HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud is set to bring his KBW Ventures collaboration with chef Matthew Kenney to the Middle East for the first time.
Folia is a new plant-based menu that successfully debuted at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverley Hills last year and will be coming to Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay from March 15.
Designed by Kenney, who has more than 30 vegan eateries worldwide, Folia aims to offer a selection of wholesome, clean, and green dishes to diners.
Speaking exclusively to Caterer Middle East, Prince Khaled was hopeful of the mass appeal of Folia to diners in the region. He said: “Folia has proved that delicious and high quality plant-based dining appeals to all consumers, not just a specific segment. The initial pilot program in Los Angeles demonstrated strong-enough numbers that it was rolled out across all of the hotel’s outlets and is available as part of the property’s in-room dining program.
“I know that Bahrain’s welcome will be just as warm and KBW Ventures is proud to launch in the GCC beginning with the Bay View Lounge in Manama.”
Prince Khaled has spoken often in the past about his desire to cut down, or eliminate, the world’s reliance on meat for environmental and public health reasons, and he told Caterer that Folia can play an important part in this.
“Adopting meatless Monday or a reducetarian strategy is going to improve the status quo from a health perspective along with an active lifestyle. You want people to eat healthy and you want them to really relish what they are eating and still be able to visit a restaurant for that experience of a night out. So our natural next step is to work with existing restaurants to expand their ‘health food’ offerings to more visually pleasing and tasty alternatives.
“This is why Folia works: because you don’t have to give up a fantastic night out to have a healthy meal. You just have to choose the healthier option when you’re having that night out, and in Folia’s case you aren’t sacrificing the quality and taste metrics that are associated with what a customer wants to see from a restaurant.”
With the hope that Folio will have a “ripple effect” not just on the hospitality sector but on the wider public, Prince Khaled said its success will “encourage a lot of plant-based innovation”.
It’s unlikely to be the last we hear of Folia with KBW Ventures focused “on the successful adoption of Folia in the GCC and North America, as well as some other regions” in the near future.