Opening Up a World of New Vegan Sweets

The Tokyo-born gastronomist who presides over TiDANEFA . After a serious study of French confectionery, being put in charge of food allergy guidance at a specialist cake school prompted her to try making vegan sweets. In February 2020, she won the special judges' award in the Sweets Division of the "3rd Natural Food: Audition to Discover New Recipes", a flagship event at the 48th International Hotel and Restaurant Show at Makuhari Messe.

Hirata's forte is the development of sweets that are delicious, visually beautiful, and can be eaten with peace of mind. Her award-winning recipe, "Smooth chocolate with date marzipan", was unveiled in the Cabinet Secretariat dining hall on Christmas Day, 2020. The Cabinet Secretariat dining hall was the first in the Japanese government to introduce vegetarian and vegan menus, back in March 2017. By now, it may be no exaggeration to say that getting hired by the Cabinet Secretariat dining hall has become a gateway to career success for cooks who work on vegetarian and vegan cuisine.

Hirata says her main concern in making vegan sweets is "to get as close as possible to regular confectionery, in appearance, taste, and mouth feel, so they would not seem like vegan sweets". The brand name of Hirata's vegan sweets is "TiDANEFA". The name comes from the Ryukyu Kingdom saying that "all children are children of the sun", rendered into French. Hirata says "I gave the brand the name TiDANEFA in the hope that bringing everyone the energy of nature, in the form of traditional French confectionery, would make them healthy and full of smiles".

Keen to make vegan sweets so that even people with allergies and dietary restrictions will be able to eat them without stress, she will be working on them in earnest from now on.