican cuisine and enhances dishes across cultures;
Crema Centro Americana, a savory, dairy-rich flavor, a very slight tang, a touch of salt and a pale golden hue; and
Crema Salvadoreña, the “ideal Salvadoran style crema” with savory, dairy-rich flavor, a very slight tang, a touch of salt and a pale golden hue.

V&V Supremo says all offerings are made in small artisanal batches with 100% pasteurized, Grade A whole cow's milk and no preservatives or rBGH artificial hormones.

Authentic Flavors, Options

Pulmuone USA, Fullerton, Calif., said its Nasoya tofu brand exhibited at October’s Global Produce & Floral Show and showcased its Plantspired ready-to-eat plant-based meal solutions

The line includes Plantspired Toss’ables pre-cut and baked tofu bites marinated with Korean Sweet Chili sauce. The new item will be available at retailers nationwide in 2023. Attendees also sampled Nasoya’s Korean BBQ Plantspired Steak product.

"Nasoya is committed to meeting consumers where they are on their plant-based journey, offering convenient and delicious Asian-inspired options that appeal to American's evolving preferences," said Ellen Kim, Director of Brand Strategy & Marketing Communications at Pulmuone. "Our Plantspired products are better-for-you, plant-based solutions created with accessibility and sustainability in mind."

Pulmuone USA is a part of Pulmuone Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea.

Now That’s Italian

Vegolutionary Foods, Los Angeles debuted in 2017 with CAULIPOWER cauliflower-based frozen pizza crust. Since then, the company and brand have expanded into as many as eight related frozen categories. Its latest is CAULIPOWER frozen multi-serve meals in three varieties: Cauliflower Gnocchi with Savory Pesto, Spinach Gnocchi with Tuscan-Style Marinara, and Cauliflower Penne Pomodoro.

The ready-to-cook meals are made in Italy and free from artificial preservatives, colors and flavors. Each features veggie-based pastas, unique authentic Italian sauces, and veggies. Each gluten-free meal has more than two servings per 18oz bag, and provides two to three servings of veggies with fewer than 300 calories.

Vegolutionary Foods says its “one-pan wonders” are ready in less than 10 minutes. The frozen multi-serve meals debuted at Walmart and will be available at select Albertsons & Safeway banners, Hy-Vee, and ShopRite in January, with more stores coming in 2023.