Caring about the environment and future of our planet can sometimes feel at odds with working in the food industry, catering for mass consumption. It’s a dichotomy that we wrestle with however like in most situations where you are forced to examine yourself
it has become our call to action. How can we be as sustainable as possible?
This question came into light last November when we put on a sustainable supperclub, collaborating with suppliers who use surplus food to create wonderful products and creating our own menu focused around nose to tail eating.
The menu which was centered around a whole suckling pig was a triumph. Most notably because it was a challenge: to us, to use every part of every ingredient and think about how we can transform what traditionally is seen as waste, and to our guests, who ate things that they have never tried before.
For example, sticky soy glazed pig’s tails were a massive hit. Slow braised wholeuntil tender then left in the fridge overnight, portioned before being coated in a mixtureof corn flour and baking powder then deep fried and brushed with a salty, sweet glaze, for service. The end result? Think of the most succulent melt-in-the-mouth piece of pork belly, completely encased in its own crisp crackling. Plus, you get the added bonus of being able to eat it with your hands and all food is better when you can lick your fingers… Are we right?
For our sustainable dessert we used whey, the byproduct of cheese making, and old coffee granules from our team cuppas in the morning to make panna cotta. The whey gave a pleasing tartness not dissimilar to buttermilk, and the coffee granules were given a second lease of life, steeped in milk and then strained after they had imparted their flavour.
The supper was a massive hit, providing the reset button for us to realise that with a little extra time and attention even the humblest offerings can be turned into something outrageously delicious.
Day to day we are passionate about using seasonal produce from local suppliers who value sustainability as much as we do, sourcing Fairtrade and Organic wherever possible. We recycle, have a food waste bin and plan our menus to incorporate all aspects of every ingredient we have. If we get a last-minute booking we often look to the menus we already have going out that week as a starting point for planning the event in order to minimize food mileage and waste.
Recently we have been working with sustainable chef Arthur Potts-Dawsonat OmVed Gardens and have recently signed up to the Evening Standards Last Straw Campaign and now only serve paper straws at our events.
This may sound like we are jumping on the bandwagon with sustainability being the buzz word of the moment, but unlike most food fads, sustainability is an issue we all need to deal with and if making it a trend means more people take notice then that can only be a good thing.