What Do You Eat at Europe’s Top Climate Tech Conference?

7 Mins Read

The annual HackSummit is fast approaching. As one of Europe’s best climate events, it must deliver a sustainable catering menu – and it has. We speak to the team who designed it.

Later this month, food tech community FoodHack will host its third annual climate conference, the HackSummit, in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s expected to convene climate activists, startups, entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, as well as food tech and sustainability stakeholders in a two-day showpiece that will also feature the first FoodTech World Cup.

Last year, Green Queen founding editor Sonalie Figueiras attended the event and described it as “truly incredible”, with a calibre of attendees that was “the best I’ve experienced”. She also outlined that all climate conferences should be free of animal products, should not create waste, and should have no plastic bottles – and the summit had delivered on all fronts.

hack summit
Courtesy: FoodHack

Of particular note were the apples in the conference, which sported some neat customised Hack branding. Sourced from Biofruits, these apples are making a return this year – as is a fully vegan menu that dials up the flavour and spotlights the health credentials of alternative proteins.

Curated by chef Brice Jacverza, the menu has a global tint to it, complete with zero-waste compostable utensils by Originnovation. For breakfast, guests have the choice of the aforementioned apples, Swiss retailer Migros’s own-label V-Love Vegurts in four flavours, MeliBio’s Vegan Ohney, and sweet and savoury brioches from Dutch startup Revyve, which makes proteins and ingredients from brewer’s yeast.

Revyve also appears on the lunch menu with its minced meat making up the filling of Khinkali dumplings (which come alongside a Georgian-style salad). Other lunch dishes include Asian-style ‘burgers’ with Planted’s hoisin duck, TiNDLE Foods‘ crispy chicken wings with Asian coleslaw, Redefine Meat’s lamb kebabs with pea salad, hummus and flatbread, Better Nature’s tempeh (with Indian spices) served with rice and vegetables, and tacos with Vegan Zeastar’s shrimp, courgette guac and Mexican salsa.

plant based chicken
Courtesy: TiNDLE Foods

These lunch options will be available at the HackSummit Festival Food Trucks. Attendees can also get their hands on BettaF!sh’s vegan tuna sandwiches as an on-the-go option. And for dessert, Migros will provide its mini marble cakes and chocolate bars, and Paleta Loca will serve its artisanal ice cream.

The 2024 HackSummit features two coffee options. There’s espresso from GoodLife Espressos, and, if you’re after a filter, look no further than the beanless option by Dutch producer Northern Wonder. Guests can also opt for teas from ChariTea, and kombucha and super mate from Supernatural Soft Drinks. Swedish pea milk brand Sproud is the milk choice, and Be WTR will install water fountains for both still and sparkling water.

It’s a mouth-watering menu that seems as well thought out as it is climate-friendly. What went behind all the decisions? We speak to Fascal Hukker, event manager at FoodHack, to find out how the HackSummit brought together the menu.

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and style.

Green Queen: How and why did you choose the brands for the specific products? Do you prioritise local startups?

planted hoisin duck
Courtesy: Planted

Fascal Hukker: It all starts with creating a great concept. We wanted three things: to go 100% vegan, offer a healthier menu, and to serve meals which are fun. Healthier meant adding more vegetables and fibre in the dishes. And more fun meant more colours and different cuisines from around the world. 

We started by looking for startups who could match all three of these requirements. For drinks and desserts, we love to work with local startups and companies. They are part of our community and, in turn, they can meet other innovators at the event. 

At the 2023 HackSummit, our ice cream partner Paleta Loca met a packaging company and, since then, they have been working together on more sustainable packaging, which really shows the power of local collaboration.

GQ: What kind of different food technologies does the menu represent?

FH: Fermentation, extrusion technology, mycelium.

GQ: Can you tell us more about the chefs, and why you chose these flavour combinations and cuisines for the products?

FH: Our head chef Brice and I first worked out the concept in specific dishes, we wanted to cover multiple international cuisines. So we selected the products first, and found partners. Then Brice selected chefs from individual food trucks that he was confident could cook these kinds of dishes.

We delivered test products so they could try them before in the kitchen and work out the best-tasting options. Brice did culinary art direction on it and that resulted in the menu. 

You need to believe in good taste to start with and have an amazing chef to believe in making it happen.

GQ: Have the chefs worked with alternative proteins before?

bettafish tunah
Courtesy: BettaF!sh

FH: Some of the chefs have worked with alternative proteins before because they were involved in last year’s HackSummit. But to others, it’s completely new. They are all willing to try and create test dishes to find the best application of the products, and I can tell you it looks very promising.

GQ: Where can attendees find the on-the-go snacks, desserts and drinks?

FH: The snacks and drinks will be spread out throughout the venue. We created several coffee and water stations, which will have snacks and Hack-branded apples on the side. The main bar will serve a larger array of drinks in cans, as well as still and sparkling water from BE WTR. 

Desserts will be served after lunch, and we will treat our guests to local vegan ice creams from Paleta Loca.

GQ: What was the motivation behind choosing Goodlife over other specialty coffee brands?

FH: Our main coffee sponsor is Northern Wonder, which will serve coffee-free coffee from its own coffee machines across five stations in the venue. 

GoodLife Coffee supplies the traditional coffee beans served at one coffee station. Those will be sponsored by Algrano, which helps roasters and farmers connect to make direct trade easier and with more transparency via its online platform.

northern wonder coffee
Courtesy: Northern Wonder

GQ: What made you go with Sproud over other plant-based milk makers?

FH: We worked with Sproud in 2022, and our audience loved it then. So, when we were looking for an alternative milk partner, it was an easy pick.

GQ: How are you dealing with the potential waste generated both from leftovers and packaging?

FH: For fresh and packaged food and drink products that are left over, we are working with Table Suisse. This organisation picks up the leftover products and distributes them to 500 regional centres for those in need, such as shelters for the homeless, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, and women’s shelters.

For the packaging part, we focused on avoiding the most wasteful packaging, so we are ordering aluminium cans instead of glass bottles and are serving water from taps with reusable cups that will be washed and cleaned. We also work with suppliers that use wrapping materials that can be recycled.

We are also partnering with Originnovation to offer 100% food-grade disposable tableware for our attendees. The packaging and tableware can be placed in the food waste treatment system and the packaging contains paper and PBAT – when shredded, the packaging paper composts within six months.

GQ: What is the message behind the HackSummit menu? What do you want people to take away from it?

redefine meat lamb
Courtesy: Redefine Meat

FH: The message is clear, as our event concept is Welcome to the Hack Arena, where we Hack the Food and Climate space. So we will serve food that matches that ambition and spirit. 

We want to serve the stadium the food of the future. Good fast food. Good for people and the planet that’s vegan, fun and healthy. By serving great-tasting, sustainable foods we hope to showcase how it can add so much fun and memorable experiences to an event. 

I want people to take away that it’s the dish that counts and not the ingredients – this way, we can do so much good for the planet by eating delicious, sustainable food.

HackSummit will be held at the Beaulieu Congress Center in Lausanne on June 13 and 14.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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