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heck into a Sandals Resort and you will be treated to our 5-star Global Gourmet Dining, where anytime dining in up to 16 speciality restaurants is all included in the price of your holiday. We pride ourselves in our European and International cuisines using fresh and local ingredients, each of which comes with its own Head Chef that specialises in their area. Unlimited snacks, white glove service and exclusive Butler Service are also available. We even offer Private Candlelit Dinners on the beach or on your terrace if you prefer.These are just a few of the personal dining touches that come with your next Sandals holiday, the rest we call Luxury Included®.

COME IN-STORE TO SEE OUR SANDALS SPECIALISTS MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT SANDALS.CO.UK/STORE ALTERNATIVELY, Call 0800 742 742 Visit • See your local Travel Agent *Scuba diving included for certified divers ^A Beautiful Beginnings wedding is free with stays of 3 paid nights or more in all room categories. Terms & conditions apply.


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This year, for London Cocktail Week, the Buffalo Bourbon Empire returns for its second year out east... Hackney House plays host, offering some of the finest cocktails in town, alongside some of the best whiskeys in the world. Either sit in the lounge sipping on our array of cocktails, or get stuck in and join one of the many masterclasses taking place during the week. We even have something in between, with our dedicated bar stool sessions.


For more information and to book your tickets, please visit

Here is what’s happening






Sitting at the bar is always the best seat in the room... You get to chat, watch and learn from the most experienced person in the room. They generally have, or make up, the best stories as well

Sitting alongside a range of classics, there will be something for everyone. You could also be amongst some of the first people in the country to try the impressive Antique Collection, a collection of five whiskeys that have been bestowed with some of the highest accolades the spirits world has to offer. Feel free to just walk in, or if you want to ensure you have your seat booked, head to bourbonempire

Join the Buffalo Trace Master Blender, or one of our brand ambassadors as they talk (and drink) you through whiskeys from the world’s most awarded distillery, and everything you need to know about bourbon. 6pm – Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri 7.30pm - Mon

COCKTAIL MASTERCLASS Let our experts show you how easy it is to make ‘bar’ standard cocktails at home. We’ll take you through two classic bourbon cocktails, which then you’ll make and drink yourself. 6pm – Tues 7.30pm – Tues, Wed, Fri

APERITIF EVENING WITH ANTICA FORMULA Join the Global Brand Ambassador for Antica Formula, Nicola Olianas, as he entertains you on aperitifs and the classic combination of vermouth and bourbon. 7.30pm – Wed All masterclasses are £10 and include at least one cocktail… and more.

Problem is the best seat in the room is always taken. Book one of our bar stool sessions, and we’ll take you on a journey through a range of different cocktails with a little bit of banter along the way. Book a one-hour spot and try four different cocktails. 6.30, 7.30 and 8.30pm Mon-Fri Each session has space for 6 people £10 per session

BAR BECOA WHI S KEY DI NNE R Join Buffalo Trace Master Blender, Drew Mayville, for a night of indulgence enjoying an exquisite three-course meal accompanied by some of the finest whiskeys in the world. Drew will be on hand to offer his experience and insights into all aspects of whiskey. Barbecoa’s food is also never to be missed. These will sell out fast. Sunday 2nd of October Tickets £50 available from

Editorial EDITOR


Mike Gibson


Lydia Winter


Hannah Summers SUB EDITOR

Victoria Smith



Lucy Javanshir


Abigail Robinson DESIGNER


Annie Brooks


Nicola Poulos


Victoria Stewart, Clare Finney, Richard H Turner, Tom Hunt PRINTING


Mark Hedley


Alex Watson


Charlotte Gibbs


Georgina Kerr, William Preston, Jason Lyon COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE

Emily Buck


Emily King



Steve Cole CEO


Tom Kelly OBE

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This issue of foodism is a little bit different. Not that different, mind. We haven’t suddenly decided to change tack and start covering knitting or yachting or banking (yet) – in fact, in many ways it’s business as usual. Except for one really quite big thing: we’re dedicating pretty much the whole issue to sustainability. And why would we go and do a thing like that? Well, firstly because it matters to us, and to masses of people involved in the food and drinks industry – not to mention readers like you. It matters that there are people out there trying to fix a global food system that’s got wildly out of shape – where all too often both the people and the environment are ill-served, to put it mildly. The second reason we’re giving every page over to the subject is because we think the stories behind those driving for change are some of the best we’ve ever featured. From the soft drinks brand improving lives in Sierra Leone (p80) to those doing miraculous things with surplus produce that would otherwise be binned (p58), these are stories about people who want a better world and better food and drink. And as you’ll see, it’s not unreasonable to think we can achieve both at the same time. After all, as one of the experts we spoke to on page 42 puts it, sustainable food is what consumers want and expect now – and not because it’s trendy. “Provenance is king, waste is evil, and people won’t stomach staff being treated badly.” How’s that for a mission statement? f

L O N D O N , O N E B I T E AT A T I M E

FRONT COVER: Photography by David Harrison





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— PART 1 —



London’s first community fridge is a huge boost to the sustainable food movement, writes Mike Gibson


1 FARM W5 ON-THE-GREEN 19 The Green, W5 5DA


N CASE YOU can’t tell by the ubiquity of ‘small plates’ at most new London restaurants, it’s fun to share. When that sharing moves past having a smorgasbord of tasty snacks to munch on at dinner, and into making a genuine difference to a community, it’s even more so. That’s why, when London’s first community fridge arrives in Brixton, it’s cause for celebration. The idea behind the People’s Fridge project – pioneered in Spain, Germany and India – is very simple: to tackle the problem of food waste, and therefore to address the wider problem of food poverty through a simple food-sharing initiative. The fridge sits outside community hub Pop Brixton, whose street-food traders, along with other members of the community, can leave unwanted but fresh, nourishing food in there for people who really need it.

It’s managed by a group of volunteers from Pop’s creative space Impact Hub Brixton, who make sure the system runs as it should. It’s the ultimate bridge between philanthropy and sustainability – cutting food waste while also making sure vulnerable members of the community don’t just have enough to eat, but are eating well, too. At a time when people are waking up to the problems our food system faces, and when it’s estimated households in Lambeth alone throw away a combined 40 million meals every year, this initiative not only addresses immediate problems, but builds an infrastructure to tackle them for years to come, too. Hopefully it’ll be the first of many in the capital. Now that’s my kind of sharing economy. f Follow the People’s Fridge on Twitter at @peoplesfridge and find out more about Pop Brixton on page 42.

WAKE UP If you like your morning coffee with a side-order of sustainability, listen up: not only does Sanremo’s Verde espresso machine look pretty sleek, it’s got some serious eco credentials too. Its cover panels are made from recycled coffee grounds mixed with 100%


SANREMO, £6,990

natural resin, while the steam knobs and filter-holder handles are crafted from recycled wooden pallets. There’s also an energy-saving system inside that allows for up to 40% energy reduction compared with other machines, and a control unit that ensures thermal stability, too.

This Ealing-based farm shop was the first retailer to be endorsed by Slow Food, the movement that aims to promote and protect locally produced food and regional cooking. As such, you know what to expect: organic, local food handpicked by people who love what they’re doing.


SHEEPDROVE 5 Clifton Road, W9 1SZ

This isn’t a farm shop, per se; more of a farm butcher’s shop, showcasing organic, free-range meat raised on the family farm in Berkshire. The farm is a model for sustainability, feeding its animals on grass; encouraging biodiversity; and avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilisers.



3 SE22 8HX

155 Lordship Lane,

East Dulwich is already known for its village feel, so it makes sense that you’d find something akin to a village shop on its restaurant- and boutiquefilled Lordship Lane. It sells seasonal produce from Kent and the home counties, from specialist growers like Brogdale Farm and The Potato Shop, as well as meals handmade in the neighbouring Franklin’s Restaurant.




CHEGWORTH 221 Kensington Church Street, W8 7LX

This family-run and owned farm, located in the heart of Kent, first set up shop in London at Borough Market, where its stall rapidly became so popular it was able to open a farm shop in Notting Hill. Visit the market stall and you’ll be lured in by the brightly coloured bunches of every veg imaginable. The farm is certified Organic by the Soil Association, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Oh, and while you’re there, pick up one of its vaunted juices: it’s particularly wellknown for its apple juice made from traditional English apple varieties.


DAYLESFORD 44B Pimlico Road, SW1W 8LP

Forget hippy, earthmother vibes: Daylesford’s farm shops are probably the sleekest you’ll come across. The brand has the same ethos at its heart, though: the Daylesford farms in Staffordshire and the Cotswolds are some of the most sustainable in the UK, having been farming organically for more than 35 years, longer than most people have really understood the term ‘organic’. Along with the farm shops, there are also cafés, a cookery school, a farm and spa in Gloucestershire, as well as a range of bath and beauty products from sister brand Bamford.

Photograph by Peter Schiazza






Concerned about non-biodegradable coffee cups? Take them out of the equation entirely with the Cup Me initiative – simply present your cupped hands and have coffee from participating cafés poured directly into them. No cup, no problem.

If you’re serious about locality, this private chef service is for you. A Forage Hunters cook will come to your home and cook a meal entirely from produce foraged in your tiny London garden. Ours is a dandelion and thistle salad with toasted ants.

If you prefer a bit of home-grown, get involved in Weed Feed. The initiative encourages London’s cannabis farmers to convert to saladgrowing operations. Farmers are part of a cooperative, with profits pooled into an educational fund for future growers.





This month: The Urban Cordial Company

In this month’s column, eco-minded chef and SRA award winner Tom Hunt talks about one of the stars of September and October’s farmers’ markets: corn on the cob


E SHOULD LOOK to the Americas for inspiration on the best way to use corn – the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs were cultivating it and making tortillas de maíz back in 7000BC. Corn now provides about a fifth of human global nutrition, and is grown in such abundance that uses have been found for all its byproducts, from penicillin to loft insulation. Fresh boiled corn smothered in salted butter is a showstopper, and perhaps the simplest and easiest way to enjoy the sweet kernels. It can also be used in a multitude of recipes, which must be tried and tested. Barbecued corn works a treat and shouts ‘summer’, with the golden yellow kernels as bright as the sun, and it’s my favourite summer food to cook on coals. It tastes so good with chimichurri sauce too. Corn fritters are a must on the to-do list, but make sure

you use a fresh cob and not the canned stuff – there’s no comparison. Other Latin-American dishes you must try are corn ice cream, tamales – corn parcels wrapped in the husk and steamed, a real comfort food – and little corn cakes called buñuelitos de maiz. Look for corn in their husks and store them in the fridge as they will keep fresher for longer. Buy and eat corn as fresh as possible to catch it at its sweetest. f The Natural Cook by Tom Hunt is available now (Quadrille, £20). For more on Tom and his restaurants:; @tomsfeast

Who makes it? Londoner Natasha Steele, who grew bored of trying to find cordials she liked so decided to make them herself. She started out foraging ingredients, and found a route to market through farmers’ markets and food festivals.

As you’d expect, they’re great for a hit of deep, fruity flavour in a cocktail or added to soda or tonic, but they’re also punchy and herbaceous – especially the apple, lemon and fennel, which benefits from an underlying, aniseed-ish tang. Try it mixed in an old fashioned instead of the standard simple syrup.


DAN BARBER, chef-patron of iconic farm-to-table restaurants Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, on how restaurants can influence our food systems.

Where can I get it? You can find them in The Ledbury, Randall & Aubin, Drake & Morgan and Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings – or, if you’re keen to experiment at home, they’ve just launched in Selfridges. Grab yours for £7.99 for a 500ml bottle.

Photograph by Violleta


Put simply, it’s a range of fruity, herby cordials. But in the way that whisky drinkers like single-barrel expressions because of the fluctuations in character and flavour, you’ll notice each batch tastes different from the last. This is because they use local British produce, and therefore the recipes, and even the flavours themselves, change according to what the season provides.

What does it taste like?

CORN AND RAISED: Maize is indigenous to Mexico – you can find dishes made from it throughout South and Central America


What’s the product?




Eco Roast’s coffee sets a pretty good example in terms of sustainability: its bag is biodegradable; its packaging is recyclable; and even the labelling is done with environmentally friendly vegetable ink. But here’s the kicker: the roaster it uses to roast its beans is powered by... recycled coffee grounds. Loop: closed. Buy it at



Our main gripe with coffee pods? The wastage. But more and more companies are creating innovative pods made of compostable materials, like Dualit’s new ones. The Fairtrade, single-origin coffee is packed into Nespresso and Dualit-compatible capsules made from corn starch, which are solid enough to hold the coffee, but which biodegrade after you’re done.



If it’s ethics you’re after, Union Roasted has you covered. Farming in the tropics hasn’t always been a totally sustainable practice, but brands like Union – which took home the ‘Most Ethical Brand’ gong in last year’s European Coffee Awards – are showing that, by working closely with farmers on an individual basis, the supply chain can be made more ethical and more sustainable.


Luke Hasell, festival organiser & founder of the Story Group Ltd, on organic farming



I started the Story Group back in 2004 with my neighbour Jim Twine, and together we rear cattle ethically and organically. We use traditional breeds, like slow-growing north and south Devon cows, and they’re fed on only natural-grass diets. We deliver meat direct to the doors of local customers, while also supplying to wholesale and retail and our beef is traditionally hung to ensure tender meat and a delicious flavour. We do this because it’s our passion – I want to see my family live long, happy lives, and I genuinely believe that farming in this way can help achieve this. I work the same fields that my grandfather did, and it’s still a great feeling to carry on that family tradition. Plenty of other stuff happens on the

farm, too – this year was the second edition of Valley Fest; a music and food festival we launched to engage people and get them onto the very land their food is produced on. f;

Photograph by ###

AVING GROWN UP on a farm, I was exposed to agriculture from an early age. At 26 I was living and working in London as a civil engineer and I was all set to take a job in Sydney when my dad passed away. In light of this, I moved back to Somerset to take over the family farm. The processes in place didn’t make much sense to me; I saw no reason to be feeding hormones to livestock and pumping crops and veg beds with pesticides – it just struck me as a profoundly unhealthy way to farm. Taking over the farm was difficult, but I was focused on what I wanted to achieve and now I’m proud to say that all of my livestock is 100% pasture-fed, and that you won’t find a trace of chemicals on any of our 550 acres.

WEAPONS OF CHOICE Recycle in style, get preserving and invest in serious kitchen kit with this month’s picks PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON


I T MUST HAVE B IN LOV E JOSEPH JOSEPH INTELLIGENT WASTE TOTEM, £249 When is a bin not a bin? When it’s an allencompassing kitchen solution capable of handling all you can throw at it. OK, maybe we’re getting overexcited but we love this Totem waste and recycling unit, which handily separates your unwanted waste into rubbish, recyclables and compost. It looks great, too.

Photograph by ###


T HI S I S JAM HO T 1. LAKELAND MASLIN PAN, £46.99 What are you going to do with your late-season berries? Turn them into jam, of course, especially seeing as you can make use of damaged fruit, too. This maslin pan will see

you well on your way.

2. BALL WIDE-MOUTH MASON JARS, £9.99 FOR 4 When you’ve made your jam, you’ll want a jar to keep it in. These look good enough to turn it into a great gift.

1 2


PLAYING F O R KEE PS 1. LE CREUSET SIGNATURE 24CM CAST-IRON ROUND CASSEROLE IN FLINT, £180 Sustainability can be simply spending your money on something that’ll last decades. This quintessential Le Creuset casserole – new in Flint for AW16 – is a great example.

2. TYPHOON 10” CAST IRON PAN, £22.50

1 2 3

Hard-wearing and reassuringly weighty, this cast-iron number from kitchen expert Typhoon will see you frying breakfast and dinner for many years to come.

3. TOG KNIVES (FROM £99.99) AND SHARPENER (£44.99) There’s not much in a kitchen that’s worth investing in quite like a great knife. Tog’s are loved by chefs all over the country – pick up a knife or three, and don’t forget the sharpener, too.







T GOES WITHOUT saying that food is inextricably linked to sustainability: we need it to survive, and therefore we need to take care of the planet that provides us with that food. Right now, we’re blessed with an inspirational new wave of chefs and producers, for whom environmentally friendly techniques are an essential part of creating delicious and creative food. The next step is to bring those ideas from London’s restaurant kitchens into our kitchens at home, which is why we’ve selected a crop of chefs to share their

favourite recipes that celebrate seasonal produce and minimise waste. There’s a late-summer salad from Anna Jones, an ambassador for the Soil Association; an easy jam recipe by preservation expert Kylee Jones; a dish using a leftover chicken carcass that’s one of the most popular items on the menu at Islington’s Chinese Laundry; and a recipe using pig spleen from noseto-tail chef Fergus Henderson, who’s long favoured using of every last bit of the animal. If you want to cook delicious, sustainable food at home, read on... f


Foodism’s recipe section is brought to you in partnership with JJ Whitley, whose newly launched spirits include London Dry Gin, Potato Vodka, Elderflower Gin and Rhubarb Vodka (pictured). The range is named after

the Whitley family, who first distilled spirits in 1762, and is inspired by the unique flavours of the British countryside. JJ Whitley spirits are available online for an RRP of £17.49


Anna Jones’







A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones (HarperCollins, 2014)

◆◆ 200g pack of feta cheese ◆◆ 1 unwaxed lemon ◆◆ 1 tsp coriander seeds,

bashed with a mortar and pestle ◆◆ Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper ◆◆ Olive oil ◆◆ 800g tomatoes in different colours, sizes and shapes ◆◆ Small bunch of mint, leaves picked and finely chopped

ASIL IS THE predictable partner for tomato, but mint comes from the same herb family and in my mind goes just as well,” asserts chef Anna Jones, who decided to turn away from meat in order to lighten her footprint on the planet. “I like to make the most of the variety of different coloured and shaped tomatoes we have access to in the UK. I can’t think of a more beautiful plate.”


1 Preheat the oven to 220°C. 2 Place the feta on a baking tray lined with baking paper. 3 Grate over the zest of half the lemon, sprinkle over the bashed coriander seeds, season with some black pepper and drizzle with a touch of oil. 4 Roast in the oven for 25 minutes until the feta is starting to turn nicely golden. 5 While the feta is roasting, chop the tomatoes into different-sized chunks and slices, and place them in a bowl. 6 Season well with salt and pepper, grate over the rest of the lemon and drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. 7 Add half the lemon juice, then taste and add more if needed. 8 Mix well with your hands and leave to meld. 9 Once the feta has roasted, lay the tomatoes on a serving platter and scatter over the mint. 10 Use a spoon to dot chunks of the feta over the tomatoes and serve immediately with plenty of warmed pittas or olive oil-drizzled toast and some green leaves. f


Photograph by Brian Ferry




◆◆ 25 mins


a great This dish is the most e way to mak matoes to of ut gl of a d sizes an es of all shap

◆◆ 2

Fergus Henderson’s




Serves ◆◆ 2


◆◆ 60 mins


Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking by Fergus Henderson (Bloomsbury, 2004)

en and Cut the sple th-ways id w ll ro n baco a crosse se n so you ca meats th section of bo


ERGUS HENDERSON WAS an advocate of nose-to-tail cooking long before it became trendy, pioneering an offal-based menu at his restaurant St John. “Spleens are a joy to cook with and eat, and the texture is not dissimilar to liver,” he says. “You should be able to get a spleen easily from your butcher with prior notice.”


1 Lay out your spleen and season. 2 Place the sage leaves along it, then

the bacon lengthwise, roll it up, and skewer it. 3 Place in an ovenproof dish, cover with the chicken stock and put in a medium oven for roughly one hour, then let it cool in the stock. 4 When cold it is ready to eat; you can keep it in the stock until needed. 5 To serve, remove the skewer, cut into three or four slices , and eat with very thinly sliced raw red onion and cornichons. f

ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 1 pig’s spleen ◆◆ Sea salt and black pepper ◆◆ 4 sage leaves ◆◆ 2 slices of smoked streaky

bacon, not too thin, with the rind removed ◆◆ Enough chicken stock to cover the spleen ◆◆ 1 red onion ◆◆ Cornichons, to serve


Chinese Laundry’s




OU CAN EITHER use chicken carcasses left over from other dishes as chefs and co-founders Tongtong Ren and Peiran Gong do at Chinese Laundry, the home-style Chinese restaurant on Upper Street, or pick them up cheaply from your local butcher. This isn’t a dish for the fainthearted – the only way to get to all that flavoursome meat is to roll up your sleeves and dig in.


1 Blend together the ingredients for the marinade and set aside, then do the same for the dip. 2 To make the spice rub, toast the Sichuan peppercorns and the cumin seeds. Mix all the ingredients together. 3 Blanch the carcasses: cover them in cold water in a pot, bring to boil, then leave in medium heat for five minutes. 4 Take out the carcasses, wash the extra fat and impurities off with cold water, and leave to dry – if it’s wet, it’ll be difficult to apply the marinade. 5 Brush the marinade on the outside and the inside of the carcass and set in the fridge for two hours. 6 Heat up a fairly deep pot of oil (enough to cover the carcass) to 180°C and deep-fry for three minutes until the marinated surface of the carcass gets crispy. 7 Gently apply a kitchen towel on the fried carcass to remove extra oil on the surface. 8 Get a tray, pour the Sichuan spices in, and rub them all over the carcass, making sure it’s completely covered. 9 Serve on a board alongside the dip and get stuck in. f


a great This dish is sure you e way to mak icken ch y an up use roast a r te leftover af



◆◆ 4


◆◆ 10 mins



ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 2 large free-range chicken


For the marinade ◆◆ 110g Sichuan bean curd

sauce ◆◆ 30g chopped and peeled

fresh garlic ◆◆ 20g dark soy sauce ◆◆ 80g Shaoxing cooking wine ◆◆ 100g honey

For the Sichuan spice rub ◆◆ 2 tbsp chilli powder ◆◆ 1 tbsp chilli flakes ◆◆ 2 tbsp ground Sichuan Photograph by Issy Croker

peppercorns ◆◆ 2 tsp ground cumin seeds ◆◆ 1 tbsp fennel seeds ◆◆ 1 tsp ground black pepper ◆◆ 1 tsp Chinese five spice

powder ◆◆ 1 tsp garlic powder ◆◆ 1 tsp ground ginger ◆◆ 1 tbsp ground sea salt ◆◆ 1 tbsp granulated sugar

For the dip ◆◆ 250ml lemon juice, ◆◆ 5 tbsp raisins ◆◆ 2 tbsp granulated sugar ◆◆ 1 tsb chilli powder




us jam can This delicio rough be swirled th in a ed us or m ice crea rt bakewell ta


The Modern Preserver by Kylee Newton (Square Peg, 2014)

Kylee Newton’s






◆◆ 6-7 x 228ml jars


◆◆ 45 mins



1 If you’re using fresh rhubarb, cut it into 1.5cm pieces; if it’s frozen, defrost it first and add 50ml less water. 2 Soften the prepared rhubarb in a large jam pan with the water on a

moderate heat for about ten minutes. Add the berries, lemon juice and sugar then slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. 3 Continue to boil on a moderate heat for 20 minutes, stirring intermittently, until the liquid has reduced and the mixture has thickened to a jammy consistency. 4 Use the wrinkle test to check for a soft setting point then, when ready, remove from the heat. Skim off any scum from the surface, stir through the lemon thyme and salt then leave to sit for 5 minutes to infuse. 5 Ladle into warm, dry, sterilised jars and seal. Keeps unopened for up to six months. Once opened, refrigerate and eat within four weeks.

on the plate – you’re looking for it to wrinkle and not flood back in to fill the gap. 3 If it’s not ready, turn the pan back on, simmer for five minutes and test again. Turn the heat off while you test – you don’t want to overcook it. 4 Pour into glass jars and seal. f

ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 650g rhubarb (fresh or frozen) ◆◆ 150ml water ◆◆ 650g blueberries (fresh or

frozen) ◆◆ 50ml lemon juice (about 1

lemon) ◆◆ 750g granulated sugar

Tip: The wrinkle test

1 Put a teaspoon of hot jam onto a chilled plate and spread it around. 2 Push your finger through the jam

◆◆ 2 tsp fresh lemon thyme

leaves ◆◆ A pinch of sea salt

Photograph by Philippa Langley

AKING JAMS AND preserves is one of the best ways of making your fruit last as long as possible – it was traditionally a way of eating fresh produce during the ‘hungry’ winter months. “I’m a big fan of adding herbs and spices to jams,” says Kylee Newton of Broadway Market stall Newton & Pott and author of The Modern Preserver. “By combining different flavours, you’re creating something more versatile that can be used in unexpected ways, like in a bakewell tart or folding through ice cream.” You can also make this recipe with lemon basil or lemon verbena instead of the thyme.

Richard H Turner


The quality of American steak has suffered in recent years, but there’s hope: Richard H Turner meets the ranchers who are determined to make a change


Photograph by Paul Winch-Furness



INCE THE ADVENT of massive feedlots and the implementation of the USDA grading process, really good steak has all but disappeared from America in favour of intensively reared, heavily corn- or grain-fed animals. If you’ve read this column before, you’ll have surmised I’m not a fan. There is, however, a small band of visionary ranchers rearing 100% grass-fed beef in the American West. In July I was lucky enough to join author and steak guru Mark Schatzker, plus Will Beckett of Hawksmoor, on a road trip where we met just such visionaries: at the Alderspring Ranch in the Salmon River mountain range in Idaho. The cattle at Alderspring never see a feedlot, and are the true definition of free-range. Alderspring beef is certified organic, and the ranch is properly family-owned and operated. Glenn and Caryl Elzinga rear their cattle with help from their clan: Melanie, Abigail, Linnaea and Ethan. Oh, and Konrad the border collie – an integral part of the herding team. We drove up into the mountains for a couple of hours through some of the most stunning scenery I’ve seen outside of television, until mid-afternoon, when we passed several cowgirls herding cattle down a lush green mountainside. Upon reaching camp, we pitched tents before meeting our respective steeds. Mine was called George, making our new double act a surreal echo of the London butcher’s shop James George and I run, Turner & George. And, after a crash course in horsemanship

(neither Will nor myself knowing one end of a horse from t’other), we saddled up and rode out onto the range to meet the ranchers and the cattle; animals that are strictly fed and finished on nothing but green grass and hay. This is very close to the British way of doing things, which is majority grass-fed, the difference being that we ‘finish’ our cattle with a small amount of feed, for a period of roughly around five weeks. The Elzingas believe Idaho to be the best beefproducing area in America, and they may be right. The cold summer nights and high soil mineral levels of the Salmon River Mountains grow grass like nowhere else, and the result is a flavour unlike any I’ve ever tasted. And because they only sell beef that’s from their ranch, they know each animal’s history; every single cut is labelled and traceable to an individual steer. Their cattle are healthy, and none are treated with chemicals of any kind; no antibiotics, hormone growth promoters or pour-on insecticides, and of course no intensive feed. Alderspring is small enough to provide intimate care of the land and livestock, but large enough for the Elzingas to have been growing their 100% grass-fed beef for 15 years – over which time they’ve perfected their methods. Their careful husbandry results in unmatched

tenderness and flavour. Thankfully this method of cattle rearing is now growing in popularity, as more Americans are asking where their steak comes from, what impact it has upon their environment, and, ultimately, what impact it has on their own health. We live in hope. The horses turned out to be talented in the art of making soft fat city boys look like masters of equestrianism. George skipped gaily across the tops of sheer drop ravines and crossed turbulent rivers with no sign of fear. By the end I fancied myself a bit Lee Van Cleef and I think Will was trying for Clint Eastwood. Truth is, at no point was I in charge. It was very much George and Turner – much like things back home… f


Pick up woo d-fired sourdough pi zza from the Well Kne aded van




Choose wisely and it’s possible to eat well while doing good. Victoria Stewart meets five street food vendors who are dedicated to the sustainability cause 36

There is good news from Andrew Stephen, CEO of the Sustainble Restaurant Association, who believes that while traders still have lots to do with regards to catering disposables and waste, the quality of street food “has improved beyond all recognition and with it, many traders have upped their game in terms of the provenance of the ingredients and their concern for the planet.” Having taken a few of the key points – suppliers; compostable cutlery and plates; power; waste and its disposal; fuel saving – suggested by the SRA into consideration, here are five of London’s most sustainable street food traders.



CAN. QUEUE. ORDER. Eat. This is the order of behaviour in which most people arriving at a street food market tend to follow. It’s a fast game, this one, because often you won’t know how many bacon and egg butties or pork belly bao there are left – until they’ve sold out. But hold up a second. When deciding which thing(s) to eagerly pile into, how often do you take sustainability factors into consideration? And if you do already, how can you suss out whether a street food trader is really sustainable or not?

What: Fresh, fast, sustainable British street food served from two Airstream trailers, a restaurant and a hatch. Seasonal dishes include bacon, sausage and free-range egg brioches, roasted chicken or rare-beef sandwiches, hot-smoked salmon with cabbage and kale salad, and sandwiches sold by the inch from the restaurant on Broadgate Circle. Who: Chef founders Mark Jankel and Jun Tanaka started their business in 2012. Tanaka is now heavily involved in running his restaurant The Ninth, with Jankel in charge of Street Kitchen day to day. What sustainability means to them: “Sustainability is not measurable so one can only aspire to be better each day,” says Jankel. Both are passionate about working directly with farmers and considering their use of energy and water “in order to better understand our impact and act accordingly to reduce it.” How sustainable? They work closely with their suppliers, whom they list on their website and who include Riverford Organic and Piper’s Farm. As for packaging, everything – including gloves – is compostable, while they have three bins for recycling and food waste. They use low-power ovens called Thermodynes, and have three burners on the grill - “when it slows down we cut down to one burner.”


What: British produce-led dishes, often involving unfashionable cuts of meat such as tongue, ear, and cheek. Served from a 1979 Renault Estafette van at Camden Stables market and at various festivals. Who: Dan Shearman, who grew up foraging with his parents in the Forest of Dean and after various cooking stints in Australasia, came back to continue under his own name. He has been running The Roadery since 2014. What sustainability means to them: “It’s the number one priority across everything we serve and the way we operate our business.” How sustainable? Food-wise, Shearman uses “as of the animal as possible”, and ensures that all produce comes from “small, local, organic and family-run British farms, where animals have lived the best possible lives. We also forage for a →

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→ lot of our ingredients in and around London, so that certainly takes our food miles down as it’s woodlandto-plate!” Shearman recycles cardboard, separates food waste, only uses biodegradable packaging and cutlery made from plant starch, and believes it’s “a positive step” that “a lot of festivals now insist on all [compostable] packaging.” A leisure battery is used to the power lights and fridges, and a bio-diesel generator for anything larger.




What: Wood-fired sourdough pizza made in a Citroen H van (and a freewheeling oven called Whippet) with British ingredients, regularly found at Bloomsbury market, West India Quay, and various festivals.

Who: Director Bryony Lewis works alongside the company’s founder Bridget Callaghan, who worked for a chocolate company before doing detached youth work, prior to setting up Well Kneaded four years ago. What sustainability means to her: A lot, particularly in relation to who they employ. They partner with the charity EMERGE, which Callaghan describes as being “at the very heart of Well Kneaded”. How sustainable? Staff are young people who have faced social barriers to employment, “such as prison, families without employment networks, bad education and learning difficulties.” Their ingredients – except tomatoes, which are Italian and have protected status – come from British artisanal producers with high welfare standards (for example Bath Pig and Cobble Lane Cured). Meanwhile, they use recyclable containers and fire the oven by burning a mixture of hard and dry wood from places with sustainable planting policies. They also specifically choose markets or events that are “always busy” so nothing burns for longer than is actually necessary.


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What: A stall and a catering van specialising in excellent seafood recipes inspired by the region of Galicia, such as seafood stew, or king prawns a la plancha. All served from an ex-Essex Ambulance Ford Transit van at Street Dots, Truck Stop and Epicurean world food markets. Who: Chef David Ruibal Romero did a degree in catering in France, and has a CV stuffed with every kind of cooking job imaginable. What sustainability means to him: “It means a lot to me and is quite important for my business. It ensures our activity doesn’t impact the future generations. I would like the consumer to be more aware of sustainability issues.” How sustainable? He buys seafood from Billingsgate and his products are either MSC certified (wild seafood) or BAP certified (farmed

seafood), to ensure high quality standards are met. Romero says that “gas is carbon and money so I adjust my burners according to the activity and make sure I use as little as possible.” He has one bin for health and safety reasons but only generates rubbish during deliveries and prep. All food-related items are composted either in his garden or compost bin. Romero’s packaging is compostable, his van has a diesel engine but uses the greener LPG for cooking and electricity for the

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fridges. An on-board battery system powers the lights and water pump. Photograph (Gourmet Goat) by Picasa


What: Billed as Eastern Mediterranean village food, this is based around kid goat meat and veal and served from a fixed unit at Borough Market. On the menu, you’ll find slow-roast rose veal, kid goat kofte wraps with lemon juice, parsley and mint. Winners of BBC’s

Food & Farming Street Food of The Year Award 2016. Who: Nadia and Nick Stokes, a former lawyer and teacher respectively. Nadia grew up in Cyprus and wanted to serve the food of her childhood. Trading since 2014. What sustainability means to them: One of the few Slow Food UK-approved street food traders, they are also currently shortlisted for the Sustainable Streetfood category at the Urban Food Awards (to be announced imminently).

How sustainable? The concept is based around it. Kid goat meat, they say, keeps dairy billy goats from being slaughtered, and in turn supports the dairy industry, and the same goes for dairy bull calves and veal meat. The Stokes also cook with vine leaves, pulses, whey cheese and squid, all from sustainable sources. All serving pots and forks are recyclable and biodegradable, they recycle any cardboard used, and offer leftover food to others at the market. f


Ever so slightly

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— PART 2 —



Inspiring, visionary and dedicated: meet the companies and organisations that are leading the way when it comes to sustainability – and learn how you can, too



O BORROW FROM Coldplay’s Chris Martin – who, love him or hate him, is a vocal supporter of fair trade – nobody said it was easy. Whether you’re a chicken farmer in the home counties, a hub for local enterprises in south London or a cocoa supplier sourcing from the developing world, making sustainability a priority presents an ongoing, if vital and frequently rewarding, challenge. We’ve spoken to a few of the companies – and the organisations pushing for change throughout the food and drink industry – for whom doing things in a sustainable way is woven into day-to-day business, and find out how it tests and improves them. And as we said, it isn’t easy, but with passionate, enthusiastic people and open yet demanding consumers, nor does it need to be hard.

The food sector produces 10 million tonnes of waste in the UK –

THE COFFEE ROASTERS Tom Sobey, owner and founder of Origin coffee The challenges of running a sustainable coffee business

For us at Origin, a core principle of speciality coffee is to enrich all participants in our supply chain. Sustainability at the source – both social and environmental – is obviously a critical part of this. We’re fortunate to be in a position to source primarily through a directtrade model, whereby we purchase coffee directly from a coffee producer, a co-operative of producers or a mill. Using this model we gain the greatest amount of transparency in our supply chain, which allows for control of quality and ethics. Within our direct trade model we work with producers and mills dedicated to environmentally and socially sustainable practices. We visit the producers regularly, talking to them, their families and workers – looking and listening – and pay at least 50% above the Fairtrade price to ensure they receive the prices they deserve for quality and sustainability. This, of course, does not mean that we only want to work directly with producers as there are equitable and valuable relationships to be found all over the industry, such as trade through importers or collaborative importer partnerships, and many certifications that fit within these methods and do great work, such as Rainforest Alliance, Bird Friendly and Fairtrade. They make trade of sustainable coffee more accessible for many companies.

Taking big steps

The sustainable production of coffee at source is of course a hugely critical one. When the green coffee reaches our roastery in Cornwall, we roast using two Loring Smart Roasts; the Loring is among the most environmentally friendly coffee roasters available. Compared to a traditional roaster with an afterburner, the Loring can produce as much as 83% less C02. At the roastery we have a practitioner member of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, who is currently working on an environmental audit of everything we consume and how we use it, with the aim of identifying measures to reduce environmental impact of the roastery and wider business.

Base illustration by Sigal Suhler Moran

The future of sustainable coffee

We need to educate people about the value of speciality coffee – quality, traceability and ethics – and how prices translate into a cup. At Origin we live and breathe speciality coffee, but for many consumers what that is and means is a relatively new thing. On face value, it could therefore be difficult to understand why a cup of speciality coffee costs a particular amount.


THE RESTAURANT SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPIONS Andrew Stephen, CEO of the Sustainable Restaurant Association Where the SRA fits in

Sustainability is a massive subject and a big part of our job is to help chefs, restaurant managers and of course the dining public by chopping it up into tasty, bite-sized, easily digestible chunks – covering everything from where the food on the plate comes from and how the tip you leave is distributed, to what restaurants are doing to reduce the amount of food they waste and a whole lot more.

The challenges ahead

The appalling amount of food that restaurants waste is one of our top priorities – the equivalent of one meal in every six ends up in the bin. Restaurants are now waking up to the environmental, social and economic cost and many are now taking positive action to ensure food ends up in its intended

target – a human belly. We are also strong advocates of the more veg, better meat message, encouraging both chefs and diners to think beyond binary menus. We also have a growing interest in children’s menus and how healthy eating and a responsibility to feed the next generation well fits in with a sustainability mission

Making progress

Whereas ten years ago it was a fashionable additional item on the menu, sustainability is now built into the very make-up of many new restaurants – provenance is king, waste is evil and people won’t stomach staff being treated badly. As Raymond Blanc says, we are undergoing a food revolution.

Take responsibility

Next time you’re eating out, just take a moment to think about the meat you’re eating; the quantity and quality. You can try and go one day a week without it or mix it up and try the increasingly inventive and delicious veggie options appearing on menus across the capital. Apart from anything else, it’ll leave more cash in your pocket to choose some top-quality cuts the next time you eat out.

Food and drink accounts for 20% of the UK’s CO2eq* emissions –

*Carbon dioxide equivalent – this is the internationally recognised measure of greenhouse emissions


THE CHICKEN FARMER Sarah Copas, director of Berkshirebased The Thoughtful Producer It’s all in the name

For most poultry farms, sustainability has to take a back seat, as most parts of the business are based around long-distance transport, inefficient processes and lowering costs in all areas no matter what the effect on the environment or birds. At The Thoughtful Producer we’ve done things the other way around – our view is that our birds are only as good as the environment they’re raised in, so from the ground up our business is built around ensuring the most natural and sustainable surroundings for them. Obviously this comes at a cost, as it’s inevitably cheaper to source items with no regard for where they’re coming from – sometimes half way across the world – but as our name suggests, we think carefully about all aspects of our business to ensure the most natural, sustainable and high-quality products.

A natural philosophy

We started out with the ethos that our poultry should be as nature intended and therefore everything we do is about creating a natural and sustainable home for them. Everything that can feasibly be done on our farm is done there, and for everything that can’t be we look at the most thoughtful option. Our chicks are brought in from a natural hatchery only 30 miles away, and from then on they’re here living in our beautiful surroundings. This is perfect synergy for us, where sustainability goes hand-in-hand with our view on natural being better – not only do the birds have the best life possible, ranging on our beautiful meadows, but it means no wasteful transport between sites for the birds (which is also very stressful for them). We grow our own hay for the chickens’ bedding, we use best practice in maintaining and rotating our meadows, and we even slaughter and process the birds on site, which again not only improves sustainability but also reduces stress on the birds and results in an unrivalled product. Other sustainable practices come naturally as part of what we do – for example, our hand plucking uses wax which we reclaim and reuse time and time again, as opposed to the industry standard of wet plucking which requires vast amounts of hot water.

The long road

Our business faces

THE SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD CHAMPIONS Toby Middleton, MSC’s North East Atlantic programme director Keeping the oceans healthy

The MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) is the world’s leading standard and label for seafood sustainability. We’re helping seafood lovers to play a positive role that recognises and rewards sustainable fishing, ensuring healthy oceans for generations to come.



Photographs by (chicken) Debbie Jones/Imaging Essence and (hake fisherman) Warren Smart

different challenges from the industry as a whole, because our product is based around quality rather than achieving the lowest price. For us, the biggest challenge is logistics and how we can get our products to customers (a mix of restaurants, butchers and individuals) around the country efficiently, sustainably and also at a realistic cost. This is a real struggle and it’s taken some time to develop our strategy, which now includes a distribution partner who collects in bulk once a week and delivers from their nationwide hubs, which vastly reduces wasted food miles when compared with individual collections and deliveries for each customer. For customers who live nearby we’ve teamed up with a local greengrocer who delivers our products to customers every Friday while he’s already on his rounds, which has removed the need for our own refrigerated vehicle and uses his spare capacity instead.

Sustainability heroes

More than seven million tonnes of food and drink from our homes is thrown away every year in the UK, and over half of this could still have been eaten. Our sustainability heroes are the organisations who raise awareness of this waste and educate people on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle when it comes to food and drink – people like the Hubbub Foundation. Our product is a perfect example of food which is often not used to its full capacity, with people regularly throwing away chicken carcasses with enough meat on them to feed a family for another couple of meals! We find the organisations who champion reducing food waste vital in helping our customers to understand how easy it is to get more from our products and from food in general, so always do what we can to support them and pass their messages on.

Clearer thinking

Overfishing is the world’s second biggest environmental issue after climate change. Yet there are also lots of well-managed fisheries out there. For shoppers and diners it can be a really complex issue, with lots of ever-changing and conflicting advice. We’re trying to simplify that process, offering a robust, credible and trusted way to make sustainable choices. Just look out for our ecolabel.

On the right track

By 2050, It’s estimated that we’ll need a 60% increase on 2005’s levels of food production to feed the world’s growing population

The UK is one of the most dynamic, forwardthinking and informed industries when it comes to seafood sustainability. We have ocean heroes across the supply chain, and a huge amount of progress has been made over the last ten years, from fishermen to fish counters and from national supermarkets to your humble chippy. In 2015 £1 in £6 spent on seafood in UK supermarkets was for an MSC-certified sustainable seafood product. There’s more to do, but that shows what we’ve collectively managed to achieve so far.

A model for change

Personally, when it comes to positively disrupting a market towards a sustainable future, Elon Musk is showing with Tesla that driving cars and contributing to climate change don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Similarly, we want people to enjoy seafood for years to come – catching it, selling it and eating it. That’s about ensuring sustainability from ocean to plate.

– Food and Agriculture Organisation


THE COMMUNITY HUB Charlie Gent, marketing manager at South London space Pop Brixton Leaving a legacy

Sustainability is at the heart of Pop Brixton but we think of sustainability in the wider sense, and encompassing our involvement in the local community. We have clear objectives that focus on supporting jobs and enterprise, investing in the local economy and offering training opportunities within our community. We want our project to have a lasting legacy in the area, providing long-term social benefits, so this requires us to think about sustainability across everything that we do.

Sustainable from the ground up

Our site has been built predominantly from recycled and reclaimed materials, including the majority of the shipping containers we use. The idea is that at the end of the project, many of these can be moved and re-used, extending their life cycle beyond the lifetime of Pop Brixton. We also have our own on-site farm, known as Pop Farm. This allows us to grow fresh produce for our food businesses to use, just metres from their kitchens, but it also offers us a chance to run free horticulture workshops and training for the local community. We also work with an amazing waste disposal company called Quantum Waste. They are a local business with an innovative approach to recycling that turns food waste into fertiliser at local level, creating a zero-emissions sustainable cycle. We are also now preparing to launch London’s first Community Fridge, in partnership with a group


of local organisations. It’s called The People’s Fridge and it will both support food sustainability and reduce food waste. The idea is that local businesses, markets and even local people can donate any surplus food to the fridge, and it can be collected for free by members of the community. Similar projects have been massively successful in other countries, so we’re really looking forward to getting it started.

53’s the magic number

We are a temporary project, which gives us a very different perspective. Our site hasn’t been built to last forever, it's been built to last as long as it’s needed. I think this is something that a lot of other businesses and urban construction projects could learn from. But at the same time, it does present some challenges. With 53 different businesses based here on the site, it’s not easy to manage every aspect of how they all operate. However, we involve all our members in our Community Investment Scheme, where they donate a minimum of one hour a week to local projects, which can include everything from horticulture to work experience and training for local students.

Growing together

We love the idea behind Farm:Shop in Dalston. It’s a urban farm built within a high-street shop, and it demonstrates how local growing can be used to benefit both local economies and the environment as a whole. It’s really an art piece that makes a statement about how we could start to create real sustainability in cities. We also love our waste partners Quantum Waste, and want to give them a big shout out in the hope that they can continue to grow.

The pesticide glyphosate – which has been linked to cancer – is regularly found in routine testing of British bread, appearing in up to 30% of samples

– DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs)

The average family with children throws away £700’s worth of food a year... – The Guardian

“All it takes is one well-fed quid next time you’re dining at any of the damned fine establishments taking part in this glorious campaign, and that tiny extra sum will go straight to an excellently worthwhile cause. Go on, it’ll make you feel good about that expanding waistband.” Ian Rankin, author

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For a list of participating restaurants and details of how to take part, visit



THE CHOCOLATE SUPPLIERS Sophi Tranchell, CEO of Fairtrade chocolate brand Divine Creating a sustainable future for cocoa

There’s currently a crisis in chocolate and its sustainable future. It’s possible that not enough cocoa is being grown to fulfil our appetite for our favourite treat in the future, as the farmers are getting older and so are their trees, with the result that they are becoming less productive. Cocoa farmers don’t currently earn enough from cocoa to make it an attractive proposition for young farmers, who would invest in planting new trees and using the latest farming techniques. At Divine, we have tried to increase farmer income by setting up a company where the cocoa farmers own a significant share. Kuapa Kokoo, a cooperative of 85,000 cocoa farmers in Ghana, own 44% of the company and receive 44% of any distributed profit. We also pay a Fairtrade premium price for all the cocoa that we buy, which enables farmers to invest in their farms and generate more income.

Radical change

Divine was established to improve the lives of small-scale cocoa farmers in West Africa so


sustainability has always been at the heart of everything we do. Recently we have been trying to improve the environmental impact of our packaging and reducing waste in this area; all our wrappers are now FSC-certified, and all the cardboard used for our packaging, such as Easter eggs, can be recycled. We avoid using plastic on our large Easter eggs in favour of recyclable foil and cardboard, and we are reducing our overall packaging waste by printing on smaller sheets across our products. The factory where our chocolate bars are made is committed to using sustainable energy sources and reducing waste – for instance the building is heated completely through waste heat recovery. In our office we also recycle everything, including our Fairtrade tea bags.

Faith in youth

Making farming an attractive proposition for younger farmers is an urgent issue for cocoa sustainability. They need to have a sustainable income with enough to invest in their farms, support their families and create thriving communities. We’re helping them to improve their farming practices and to look at diversifying

into other crops to improve productivity, income and potentially nutrition, too.

The bigger picture

The industry has focused on increasing productivity without considering the potential impact on farmer income, so progress has been slow. To increase productivity, farmers have to potentially spend more on inputs and labour and this is a challenge. The climate becoming more unreliable is also a problem; cocoa requires lots of sunshine and rain, so a dry month can ruin the crop.

Ones to watch

Rubies in the Rubble are a really inspiring brand, as they use fruit and vegetables that would otherwise be rejected to create delicious chutneys while also creating jobs and training people. I’m also an admirer of Elvis & Kresse who are taking an innovative approach to reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown away; they make fabulous bags and accessories out of disused Fire Brigade hoses, an incredibly creative approach to finding new ways to reuse materials.

In Europe and North America each person wastes up to 100kg* of otherwise edible food more on a yearly basis than someone in subSaharan Africa and South and South-East Asia – Food and Agriculture Organisation Photograph (cocoa farm) by David Dudenhoefer

*2011 dataset

THE CONSERVATION HEROES Per Bogstad, markets transformation senior manager at the Rainforest Alliance UK The message

We believe that truly successful social and economic development protects instead of destroys the environment. Our work aims to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by completely transforming how land is used, how businesses operate, and also how consumers shop.

Proving sustainability

One challenge the sustainability sector is experiencing lately is companies who create their own ‘sustainability labels.’ That tends to lack the traceability that a thirdparty certification system like the Rainforest Alliance can provide. Consumers can’t be sure where non-certified cocoa, coffee, etc. came from or how it was grown, and the farms may not be subject to rigorous standards and audits. It’s often more difficult to ‘prove’ sustainability claims without a third party’s involvement in the supply chain.

Making a difference

I’m fortunate in that I work with incredible people at the Rainforest Alliance, from our founders to our global staff. Take Daniel Katz, who established the Rainforest Alliance in the 1980s as a direct response to alarming rates of tropical deforestation. He led the organisation as president for over a decade and is now guiding us as the Board Chair. And our staff is amazing, dedicated and diverse. We’re able to have boots on the ground worldwide – from Indonesia to Ghana to Peru, and so many other places. One man in particular, José Roman Carrera from our Guatemala team, has received more than 80 death threats because he’s been opposing unchecked deforestation for decades, yet he’s still a tireless, committed team member. It’s stunning and humbling.

Heading in the right direction

We’ve seen some very exciting movements and new commitments in UK products very recently, such as Tesco’s commitment to cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, Asda offering sustainably farmed bananas,

and EAT’s coffee now being 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified. And there are many more companies who are long-term partners in sustainability with us, such as Unilever, Costa Coffee, and Taylors of Harrogate, to name just a few. The UK’s food and drink industry has made leaps and bounds towards sustainability, so I’d say it’s definitely heading in a positive direction.

A realistic approach

Buying locally produced goods is a great thing for multiple reasons – but when you consider your entire supermarket shop, tropical products like bananas and tea cannot be grown in the UK. So if Londoners look for sustainability seals like the Rainforest Alliance’s little green frog while shopping, that’s a simple way to take action in support of environmental and social sustainability. It also sends a message to companies that sustainability is an important part of their business model. And once you start searching for our frog, you might notice it more often or probably begin questioning products that don’t have a sustainability mark! The other nice thing is that our reach extends into dining out now too, so if you look into the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s listings for dining out, restaurants that use products bearing our seal are considered more sustainable and can help improve a restaurant’s sustainability ranking.




– Love Food Hate Waste 50

THE WINEMAKER Jon Pollard, vineyard manager at Gusbourne All in good time

Logistically, being a sustainable winemaker can be a bit of a challenge as the change can often involve altering a procedure that has been established for some time. It is easy to convince myself of the need to change but getting that message across to the vineyard team can often take a season until they are on board and see the results.

Facing forward

Some steps have been in place since the early days of Gusbourne. These include the selection of machinery, one example being the vineyard sprayers that we use. Since day one we have always used a recycling vineyard sprayer. Even though we are using conventional fungicides to keep the vines in good health, these fungicides are delivered to the vine through a recycling tunnel sprayer. The tunnel sprayer is designed in such a way that the tunnels protect the spray pattern from wind, which massively reduces drift and ensures that the fungicide only hits its target and doesn’t drift into other crops or habitats surrounding the vineyard. Also the recycling feature ensures that any spray that misses the target is recycled back into the spray tank. This aids our bottom line as well as the environment. In the last couple of years we have been

Root and branch analysis

Trying to reduce the amount of herbicide we use is our biggest challenge. Weeds can be a big problem in our vineyards. They compete with the vines for nutrients and water and if they become established they can grow into the vineyard canopy which can create problems with increased fungal disease due to lack of airflow through the vineyards. Recently we have been dealing with the weeds with a variety of cultivation techniques rather than relying on the easy option of herbicide. So far we have reduced our herbicide application from a total of four per year to two per year. With the investment in some new equipment we should be able to eliminate the use of herbicide in the vineyards. It is well documented that herbicide reduces the amount of soil microorganism activity. This has a knock-on effect on the ability of the vines to search out nutrients. Many of these microorganisms have a symbiotic relationship with the vine roots that benefit both the plant and the microorganism.

Setting an example

I admire anyone who is growing vines and making quality wine in a challenging climate who has gone down the organic/biodynamic route and is making a success of it. Equally, those that have been following a very conventional route (herbicide and fungicide use) but are now beginning to challenge the way in which they grow grapes should be held up as examples of good practice. f

Photograph by Charlie Clift

Almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes. We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year in the UK, and more than half of this is food and drink that we could have eaten

using cover crops to aid in soil conditioning through their root growth, and the biomass they produce to contribute to the friability of the soil as well as holding onto nutrients that would otherwise have been lost due to leaching. The cover crops (phacelia, clover mixes, birds foot trefoil) are also flowering plants that attract beneficial insects such as ladybirds and hoverflies – they prey on a particular vineyard insect pest (vineyard scale) that we have seen increase in our vineyards in the last few years. Hopefully through encouraging the beneficial insects we will see a reduction in the vineyard scale without having to reach for the insecticide. The introduction of compost is something we have been doing for a number of years. This is placed as a mulch underneath the vines and has many benefits including increased soil moisture retention, slow release nutrient (decreasing the amount of artificial fertiliser that we apply), improving the soil structure and friability as well as the soil microorganism population.

WILD TASTE Alaska Seafood The wild fish of Alaska flourish in the cold, clean waters of the North Pacific, it is from this pristine environment that Alaska’s fish derive their unique taste and incomparable colour. Ticking the sustainable box cannot be easier when buying wild Alaska seafood. Fisheries are independently certified as responsibly managed to preserve stocks for future generations. In Alaska “sustainable” applies to the fish, the local communities, the fishermen and the economic return. Find out what makes our fish #foreverwild /AlaskaSeafoodUK


THROUGH A LENS: The show’s creator David Gelb prepares a shot at L’Arpège, the three-Michelin-starred Parisian restaurant

Photographs via Lucie Cipolla / Netflix

WHITES, CAMERA, ACTION Netflix hit Chef’s Table reveals how seminal chefs use cooking to express more than just great flavour. Mike Gibson gets to the root of the matter with its creator, David Gelb, as well as one of its recent stars, the iconic Parisian farm-to-table chef Alain Passard



E’RE LOOKING FOR the hero’s journey,” David Gelb says. I’m sitting with him at a cellar table of threeMichelin-starred restaurant L’Arpège, in Paris, seven or eight courses through world-leading farm-to-table chef Alain Passard’s vegetable-forward tasting menu. Gelb isn’t telling me about his feature film The Lazarus Effect, released last year. In fact, the heroes in question aren’t from any work of fiction. He’s talking about chefs. Gelb’s Netflix original series Chef’s Table, which premiered on the platform in 2014, is a game-changer. Not only for the food documentary format – which for decades had been based around former restaurant chefs travelling the world in search of food, or teaching people how to cook from the comfort of a studio kitchen – but also for the entire profession. That may seem grandiose, but the simple truth is that until Chef’s Table, there had never been a documentary series that not only considered the what and the how of the chef, but the why, too. If you’ve never seen it, each episode of Chef’s Table is hinged around an intimate interview with a different industry-leading or notable chef, but it features a never-beforeseen and often unflinching look into the way their restaurants work – including filming them during service. Each hour-long film reveals something about the dedication it takes on the part of the chefs in question to keep their restaurants performing at the very top level. But it also gets under their skin – revealing an insight into their way of working and, crucially, their reason for cooking. Gelb explains to me that the process he and his crew of cameramen, directors and editors have landed on is to “make a plan, then show up, then throw out the plan”. To make each episode, it takes ten days with each chef – that’s all they have. And although


Gelb is a feature film director, too, he can’t script any part of the episode, save for rough ideas on motifs and locations he and his team discuss beforehand. “An easy explanation of this was the first episode that I directed, with Massimo Bottura,” he tells me. “We talked on the phone at length, to both him and Laura, his wife, and we came up with a plan of what we thought would happen. But Massimo is this spontaneous person, so on the first day when we were supposed to be doing a long interview, instead we got the feeling that he wanted to go to the Parmigiano shop – so that’s exactly what we did.” The first two seasons feature, among others, Brazilian chef Alex Atala of D.O.M., supine on the back of a speedboat en route back from the Amazon, and Francis Mallman off-grid on an uninhabited Patagonian island. They also feature uncompromising looks into the personal traumas that some of these chefs have had to overcome on their journeys to the top, including the death of Gaggan Anand’s brother; N’Naka’s chef-patron Niki Nakayama being a gay woman in a socially conservative family; Dominique Crenn losing her adoptive father; or, in the most darkly ironic and profoundly emotional turn of the series, Grant Achatz of the great Chicago restaurant Alinea facing a battle with tongue cancer that left him having to learn to taste from scratch – at a point where his restaurant already had three Michelin stars. It’s at times raw, at times poetic – its detractors may call it overblown – but it feels more real and immediate than any food television the world has seen before. “Our job is to channel the passion of the chef,” Gelb tells me. “We still make sure that we have what we need to make a film, but it kind of becomes a collaboration in that way, and that’s the fun of documentaries. As we do interviews, we discover stuff about the chef that maybe previous journalists may not have realised or thought was that important. And some of the things we think are interesting, the chefs don’t necessarily think are important, because a chef will look at his own life story a little differently than we might. So as we learn things, we adapt, and we have those ten days and there’s a big responsibility to leave with a film, and that’s the challenge that’s put to the directors. It’s capturing something that’s honest, and complete within ten days, without faking it.” Gelb is, simply put, a filmmaker for whom food is a primary passion – he has a fanatical outlook towards the exemplary, frenetically paced and constantly morphing food landscape at the top level, and its ever-increasing absorption into mainstream

culture. It’s the same passion that’s the reason millennials are spending more, in relative terms, on food and drink than the generations before them; the same one that means this magazine, and countless other regional and global food publications, are finding so many hungry readers. Food is moving from a cultural commodity to a pop-cultural one; the visibility of the chef is at an all-time high, and shows like Chef’s Table fuel the fire. But aside from someone of Gelb’s obvious talent for narrative – first showcased in the feature-length documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which found popularity and acclaim having been added to Netflix’s roster after a limited theatrical release – the question remains: why had no one approached the food documentary in this way before? I ask Gelb if he, or anyone else with his handle on narrative-driven documentary filmmaking, could have made something like it a decade ago. “I could barely make this type of show when we did make it,” he replies. “People have been interested in chefs for a while, and food TV has been successful for some time now, but what I think we’re doing is a bit different. Today’s climate, or the appetite from audiences, is allowing a deeper, story-driven look at the chef’s life, and they’re

CHEF’S TABLE: FRANCE Chef’s Table’s third season features four different French chefs: Alain Passard of L’Arpège, Adeline Grattard of Yam’Tcha, Alexandre Couillon of La Marine and Michel Troisgros of Maison Troisgros. “Through Michel Troisgros’s story we were also able to tell the story of his father and grandfather, the tradition of the Troisgros brothers and nouvelle cuisine,” Gelb says, “and this very important backstory in French cooking. “Then Alain Passard is an incredibly charismatic character – who risked everything for the sake of creativity, has no other restaurants, who’s incredibly passionate, and who revolutionised the way we look at vegetables. “Adeline Grattard and Alexandre Couillon represent two branches of a newer wave of French cooking. Alexandre Couillon uses a lot of Japanese fish



not expecting or demanding us to explain the recipes and make it an instructional cooking show, which is the original tradition of cooking shows, starting with Julia Childs. “It’s a unique moment that the audience is accepting of it, Netflix was accepting of it – their gamble in us is paying off for them, because they found an audience for this type of programme that other networks didn’t necessarily believe existed.” A significant factor in its production is the relative lack of technological limitation in the mid-2010s. The turn of the millennium heralded in digital filmmaking to the mainstream – filmmakers can now achieve a cinematic look and feel with smaller and lighter cameras than ever before, sometimes even with a DSLR camera that an aspiring amateur could easily afford. “Technology allows us to do this at a much less expensive cost than it would have been ten years ago,” Gelb says. “To shoot at that kind of quality then, you’d have had to shoot it on 35mm film.” If it seems a minor point, think of the size of a traditional Hollywood film set, then think of a restaurant kitchen. Until digital filmmaking’s equipment began to shrink, one camera would have struggled with filming one service, let alone multiple.

preparation techniques, but making it a style that’s very specific to his home in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île – a place where fine dining was not a priority. It’s a great love story between him and his wife Celine. And then you have Adeline Grattard, who has a bit of a love story herself – she and her husband created this Chinese/ French fusion that’s incredibly elegant, and respected by both Chinese and French chefs around the world.”

Photographs via Lucie Photograph Cipolla /byNetflix ###


With lightweight cameras creating beautiful images, the vibrant, artful plates created by Chef’s Table’s subjects come to life. But the technology also allows the viewer a sense of first-hand experience: you’re at the pass with the chefs, but it also takes you inside the dining room. It’s a sense of immersion that’s only recently become a possibility – and one that’s as close as most of its audience will get to eating at some of the world’s most iconic restaurants. Chef’s Table offers the viewer a real, nakedly genuine glimpse of these chefs’ jobs, and of their personalities, both during the tension of the service and in the chefs’ accompanying monologues, too. Gelb describes a moment in every episode’s production where the chef – exhausted by long hours of interviews in addition to neverending restaurant services that have to work around a camera crew – breaks down a wall. Positively or negatively, there are moments where the chef reveals something they haven’t before, at least not publicly. Almost universally, these insights reveal the real story ingrained in the interview; the reason why the chefs devote themselves to cooking. Dan Barber – chef-patron of two of only

Considering French cooking has occasionally been accused of having a stubborn approach to sweeping change, the four chefs are all incredibly progressive. “We were trying to find different chefs, at different places in their careers,” Gelb says, “different places in the history of French cooking. “We don’t say that it’s a complete spectrum of French cooking, because there’s so much to it, but it’s a start.”

FROM TOP: A beautiful, seasonal vegetable dish from the three-Michelin-starred L’Arpège; chef-patron Alain Passard in the kitchen

a few restaurants than can compare to Passard’s in terms of their influence on the farm-to-table movement, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York – felt a touch ambivalent about the prospect of the show before filming. He, like many of the chefs in the first and second seasons, is a decorated, world-renowned chef with a restaurant in the World’s 50 Best list – at this level, these chefs are not unused to media attention and interest. “When you’re filming for ten days, what you don’t know when you’re going into it is that you get worn down,” he says. “Chefs get very good at saying what they want to say in interviews, but after a third full day of filming you can’t do that. That’s in part because the series is well funded, and they have the opportunity to take their time – but what you get is a truer sense of the person. I didn’t anticipate that going in, but that’s exactly what happened.” After two successful series that traverse LA, New York, San Francisco and Chicago, as well as Bangkok, Mexico City, São Paolo, Patagonia, Melbourne, Modena and Kobarid, Slovenia, there’s a notable absence of one particular culinary destination. The world’s most fabled food nation, Gelb explains, wasn’t the most straightforward when it came to planning episodes. “France is such an important destination when it comes to food,” he says. “Traditionally the most important, internationally. Other countries have certainly planted their flags in the ground and become incredible landscapes for food as well, but historically France is the mecca. “We hadn’t had a single French chef in the first two seasons with the exception of Dominique Crenn, but she’s really an →


FROM TOP: Dan Barber, chef-patron at farm-totable restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, working the farm; Dominique Crenn prepping a dish on set


Watch Chef’s Table: France on now

Photographs by Lucie Cipolla/Netflix; (Dominique Crenn) Melissa Moseley/Netflix

→ American at this point. All of our chefs had gone to France to train, so we wanted to do something special for it. We couldn’t do one episode to represent the entire country, so we wanted to do four chefs with different approaches, different stories, different places in the landscape of French cooking.” The result is a four-part season showcasing four chefs who represent the changing face of modern French cooking. The first episode is the reason I’m sitting at the vaunted long table in L’Arpège’s ground-floor dining room – thrillingly, for the geek in me, at the same table that makes up the title shot of the series – it’s about Alain Passard, the restaurant’s chef-patron. Passard is “the man”, according to Gelb – someone who took an unfashionable restaurant space in the septième arrondissement in Paris in 1986, and won his third Michelin star ten years later. “L’Arpège got three stars in a space that was considered impossible to get three stars in,” Dan Barber says. “I found that to be really thrilling, that at a lower budget and in a smaller kitchen and space, he could perform at the very highest level.” But not only that, he’s a restless personality, a shapeshifting schemer who’s

on the lookout for ways to push the button, as evidenced by the notorious decision in 2001 to remove meat and fish from his menu entirely. It was a decision that shocked the French restaurant world. There was a sense of provocateurship in there; but it was one that was made to show the world that farm-totable dining and haute cuisine could coexist. One of our courses at L’Arpège consists entirely of a lightly roasted carrot wrapped in a thin slice of rhubarb. It’s a dish so simple and ingredient-led as to be a statement in itself. “The fact that he ushered vegetables centre-stage, in a three-star, haute-cuisine context – that was pretty big,” Barber says. “He took it a step further, and in a way that was so bold and so iconoclastic. I found that thrilling, because he had a lot riding on it.” Passard owns three farms on the outskirts of Paris, and cooks dishes that are indelibly tied to what the landscape provides him. His influence and skill comes from a tireless commitment to cooking sustainably and seasonally. But despite his profile, he has not often sought out the limelight. He comes out towards the climactic courses of our tasting menu to talk about his participation in the project, and is warm, pensive, effusive, and candid – as he is throughout his episode. He describes the chance to take part in Chef’s Table as a “heavenly gift from David.” “I declined lots of TV shows because I

didn’t think I’d learn anything,” he says. “With David, I got the chance to learn about myself.” His response to his episode is one that’s not necessarily universal – as Gelb says, “Some chefs say ‘thank you’, some say ‘you’re welcome’. We’ve had the whole spectrum of reactions.” It’s logical when you consider that each episode is essentially a character study, and often a very personal one at that. It’s what happens when food is approached through the eyes of someone more closely inspired by planet Earth than the Food Network. “We don’t really consider our show intellectual as much as we consider it emotional and character-driven,” Gelb says. “The concepts of some of the episodes are more heady than others. The Dan Barber episode, for instance, that’s certainly more of an intellectual episode, because he is a food intellectual in a lot of ways, as well as a chef. And then the Alain Passard episode is quite emotional. “I had a hunch that people wanted to watch a more beautiful type of documentary when I watched the BBC series Planet Earth. It gave me the idea that there’s room to make a beautiful show about food – one that goes beyond the type of instructional or reality television show you’d normally see on TV.” For Gelb, the relative lack of constraints the Netflix medium provides is crucial to the show’s success. Chef’s Table doesn’t have to rely on grabbing the attention of channel-hoppers, nor does it have to attract advertisers. Because Netflix doesn’t publicly release viewing figures for its shows, its original programming is allowed to be a slow burn. “Netflix allows us the time to build our audience, without having to immediately pander to an existing one,” Gelb says. “That’s why our show is able to exist.” That’s not to say that each episode is a freewheeling video essay – in fact Gelb’s story-led approach makes it incredibly accessible. “There are consistencies to the narrative structure,” he says. “Our job is to make that structure invisible.” The result is a set of deeply character-driven documentaries that a viewer can enjoy whether or not they’re particularly interested in food. Which brings us back to Gelb’s “hero’s journey archetype”. Whether or not you believe chefs should be held up as cultural icons, Chef’s Table, with its orchestral crescendos, sweeping camera movements, vivid colour palettes and mastery of storytelling, makes it easy to buy into the idea. As Gelb says, “We’re choosing chefs who are heroes already. We’re just trying to tell their story in a way that’s inspiring.” f


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Restaurateur Simon Rogan of L’Enclume loves his Big Green Egg; one of Rogan’s seasonal vegetable-based dishes; the Big Green Egg in the garden

GREEN VARIETY With Big Green Egg’s ceramic barbecues you can cook a variety of vegetable-based meals year round with the same precision as meat – just ask restaurateur Simon Rogan


ICHELIN-STARRED SIMON ROGAN is known for his vegetable-led, modern British cooking – and his signature style of using simple, seasonal produce, which he elevates to new heights through innovative cooking methods. In fact, he is more likely to be found putting a carrot than a cut of meat onto his barbecue. “Grilling over fire is the oldest way of cooking known to man,” he says, “and it’s exciting creating that primal umami, smokiness that lingers on the palate – although fire keeps you on your toes perhaps more than other cooking methods available in modern kitchens might. But anything that’s cooked over charcoal tastes bloody good – it’s the perfect flavour, in my mind.” Rogan cooks with a Big Green Egg ceramic barbecue at all three of his restaurants, Fera, L’Enclume and The French. “Vegetables really take on that characteristic caramelisation and smokiness from the barbecue. Smoked

carrots are just incredible – the flavour is really intense. We use a lightly oiled ceramic baking stone (traditionally used for pizza), to create a nice full surface sear, like a Spanish planchà. That gives a great caramelisation on the face of the vegetables without those burnt bar marks. It’s especially good with cauliflower – if you just leave it with the lid down and a little bit of smoke it starts to caramelise the top of the cauliflower, and steams it at the same time, so you get a really gooey soft result that’s just delicious.” Rogan has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to sourcing, growing and foraging the best produce, and the Big Green Egg has always stood out as best in class – mostly because of the reliability in a busy restaurant kitchen, but equally for the versatility of its cooking modes. This is something Rogan twists to suit both his experimental cooking methods and the changing produce

that comes into his kitchen. “There’s no other comparable flavour for certain dishes,” he says. “When the produce changes seasonally you have to be able to adapt your cooking methods. The Big Green Egg allows that opportunity. The results are incomparable; we wouldn’t and couldn’t cook certain dishes any other way.” ●; @biggreenegguk




FEEDING OFF SCRAPS Clare Finney meets the visionaries transforming surplus food into something scrumptious. Just don’t call it waste… 58

LEFT: Jenny Dawson’s company Rubies in the Rubble turns waste fruit and veg into chutneys and jams


Photograph by ###

T'S 4PM AT Borough Market and the gaggle of children are elated, having spent the day growing, buying and selling market produce. Now trading time is over, and it’s time for their little stall to close, there’s only one question left. “What will you do with your leftover produce?” asks development manager David Matchett, who runs the market’s Young Marketeers project for local schools. “We can make it into leftovers for tomorrow,” pipes up one kid. “Or we can give it to people!” “We give our food to my old auntie,” shouts another. “I’ve been running this project five years,” Matchett tells me, “and not once in that time has a child ever suggested throwing the food away.” After all, the children have watched food growing. They’ve learned about it, eaten it – “they’re invested in it. They don’t want it to go waste,” Matchett continues. So you can imagine their horror when he proceeds to tell them just how much food produced in this country is wasted every single year. Two million tonnes: that’s £19 billion’s worth, and the cost to the environment is arguably even greater: deforestation contributes to climate change and biodiversity loss, fertiliser run-off produces nitrogen blooms in oceans, and the combined effects of landfill and livestock farming results in at least at least 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The good news, though, is that you don’t need to look much beyond places like Borough Market to understand what one solution to such criminal wastage might be. I am eating it. I am also drinking it, and while eating and drinking it I am basking in heat that’s been powered by it. I’m in front of my family’s wood burner eating a cheese sandwich with Rubies in the Rubble piccalilli, alongside a chilled Toast ale. The former is made with cucumbers and onions classed as surplus: that is, unwanted by retailers for reasons of size, shape or colour. The beer is made from what my family call the nobby and others call the ‘heel’ of the bread: the crust ends, which mass sandwich manufacturers can’t – or won’t – use in their generic sliced tuna-sweetcorn and BLT sandwiches. The heat source is used coffee grounds, recycled by the innovative clean technology company Bio-bean into pellets for biomass boilers, biodiesel and briquettes for wood burners. This latter is arguably the odd one out: the priority of retailers, producers and us consumers is to ensure surplus food is eaten by people where possible, and this article is focused on young London-based businesses doing exactly that. Nevertheless, with its sharp branding, smart technology and simple but

potentially revolutionary innovation, Biobean is irresistibly representative of the new generation of companies applying principles of modern business, as well as slick design, to an issue that can often appear stale and tasteless: wasted food. The lack of coffee aroma may be disappointing for caffeine addicts like myself, but I can see why it makes commercial sense to sell fuel that doesn’t smell like a coffee shop. Bio-bean is a slick, professional outfit: already they are collecting grounds, not just from those coffee shops concerned with sustainability – Change Please and Monmouth Coffee, for example – but the likes of National Rail, hotels and most of the major high street coffee chains; and the plan in the next few years to collect from and provide energy to many more UK buildings, even London buses, is far from a pipe dream.

Market forces “These are viable businesses,” Kate Howell, director of development and communications at Borough Market, says of Bio-bean, and of those other companies turning food waste or surplus into consumables. Indeed, many of the biggest names in the world today actually started here with the market, which has provided a seedbed for sustainable businesses like Rubies in the Rubble, which makes a range of chutneys and sauces from supermarket rejects, Chegworth Valley of apple juice fame, and the street food stall selling meat from previously unwanted billy kids, Gourmet Goat. It’s part of the fabric – the “daily tick tock of the market”, Howell explains – that food is seasonal, bought in only the quantities needed rather than as part of pernicious ‘bogof' offers, and market surplus absorbed through various channels. “Gourmet Goat uses the bread from Olivier’s bakery for its croutons the next day. Patrick at Soul Food goes to the fishmonger for fish to marinade overnight for his seared fish wrap.” Getting back to the idea of eating what’s in season and preserving natural gluts is →


LEFT: The Rubies in the Rubble team. ABOVE: The company’s new branding states their mission to use up surplus food. BELOW: Snact’s fruit jerky

→ key to reducing waste, Howell continues, but “it’s what goes on between the food producer and the consumer eating it that gets confusing,” and it’s here that companies like Rubies, Toast, Snact (which creates fruit jerky from surplus) and Rejuiced (ditto, with juices) can step in to ensure that the waste generated in that gap remains in the human food chain. Changing perceptions Flash back to 2009: before the BBC’s Great British Waste Menu and before Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Hugh’s War on Waste programme. Tristram Stuart – now awardwinning political campaigner and charity founder, then a barely known author and activist – had just released Waste. It was an exposé of the global food scandal revealing the then-shocking, now-familiar, stat that around a third of the world’s entire food supply could be saved by reducing how much was thrown away. To prove just how much of the food farmers and food producers chucked


often used interchangeably, in the context of the producers we’re discussing the more appropriate term is food surplus, not waste. “We make Snacts from surplus fruit – fruit that would otherwise go to waste,” explains Snact founder Ilana Taub. “We think it’s an important distinction to make, as linguistics actually has quite a big impact on behaviour.” Despite the efforts of Stuart, FearnleyWhittingstall and so on, waste is, to many people, bad apples and rotting cabbages in dustbins, rather than perfect produce which food retailers have discarded for aesthetic reasons before it even reaches their shelves. Cucumbers too curved for packaging, pears too bumpy to sell, strawberries of nonnormative sizes and apples with insufficient redness wind up as compost – or worse, landfill – despite being perfectly edible. “The other day I had organic English strawberries that were the size of my fist, and beautiful black Italian grapes where the only fault is the bunches are too small and the strawberries →

Photograph by (Snact) Luke Forsythe


daily was edible, he and self-proclaimed eco-chef Tom Hunt hosted Feeding the 5,000: a communal feast for 5,000 people made entirely out of food that would otherwise have gone to landfill. He set up the campaign organisation Feedback to “shine a light on the hidden causes of waste across the food supply chain”, and their ‘food-waste pyramid’ became the template for industry attitudes towards waste and surplus. It appeared revolutionary – and it was – but the irony is, of course, that it advised nothing more radical than what David Matchett’s kids in Borough Market suggest every day. At the bottom of the pyramid – it is upside down, so this is the narrow end – comes disposal, the option the kids can’t conceive of. “Avoid landfill wherever environmentally friendly alternatives are available,” is Feedback’s advice in this regard. Next up, compost and 100% renewable energy (hello, Bio-bean), followed by charities, which redistribute food to people in need. Last and largest, at the pinnacle of the pyramid, comes reduce. “Plan orders to avoid overproduction; maximise shelf-life through better storage; and identify alternative markets to keep food in the human food chain”: the bracket companies like Rubies in the Rubble fall under. It comes as little surprise to discover that the man behind the Toast Ale I was drinking is none other than Tristram Stuart himself. Even today, many entrepreneurs in this burgeoning field of food production are hesitant about making explicit their product’s origins in food waste – for ‘waste’ is, to some extent, a misnomer. Though they are

IN THE UK ALONE, 44% OF BREAD IS THROWN AWAY SOMEWHERE ALONG THE SUPPLY CHAIN ABOVE: Toast’s ale is made from the crusts of bread that sandwich manufactures don’t use. BELOW: Surplus fruit and vegetables go into the juices and smoothies created by Hackney-based Rejuice

→ too large to pack,” explains Thomas Fletcher, founder of Rejuice – the Hackney-based company making smoothies and juices from surplus produce found in big packaging plants around the south and south-east. A former chef, he’s a classic example of those British entrepreneurs changing the face of the issue by applying skill, sophistication and enthusiasm. “People often imagine this is me jumping over garden fences fishing out vegetables from skips and compost heaps. It’s actually a pretty sophisticated operation, and highly logistical,” he tells me while showing me his super juicer – “this can effortlessly juice up to two tonnes an hour”– and his allwashing, all-dicing mill. “Because I’m a chef, I’ve spent a lot of time staring at fruit and vegetables. I know instinctively what tastes good.” He’s a star at festivals, where it sells so quickly he can’t make enough juice, and is hopeful of attracting bigger retailers in the near future. With time and some investment he is confident of strong growth. “Unlike most soft drink manufacturers, our raw produce costs drop as we increase output, because of the nature of and abundance of waste fruit and vegetables.” He even has the blessing of Tristram Stuart, who dabbled in juice production before committing himself to campaigning. The best thing since sliced bread Stuart, meanwhile, having perhaps learned from his juice experience, went to professional brewers to create his ale this


year, rather than setting up his own brewery. This had a dual advantage. “We are a nomadic brewery, which means, in addition to being able to exploit the expertise of the breweries who brew for us – Hambleton Ales in Yorkshire, King Street Brew House in Bristol – there has been no capital outlay,” explains his PA and communications officer Louisa Ziane. “This was critical to building a scalable model that would quickly generate profits – all of which are donated to Feedback to support waste reduction around the world.” Since setting up – first with Hackney Brewery, then the larger brewery at Hambleton to meet demand – Toast has been contacted by dozens of bakeries asking if their old loaves can go to ale. “Unfortunately there’s so much surplus, from all over the country, that we can’t possibly use it all. In the UK alone, 44% of bread is thrown away somewhere along the supply chain.” It’s a shame, she continues, because bakers, particularly artisanal bakers, put a lot of time and effort into their loaves and, oily and fruity varieties asides, brewers can use pretty much any bread. “All that matters are the carbohydrates, which are broken down to sugar by amylase, then yeast converts the sugar to alcohol,” she explains. They still need barley to get the amylase, which is why the recipe calls for one part bread to two parts barley, brewed in with bramling cross and chinook hops, oat husks, yeast and water. Still, even by saving just one slice a bottle since starting in January, Toast has saved

around 960kg of surplus bread. There are plans to go global; to partner with food-waste activists, craft brewers and local sources of bread waste in order to take Toast to other countries. After all, Stuart’s original recipe came from Brussels, whose Babylone beer was so called because 7,000 years ago, the Babylonians were the first to discover a delicious beverage based on fermented bread. There’s a growing community of campaigners and entrepreneurs around the world who recognise waste as a global issue – one best solved by working together and sharing information and ideas. The Europewide Food Surplus Entrepreneurs network is one way for those seeking to tackle food waste through production to help each other rather than make the same mistakes. For example, a producer in France looking to make preserves from surplus might speak to Rubies in the Rubble, gleaning contacts and tips from →

→ them as well as the support the FSE offers by way of social media and events. A bigger picture Rubies in the Rubble is also starting to think beyond Britain. It’s travelled a long way since 2012, when founder Jenny Dawson approached Borough Market “with just an idea,” Kate Howell recalls, smiling. The market told Dawson to come back with a product, and the result is a slew of awardwinning preserves stocked by Fortnum and Mason, Marriott hotels and a well-known restaurant chain. When we speak, Dawson is in South Africa, sourcing surplus sundried tomatoes for a new range, hopefully due out in a few months. Those tomatoes with harmless black spots, or those rejected for some other reason, will head to the mixing pot. “When I started I was quite hesitant about referencing our food waste origins overtly,” Jenny recalls, “but we’ve rebranded recently and I’m a lot more confident. Now our labels and marketing are far more bold about why and how we do what we do.” Their ‘waste’ credentials are a selling point. Where before, Dawson and her fellow entrepreneurs would spend hours explaining about supermarkets and surplus in an effort to persuade customers, now they come knocking. Yes, campaigns like Fearnley-Whittingstall’s have helped – but, as the FSE’s Joris Depouillon points out, it was really by creating a product whose quality would rival and even surpass those of its competitors that these companies defied assumptions that using surplus meant compromising taste. “These are not ‘hippy’ companies, or cynics. They don’t see sustainability purely as a means of marketing and selling. They see it as a means of ending food waste by raising awareness of the issue.” Indeed, the ideal scenario – the dream of every producer I speak to – is that they put themselves out of business because food waste, or surplus, does not exist. “When it comes to food conservation,

London is a bit of European hotspot,” says an admiring Depoullion, who is based in Belgium. He's impressed by just how much “Anglo Saxon enterprise” there is going on. Personally I’m more of the melting pot school of thought than the Anglo Saxon one. I’m proud of London’s progress but it’s clear, looking around the world, how much more there is out there. A US brand makes granola bars from ‘spent’ beer grain upcycled from the brewing process, while in Denmark, a professor is transforming fruit and veg scraps

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Beech-leaf infused gin from Poco; traders at Borough Market work to support sustainability; Sainsbury’s banana bread

into crystals which can be used in everything from confectionery to molecular gastronomy. There’s a lot left to do, in terms of sharing ideas, scaling up and spreading awareness – but the groundwork for changing attitudes is in place. “It is a tangible subject,” says Tom Hunt. “People can understand it – and the beauty is we can all make a difference.” Change must happen on all levels, he tells me, from home cooks to chefs (his restaurant, Poco, is almost zero-waste) and supermarkets (which still “literally horrify” Hunt, but are at least starting to improve, with the painfully slow creaking that comes with organisations that have been for so long set in their ways). Waitrose has signed up to Feedback’s food pyramid. Sainsbury’s is increasingly looking to work with its suppliers to minimise waste and find alternative uses for unsold items. A few months ago, Sainsbury’s launched a trial of banana breads made from bananas too bruised to sell in store, to enormous accolades. “Originally we estimated they would sell 1,000 loaves,” says Paul Crew, director of sustainability at Sainsbury’s, with palpable excitement. “Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve already sold 3,000, saving just as many bananas.” Of course, saving 3,000 out of the 162 million bananas wasted each year is but a drop in an ocean of landfill, but Crew’s enthusiasm is completely understandable. It’s the inherent human response to the prospect of tackling something as abominable as food waste through something as delicious as banana bread. As worrying as our waste problem is, so long as that’s our response, we’ve a reason for hope. f

Photograph by (Borough Market) John Holdship




Photograph by IgorGolovnov / Getty Images


HO ME When it comes to sustainability, there’s only really one way consumers can make a difference: by incorporating environmentally friendly thinking into their everyday lives. And it’s not as hard as you might think, finds Lydia Winter


HE THOUGHT OF being ‘ecofriendly’ at home can be so daunting that many people shrug it off as being too hard, too expensive or too time-consuming. We’re here to show you the contrary: that it’s the small decisions that we make every day that will have the most impact. Here’s how you can make a difference, and eat delicious food while you’re at it...

The importance of organic Photograph by ###

“Organic farming is the highest-certified level of animal welfare, so that’s one of the things that really sets organic produce apart from any other kind,” says Jerry Naish of Yeo Valley, a proudly organic dairy farm that you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with from supermarket shelves. “Organic farming →


→ is about working with the land. Certainly at Yeo Valley, we believe the soil is the most important part of all of our food, because everything we eat comes from there.” It’s a simple fact that many modern farming methods drain the soil of nutrients, which means it will eventually stop being productive – something that organic farming aims to avoid. And being organic is important at every level, from the food you eat to the foods the animals eat, to the produce that comes from the animals we consume: “There’s no routine use of growth hormones or antibiotics, which are two things which are really concerning, not just for the health of the animals but also for the health of us when we eat them”. As Naish points out, one of the main ideas behind organic farming is “making your system fit your animals, rather than your animals fit your system.” And if you can’t afford to buy organic? “British farmers have some of the toughest animal welfare and food production standards of any country, so by buying British first of all, you’re supporting these better forms of farming.”

Root-to-stem cooking Unnecessarily binning bits of produce that are edible is something we’re all guilty of. “People don’t question things anymore, we cook on autopilot,” says green-minded chef Bruno Loubet of Grain Store in King’s Cross. “It’s good to use your imagination.” He suggests, when cooking mashed potato, frying the skin you peel off and using it as a crispy


topping for the mash or to make snacks. “Most of the time, leeks have already lost 4050% [of their stems] on the farm because they need to have the right size, the right this, the right that. So I’ll use the green bit in a soup, and the white bit in a dish like quiche or with fish.” Loubet also mentions beetroot tops, which are popular in Italian cooking. “You can use them in pasta dishes, or there are lots of recipes online.” The leafy tops can also be wilted and used as an alternative to spinach.

Food delivery boxes Food subscription boxes can initially seem like a luxury, but there’s far more to them


than that: they’re largely put together with seasonal food, plus they reduce packaging and encourage us to get to grips with produce we wouldn’t normally try, as well as minimising car journeys to the supermarket. What’s more, they’re largely linked with organic, higher-welfare farms. Riverford Organic’s boxes (from £10.25 a week for a small veg box, delivery is free) are packed with 80% homegrown organic veg that’s grown for flavour rather than aesthetics, and the company always gives its farmers a fair deal. Minimising packaging waste is another one of its key aims, and each item is packed loose in recyclable, reusable or compostable boxes. Fellow food box supplier Abel & Cole (boxes from £11) is equally focused on keeping waste to a minimum, creating chill boxes using British sheep’s wool. “We work with many of our suppliers to come up with sustainable solutions – this year, we created a biodegradable carrot bag made from biopolyester which keeps carrots fresher for longer and is easily compostable,” says Abel & Cole’s culture director, Claudia Ruane. Both companies take the same approach to their other groceries, providing a range of organic meat, cheese and eggs. “Organic farming is the very best way to go,” Ruane says. “It protects our countryside, insists on the best animal welfare, supports your local community and, quite frankly, tastes heaps better!” If delivery services aren’t an option, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons sell wonky, ‘imperfect’ veg boxes to reduce waste.;

Using apps If you struggle to factor sustainable thinking into daily life, technology is at hand, with apps leading the charge. Olio is a free app available from the App Store and Google Play Store that connects you with your neighbours and local businesses so that extra food can be shared instead of thrown away. Food nearing its sell-by date in-store, spare home-grown vegetables, surplus bread or the groceries in your fridge when you go away can all be sold on through the app – and, as of last month, it even deals with non-food household products. Tessa Cook, Olio’s co-founder, says, “Food waste is the third largest source of all greenhouse gas emissions, and half of all food waste occurs in the home, so anything we can do to reduce it is really worthwhile.” Elsewhere, new kid on the block Too Good To Go matches users with restaurants selling food they’d have otherwise binned, and at dramatically cut prices. You pay for your dinner by card and then you can collect your food – which has been packaged up in a biodegradable sugarcane box, natch – during a designated time slot, usually after the lunch and dinner rush. Ninety-five London restaurants have already signed up, with more in the pipeline, and meals are a max of £3.80, beating a takeaway hands down. The company estimates that saving a meal from the landfill is the equivalent of saving about 2kg of carbon dioxide emissions. There’s another benefit to it, too: “Too Good To Go aims to encourage social inclusion by making great restaurant meals affordable to more people, while our Pay-It-Forward scheme provides meals for those who need it most, offering a helping hand to the most vulnerable sections of society,” says Chris Wilson, co-founder of Too Good To Go.;

be made with produce that’s past its prime, while bruised fruits are ideal for making syrups and infusions. Looking for inspiration? You’ll find a recipe for blueberry, rhubarb and lemon thyme jam on page 32. Pickles have a similar history of supplementing our diets through leaner months, but their importance declined with the advent of the fridge. These days, though, they’re the trendy homemade food du jour. Making them is simple – submerge the freshest veg you can find in a vinegar, salt and sugar solution, add any spices you think will go, seal and then leave for up to three weeks.

Minimising packaging waste According to Wrap, the government’s waste advisor, about ten million tonnes of packaging is used in the UK every year, 70% of which is due to the grocery sector and 4.9 million tonnes of which ends up in landfill. That’s a lot of waste. Nevertheless, those boxes, cartons and bags play an important role in protecting and preserving our food products – which is why companies are taking steps to optimise the packaging they use. Supermarket brand BOL has developed new salad jars, complete with screw-on lids, designed so that the packaging can be

upcycled to store or transport future meals. “All of our products are recyclable, but creating something that people can reuse means we’ve easily cut out a whole section of the supply chain,” says BOL’s operations manager Graham Walker. It’s an idea that’s simple and effective, and the company intends to continue developing similar products. ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ may have more relevance for us today than ever before.

Seeking alternatives Other than sourcing organic, free-range animal produce – and eating less of it – there are alternative ways to lessen your impact on the environment when it comes to eating meat. Devon-based farm Cabrito Goat takes billy (male) goats that would otherwise have been euthanised at birth – because they don’t produce milk – from the goat dairy industry and raises them (or finds farms that will) until they’re ready to be eaten. “Nanny goats need to be kept in lactation to provide milk for the dairies, which means they have to be periodically pregnant,” says its founder James Whetlor. “When baby goats are born, the female ones go back into the herd but the males are usually euthanized. It’s a waste because the same amount of energy – →

Preserving fresh produce

Photograph (Riverford) by Martin Ellis;

“Preserving is a great way to use up the seasonal glut and give the harvest yield longevity,” says Kylee Newton of Broadway Market stall Newton & Pott and author of The Modern Preserver. “The techniques were around long before refrigeration, and preserving is an age-old concept for eating healthily in the months where there’s less fresh produce available.” With refrigeration using so much energy, there are doubts as to whether we’ll be able to continue to do it on such a large scale – and pickling, preserving and fermenting fresh produce is a great way to make it last longer. Things like chutneys are particularly good for using fruit and veg that might otherwise go to waste as they can

CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN: One of Yeo Valley’s organic farms; picking tomatoes for Riverford Organic; food-sharing app Olio; BOL’s clever jars


LEFT: James Whetlor from Cabrito with some of his goats; one of BIB’s ingenious ‘bagnums’, devised to reduce environmental waste

Bag-in-box wines Booze with a minimised impact on the environment? Now that’s our kind of tipple. Winemaker Le Grappin produces ‘bagnums’ (yes, really) of its red, white and rosé. Aside from being delicious, there’s another reason we like them so much: using bags requires less energy at several levels. “Being environmentally friendly was the major impetus [for making wine this way],” says founder Andrew Nielsen. “But BIBs also keep wine fresh beyond a day or two. This way, you can have a glass of rosé while preparing dinner, and come back to the ‘bottle’ the next weekend.” As for being sustainable, the biggest environmental impact saving through BIB wines is shipping weight. A bagnum weighs 44g and holds two bottles, yet the average bottle weighs 350-400g, so there’s a much smaller carbon footprint when transporting them. Elsewhere, top London restaurant St John is a purveyor of BIB wines that you can drink there or take home, such


as its 2013 Pic St Loup red (£31), a soft and fruity Languedoc cabernet-syrah blend. Wineforward restaurant Vinoteca has also offered several five-litre BIBs for the past five years.;;

Sell-by and use-by dates It seems obvious, but use-by, sell-by and bestbefore dates are essentially a simple way for us to make sure shops don’t sell us food that’s past its best – and also helps the company to cover itself in case someone eats something that’s gone off. There’s a growing argument that the system is flawed, causing us to throw away tonnes of food unnecessarily. “I think we can become over-concerned with these dates,” says vegetarian chef Anna Jones. “I generally ignore them, instead using my instincts to work out if something is OK to eat or not. The real skill is in your shopping – making sure you buy the best produce that looks the freshest, which doesn’t always work when it comes to online shopping and deliveries.” Working mainly with vegetables, Jones is well acquainted with identifying fresh produce. “I use my hands to check that vegetables are firm and my nose to check that all is ok. I rarely throw anything away at all – if something looks like it's only got a day or so left I’ll put it into a quick soup or even into my morning juice or smoothie.”

Growing at home Salad is often what you reach for when trying to put together a quick and healthy meal, but it may not be as good for you as you think: if you’re picking up bagged leaves rather than a whole lettuce, the nutritional value of the leaves deteriorates as soon as it’s bagged up,

Photograph (goats) by Mike Lusmore

→ food, heat and manpower – goes into each pregnancy, whether the outcome is a male or a female kid goat.” Goat is increasingly gracing our tables, with restaurants like Smoking Goat in Soho (see page 72 for more), Quo Vadis and The Jugged Hare sourcing their meat from Cabrito – whose products are now also available from Ocado. There are benefits beyond being less wasteful, too: goats are easier to raise than sheep, lower in cholesterol and fat than beef, pork or lamb, and high in protein and iron. As for the taste, it’s got a rich flavour and dense, meaty texture that’s similar to lamb, making it a delicious alternative in curries and when slow-cooked.;

and the leaves are often washed in a solution filled with chemicals (on a side note, if you do buy bagged salad leaves – it’s probably a good idea to wash them). As for being good for the planet, they’re some of the worst offenders: fruit and veg are the most wasted food in our homes, according to Wrap’s website Love Food Hate Waste. What’s more, washing the leaves commercially wastes far more water than you would at home, the leaves go off quickly because they are often weeks old, and they need a huge amount of water and energy to grow on a mass scale; not to mention that the bags themselves can’t actually be recycled. The best alternative is to grow your own. The Eden Project, Cornwall’s educational charity and social enterprise that’s also home to the geodesic domes that house the largest rainforest in captivity, advises getting started with herbs. Julie Kendall, lead horticulturist for the outside gardens, says: “Herbs are easy to grow in window sills and hanging baskets and my best advice is to grow the ones you use the most. I always have parsley and basil growing on my window sill. In the spring, pick attractive pots and sow the seeds direct onto a free-draining compost surface. Place them on a sunny windowsill and watch them germinate. Dill, tarragon, thyme, and coriander are good choices to grow at home.” One thing to remember is that all plants grown in containers are reliant on you as the grower for their food and water. Kendall also advises liquid fertilizer added to their water once a fortnight. “You’ll know exactly what’s gone into them – they haven’t been sprayed with any nasties or chemicals.” f

AWARD WINNING GIN FROM THE SILENT POOL IN SURREY Now available at Waitrose stores nationwide.




Smoking Goat restaurateur Ben Chapman’s dedication to careful sourcing means success not only for him, but his suppliers too, writes Victoria Stewart

B 72

Photograph by ###

EN CHAPMAN IS a special kind of restaurant owner. If his name isn’t familiar to you, then Smoking Goat, the Thai restaurant he co-owns in Soho – which often serves 200 covers a night – might be. If you’ve caught wind of Kiln, a new restaurant coming to the area in mid-September, he’s behind that, too. Chapman is compelling because as well as being a straightforwardly decent bloke, with no history of working in food whatsoever, he is also committed to continually refreshing his approach in order to help suppliers →

B R O U G H T T O Y O U B Y:



→ produce the best stuff they possibly can so the rest of us can enjoy it. No doubt you’ll have heard the phrase “we work closely with our suppliers,” used regularly during the last six or so years of London’s restaurant boom. While some chefs use it loosely, there are others who live and breathe the connection between, say, the work done on a boat in Cornwall and the arrival of its catch on someone’s plate in London; who genuinely care about how certain types of soil can lead to better garlic in a Thai curry. They don’t settle for half measures. Of these, Chapman, 31, is the latter. And if you haven’t heard about him, it’s not that he doesn’t want to talk about his restaurants – he’s just not in this business for the limelight. “Ben’s really special. He doesn’t work



like anyone else,” says Matt Chatfield of The Cornwall Project, with whom Chapman works to source produce from the South West. “He’s with his suppliers all the time, it’s amazing. He’s going to be one to watch.” So what exactly is it that sets Chapman apart from other restaurateurs? Not having worked in food before owning restaurants – Chapman grew up in Birmingham then studied art at the Courtauld before owning art galleries, DJing “weird psychadelic stuff”, and running club nights – means he asks “a lot of questions”. “I don’t have a traditional chef’s background, so when I’ve been told “This is how it’s done,” I’ve always said, “Well, is there another way?” That’s led us along the path that we’re in. I get more pleasure from the supplier side – like finding a newer, better way of doing things with somebody – than I actually do from cooking, to be honest.” He works “very much around what the supplier has, rather than telling them what to get. That’s the crucial difference, really. I think if you want to be involved, you need to understand the motives of farmers.” He orders whole animals – rather than only parts of them, or only identically shaped fish – and serves everything that comes in, meaning the supplier never has to worry that they will be left with half of their stock. It is the kitchen’s job, Chapman believes, to sell the fish: “It’s not the fisherman’s job. His job is to get it out of the sea,” he says. “So whatever comes in, the way it comes in, you have to sell all of it, all the time.” He works with the Kernowsashimi collective in Cornwall because of their “amazing quality of fish – little mackerel that are just absolutely perfect and so bright, like little bolts of silver.” Meat-wise, he praises Philip Warren, a butcher in Cornwall (with whom he is in regular discussions about breeding certain types of pigs or cows), the “very wonderful farmer” at Taste Tradition in Yorkshire and the “fantastic things that the people at Swaledale Foods are doing.” He undertook a research trip to Thailand, where in the most rural areas he ate “some of the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten” a lot of which came “straight out of the field, or off the tree next to their houses”. As such he has built the new menu at Kiln “solely around those things that the producers make. “It’s a philosophy more than a stop-gap. It’s like an infinite project,” he says. After we speak, he is off to Cornwall to see the pigs slaughtered; he’ll also talk to Sean O’Neill – aka The Modern Salad Grower – about how the Thai herbs and vegetables →



FROM LEFT: Chapman’s Soho restaurant Smoking Goat is winning over admirers for its brand of Thai-influenced cuisine, as well as for his obsessive dedication to sourcing ingredients

→ he has begun growing for him are coming along. But perhaps most exciting of all, for the new Kiln site he plans to buy whole animals, have them immediately broken down by an inhouse butcher, and given to the chefs to make dishes out of throughout the day – “We might have five lambs and three pigs. We’ll start on the jowels, then the neck fillets, and so on...”


With this in mind, he has developed a lamb skewer made with finely sliced layers of fat and meat from the whole animal, which he trialled at this year’s Soho Food Feast. “We’ve got this hogget, and when you fatten it up you can hang it much longer. That means you can intensify the flavour, which means that, crucially, you can soften the texture. And what that means is that essentially you can grill the whole thing, including all those tougher cuts that you couldn’t really use before. And as you’ve got to use all the fat, too, the perfect dish for it is these lamb skewers. This way we don’t have to call the farmer half-way through and say we’re stuck with something we can’t use. “I think if you’re going to have things bred to your spec, you’re responsible for the whole animal. I think this is a good example of how a bit more innovation and thinking at this end means you’re pushing the farmer with you, rather than pushing on the farmer.” If it all sounds like a lot of hard work, Chapman isn’t worried. “It’s not as hard as people think it is, as long as you’ve got the philosophy and the right team – that’s the best way. Then everyone gets behind it. Before we open Kiln, we’ll take all our staff down to see the pigs.” He also loves cities, arguing that “to London’s great credit, we have an audience for this type of thing, which is also benefitting the guys in Cornwall massively.” In this relentless pursuit of flavour, his “great inspiration” is the chef Tom Adams, co-founder of the British barbecue restaurant Pitt Cue and more recently the working farm and guesthouse, Coombeshead Farm, which Chapman reveals he thinks is “incredible.

GROWING FAST Chatfield, along with chefs from Taiwanese street-food restaurant BAO London, work closely with Sean O’Neill (aka The Modern Salad Grower) in Cornwall. He now has a vegetable tunnel, in which he grows specialist varieties of Southeast Asian herbs and vegetables specifically for use in the dishes on their menus:

Smoking Goat

Galangal, phak chi farang, Vietnamese mint, small garlic, young ginger, various mushrooms, orange chilli, Szechuan pepper

Bao London

Szechuan pepper, ginger, Chinese morning glory, sweet potato, daikon, oyster leaf, gem lettuce, garlic chives

Tom won’t compromise – he is just a genius really, in that sense that you can create a business that relies entirely on its quality of supply, and in doing that you’re creating better supply at the same time. I think this mutual exchange is really exciting.” Meanwhile, the Cornwall Project’s Matt Chatfield can’t believe his luck: “I was joking with Sean O’Neill last year about creating the perfect chef-restaurateur, who would ultimately help make suppliers and restaurants work in perfect harmony. Having begun to work more closely with Ben, it no longer seems like a joke.” f

3–9 OCTOBER 2016



Image still to come

THE FIRST DAYS OF SPRING For a gin that truly tastes of its exceptional terroir, look no further than Silent Pool, which takes its name from a spring-fed pool that lies deep within the Surrey Hills


OUNDED IN THE spring of 2014, the Silent Pool Distillery was set up with the vision of creating handcrafted, premium spirits. Its location at the spring-fed Silent Pool on the Duke of Northumberland’s Albury Estate in the Surrey Hills – an area that was once flush with juniper bushes – pays a fitting tribute to the main ingredient that creates the flavour of all gins: the delicately flavoured juniper berry. Each component in Silent Pool Gin is carefully selected and, where possible,


locally sourced. A hose is passed through the open distillery door and draws water from the Silent Pool that gives the serve its name, beginning the unique four-stage production process. The gin is entirely crafted within the four walls of the distillery with precision and loving care – including the bottling. The flagship spirit Silent Pool Gin was launched on the UK market in April 2015 to critical acclaim, winning several international Gold awards (Gin Masters, IWSC, WSA). The distillers have since

turned their expert eyes to additional variants like Navy-strength and seasonal gin cordials (strawberry and blackberry) as well as rye vodka and eau de vies. Silent Pool Gin is distributed nationwide (Waitrose, Majestic, Wine Rack plus in more than 50 independents) and across Europe, and, soon, in the US too. ●


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Inside the distillery; botanicals used to flavour the gin; one of Silent Pool's distillers gets to grips with the ingredients; Silent Pool Gin's distinctive teal bottle

FIND OUT MORE If you like the sound of all that, make your way online to the newly launched website, where you'll be able to peruse and buy Silent Pool's award-winning products, book a place on one of the distillery's 90-minute Gin Experiences, and learn more about this artisanal spirit company and its range of spirits. You'll also be able to find out more about its seasonal gin cordials, which are made with either strawberries or blackberries that have been freshly picked in the nearby fields. They taste great on their own, but we think they're even better with a bit of fizz.



— PART 3 —


WHAT GOES AROUND SIERRA LEONE By using original ingredients and supporting the people growing them, Karma Cola is bringing the world’s favourite soft drink back full circle, says Mike Gibson





Photograph by ###

EEP IN RURAL Sierra Leone, on the outskirts of the small village of Boma, there’s a bridge. It’s not much to look at, but its simple, unfussy construction belies its monumental importance: the bridge connects the old and new parts of Boma, and without it, there’s no way to get across the river that carves the village in two during the rainy season. The connection between the building of this bridge and the unmistakable sound of a can’s ringpull popping and the fizz of cola settling over ice isn’t an obvious one – on first glance, at least. But look closer and you’ll see a sign that elucidates it. It reads: “Makenneh Bridge: construction of this bridge was supported by Karma Cola Organics New Zealand and Implemented by AFFA” (the Agro Forestry Farmers Association). The disconnect that exists in public consciousness between cola – the soft drink consumed by an estimated 1.9 billion people every day – and rural West Africa is a puzzling one. Or, depending on your perspective, it’s actually quite obvious why the number of people who can connect the world’s best-loved soft drink to its base ingredient make up a significant minority. Cola, for the uninitiated, is made from the kola nut, the bitter, strongly flavoured fruit of the kola tree. Except it isn’t. While a handful of small producers still use kola nuts in their recipes, the industry leaders stopped doing

so decades ago. And when you consider that the 1.9 billion daily cola drinkers are largely drinking a product made by one of two of the biggest and most famous beverage companies in the world, the reason for the look you’re likely to get if you ask someone what cola is flavoured with – the one that suggests they’ve never really thought about it before – starts to fall into place. The taste kola nuts bring to a drink made way for a cocktail of synthetic flavourings almost as long ago as it dispensed with the coca leaf extract (better known as cocaine – no, that’s not an urban legend) that was a component in the drink in the late 1800s, too. The only place you’re likely to find kola nuts now, aside from the places they’re farmed, is at gatherings of West African families, at weddings, christenings or funerals, where they represent an important cultural icon. How both coca and kola have fallen by the wayside makes the name of a certain multinational drinks conglomerate – and more specifically its flagship product – feel more than a touch ironic. And the fact that, largely speaking, no one can really remember how the world’s most popular drink is meant to taste? That feels even more so. If this all feels a bit doom-and-gloom, it shouldn’t. The good news is that there’s a quiet revolution fizzing away, made up of a few new brands who are realising how much better cola tastes when it’s flavoured with something real and tangible. This →


→ uprising of proper cola is led by Karma Cola, a company whose roots are in New Zealand, but whose distinctively designed cans and bottles you can ind in more than 500 cafés and bars around London, and more recently in Waitrose, Selfridges and Whole Foods. When Simon Coley, Karma Cola’s Kiwi co-founder, set up the business, it wasn’t necessarily because he was fanatical about real cola. He was more interested in the ethics of trading with developing nations, having previously imported bananas from the Pacific islands to New Zealand, working directly with farmers and making the supply chain as transparent as possible. “I was wondering where cola came from and did some research,” he says. “I had known that the kola nut was an ingredient – that the flavour wasn’t a completely invented thing – and with our friends in the Fairtrade movement we were introduced to Albert Tucker, who helped us source kola nuts from Sierra Leone and set us on this journey.” Tucker, a native Sierra Leonean who had worked with many Fairtrade brands on importing commodities like coffee and chocolate, is key to both the brand’s product, and to the work it does in the country as the head of the Karma Cola Foundation. Not only does he bring a wealth of contextual knowledge to the business, he manages the relationships between the brand and its farmers, and oversees the many projects the company funds in and around Boma, paving the way for immediate improvements like the Makenneh Bridge, as well as instilling sustainable initiatives for the long-term, like the way their farmers do business not only with Karma Cola, but all of their trade partners. “Cocoa and coffee are globally traded commodities,” Tucker says, “so you can work with farmers towards capturing the best price in the global market. You can have an


ABOVE AND BELOW: Farmers in Sierra Leone who work and trade with Karma Cola. The company was named World’s Fairest Trader 2014.

organised supply chain product. The kola nut, interestingly, has always remained a very localised product because it is highly symbolic. It is what you take to symbolic events, you know, weddings, christenings, when you sign an agreement you break the kola, when you make peace you break the kola. It is a very West African-focused thing.” Tucker, like Coley, was fascinated by how little was known to the public about the kola nut, considering the scale of cola production around the world. But the idea for the foundation came later – he, Coley and the rest of the All Good Drinks staff had planned on building the sustainable side of the business through its trading and supply lines. “We hadn’t intended to start off with a foundation as such,” he says, “but when we looked at what little return those communities were going to get for their products we thought “Well, that’s not great karma.” So we had to find another way to actually contribute to their

own vision and their own agenda to develop that. The foundation plays that role.” The role is a hugely important one. Sierra Leone has been through a long, devastating civil war and an Ebola epidemic in the last 25 years, in addition to being a developing economy. The need for short- and long-term sustainable initiatives is paramount. So far, as well as the Makenneh Bridge project, Karma Cola has funded four teachers who teach more than 2,000 children, rehabilitated 12 forest farms and helped more than 2,000 people during the Ebola crisis, to name a few. And when it comes to the foundation’s work, no one is better-equipped to steer Karma Cola towards the right kind of sustainability than Tucker. “As part of the Sierra Leonean diaspora, and as somebody who works in sustainable trade, I was really supporting efforts to actually get more trade done in Sierra Leone as a way of the country developing itself after the war,” Tucker says. “This included attracting investments, looking at cola

production, cocoa production and all of that. “I was supporting various efforts both in terms of members of the diaspora and the development community, getting Sierra Leone to start developing itself in a sustainable way. So when the Karma Cola opportunity came for me, all the qualities I subscribed to are what the owners wanted to pursue: ‘We want a relationship with the people who produce the product’; ‘we want to make sure that they do well as well as our brand does well’.” But Karma Cola isn’t a charity; it’s a business with a sustainable, ethical supply chain – so much so that Fairtrade International saw fit to crown the brand World’s Fairest Trader in 2014 – which diverts a significant portion of its profits towards the communities that help create it. This means the product has to be on point – a drink that does good but doesn’t taste good, or that tastes great but isn’t marketed properly, won’t sell. And a lack of sales would mean no money for the foundation to do its work. Inventive, eye-catching label design is credited as a big part of the way Karma Cola distinguishes itself from the rest of the market, as well as its shouting about the work it does in marketing materials like its magazine What Goes Around Comes Around. But it’s a drink – its taste will always be its most important quality. “The taste, and the quality of the product, is something we’re very proud to associate Sierra Leone with. And when our farmers first saw the product, they were deeply proud to contribute to it.” The success of coffee and chocolate producers who trade fairly with farmers is a potential blueprint – and a highly encouraging one at that – for the fledgling

WE’RE PROUD TO ASSOCIATE THE TASTE AND QUALITY OF KARMA COLA WITH SIERRA LEONE ‘real cola’ industry. But the difference, as well as the total market domination on the part of two cola brands, compared to more of a spread in the former two products, is the perception. Most people would know roughly how coffee beans become coffee; many would probably have a vague idea of the process that turns cacao nibs into chocolate bars – but cola’s complex and, for the most part, synthesised history makes it nebulous. Aside from kola nuts, what actually makes cola taste the way it does? Like coffee and chocolate, kola nuts as a raw material don’t taste exactly like the finished product they turn into. “The first trick to making cola is to take something that is very, very bitter and make it more palatable,” Coley explains. “I think in the original recipes what they were trying to do was be able to make the most of the stimulants in the ingredients without the bitter aftertastes. Which is why adding vanilla and sugar and a lot of citrus balances out that flavour. →

THE RANGE As well as its flagship product Karma Cola, All Good Drinks makes two other soft drinks – a ginger beer called Gingerella and a lemonade aptly called Lemony. Every product that goes in is sustainably sourced, and is certified Fairtrade wherever possible: “We’ve searched the world for some of the best organic, natural and Fairtrade ingredients for our products,” Coley says. “Kola nuts from Sierra Leone; Fairtrade organic cane sugar from India; Femminello lemons from Sicily and ginger and vanilla grown by small family farmers in the rainforest of Sri Lanka.”


FROM ABOVE: The fruit of the kola tree, which contains the kola nuts used to make cola; Karma Cola’s full range; the Karma Cola Foundation helps local communities.

→ “What happens when you have that combination of different ingredients is you get a totally unique flavour. So cola is a flavour that has all of those ingredients and we add coriander seeds, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon and sugar, and as well as water and bubbles. It still has some of those bitter tones. I think the thing I like about our particular recipe is that you do taste the kola in it without it being overpowering.” In the wake of the internet and in a world that’s more globalised by the day, information – in this case, what cola actually is, as well as where and how it’s farmed – is freely available. For most people, learning about the strain big business puts on supply chains around the world is transformative: once you’ve learnt about it, you can’t unlearn it. It’s the reason that more and more coffee brands are now working directly with farmers; it’s why chocolatiers are deciding to work with cacao that’s been fairly traded. But, aside from the charitable arm of the business, and the ethical approach that’s instilled into every part of the product’s


production, the biggest point of difference between Karma and its competitors is flavour: it tastes like what it’s made from. It’s no secret that coffee that’s produced on a small scale, that’s not simply produced for as little money as possible, tastes better. So does chocolate. And so, it turns out, does cola. Like many Fairtrade producers, Karma’s great success story is that it contains no compromise – you don’t have sacrifice flavour for ethics, or vice versa – they simply improve each other. If there is a trade-off on the part of the consumer, it’s price: Karma Cola can’t make its product cheaply, and it’s reflected in its cost. But this is 2016: consumers, particularly younger consumers, are moving away from multinational food and drink brands in their droves, and spending more money on food and drink in proportional terms than any of the generations in recent history. “There has been an evolution in customers’ expectation in quality and that provenance story, and how they feel more connected and in some way more responsible for their part in that transaction,” Coley says. “You used to trust a brand to be able to be the mediator in that. Now it seems, especially in this modern, millennial sense of doing the right thing with consumers, you know, being more aware of that, it is possible to make those purchase decisions and there is a willingness to spend more on it.” That willingness is becoming secondnature, as well it should. It’s not realistic to think that a product made with materials sourced half-way around the world should be available for 60p per can. When price

goes down, someone usually suffers, and it’s very rarely the brand itself. So whether you’re happy to spend £1.59 on a bottle of Karma Cola because the ingredients it uses make it taste better, whether it’s because you know it’s doing good, or whether it’s a bit of both, it doesn’t matter. The search for great flavour, great ethics and a sustainable model usually lead you to the same place, and the likes of Karma Cola are showing that it’s not just the brands who can profit from it. A crucial construction project in Sierra Leone and a can of cola in London might feel worlds apart, but they’re connected by a circle of goodwill. As a consumer, your willingness to spend more on better products is rewarded with better flavour and a feeling of doing good. As a company with a significant charitable arm and an ethical approach to business, Karma Cola is rewarded by the sales both of these concepts help generate. And for the kola nut farmers in rural Sierra Leone, their devotion to producing this often forgotten ingredient is rewarded, in this case, by a fair price for what they produce. In this scenario, everybody wins. As they say, what goes around comes around. f

Still Life in Apples

FareShare turns surplus food into meal masterpieces We redistribute over 9,000 tonnes of surplus food each year to vulnerable people across the UK – that’s 18.3 million meals. You can help us do even more by volunteering to be a London Food Hero in your free time. Visit or email @FareShareLON

Registered Charity No. 1100051


NATURALBORN SWILLERS Pesticides? Sulphates? Not on these guys’ watch. We’ve rounded up some organic and natural wines, ethical spirits, plus an organic beer selection PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON

AU NATUREL: It can be tricky to define the precise differences between natural, organic and biodynamic wines. Simply put, they’re all made without things like pesticides, and with as little technological intervention as possible. Biodynamic wines are made with farming practices according to phases of the moon, in line with the biodynamic movement pioneered by philosopher Rudolf Steiner.


Like a wine that’s kind to the earth? Check out these Old- and New-World organic, natural and biodynamic numbers:

1 FRANKLAND ESTATE ISOLATION RIDGE CHARDONNAY 2012, Frankland River, Australia. A classic chardonnay by Frankland Estate winery. A nice touch of oak, with a bit of edge from the organic practices used in making it. 12%, 75cl; £18.50; 2 DOMAINE ROCHE AUDRAN CUVÉE NATURE 2013, Côtes du Rhône AOC, France. The natural and organic wine movement is flying in France, and this biodynamic Rhône red – a blend of grenache, syrah, carignan and mourvedre – shows why. Bold and punchy, with loads of body. 14%, 75cl; £14, 3 BERNHARD OTT ‘AM BERG’ GRÜNER VELTLINER 2015, Wagram, Austria. Germany, Austria and Alsace in France are all known for

aromatic wines made from grapes like riesling, gewürztraminer and grüner veltliner. This is the latter, made by punky winemaker Bernhard Ott. 11.5%, 75cl; £14.25, 4 COLLINE DE L’HIRONDELLE CARIGNAN ‘1515’ 2012, Corbières AOC, France. New-school to the hilt – an underrated grape used in a wine made by an American winemaker in France, with carbonic maceration used in the process. Big, bright, floral and funky. 14.5%, 75cl; £22.99, 5 CHAMPAGNE BOURGEOIS DIAZ 3C, Champagne AOC, France. On the face of it, a classic champagne, made by the traditional method of double-fermentation. But it’s biodynamic, too, with a lively character. 12%, 75cl; £32,

2 1





1 PATRÓN AÑEJO, Jalisco, Mexico. The tequila giant is committed to loads of environmental initiatives, including recovering and reusing water from distillation, and using waste agave and stillage to provide its farmers with nutrient-rich compost. 40%, 75cl; £49.95, 2 JACK DANIEL’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY, Lynchburg, TN, USA. Jack’s famous Lynchburg distillery is certified zero-waste – it diverts waste including charcoal, oak barrels and grain byproducts to other businesses. 50%, 100cl; £150,

2 1



3 ABELHA ORGANIC CACHAÇA, Bahia, Brazil. Not only is Abelha’s spirit organic, but it’s owned by the Responsible Trading Company, which forms partnerships with small farmers and helps educate them about organic farming. 39%, 70cl; £21.49, 4 EL DORADO 5 YR OLD, Demerara, Guyana. Methane from all the organic waste created in the manufacturing is used to power the distillery. 40%, 70cl; £22.75,

Photograph by ###

CODE OF ETHICS: Big or small, these spirits prove that making your production sustainable is an eminently achievable goal.


1 SAMUEL SMITH ORGANIC PALE ALE, Tadcaster, UK. Malty and hoppy, with a decent amount of body and a clean taste. 5%, 550ml 2 BUTTS ORGANIC BARBUS BARBUS, Hungerford, UK. A well-balanced light-ish organic ale with toffee notes. 4.6%, 500ml 3 FREEDOM ORGANIC HELLES, Abbotts Bromley, UK. Made in the German helles tradition, meaning a light, zingy and refreshing lager. 4.8%, 330ml

4 BLACK ISLE YELLOWHAMMER IPA, Black Isle, UK. Black Isle is one of Scotland’s premier breweries, organic or otherwise. This is a refreshing, grapefruit-leaning ale. 4%, 500ml All available individually or as part of a selection from






Photograph by ###

HOPS TO IT: Once a specialist movement, organic beer is now pretty well-represented as a category. Like organic wine, it’s made with all organic ingredients and as little technological input as possible. We’ve yet to come across a biodynamic beer, mind.

WWW.FAIRSPIRITS.COM Available online at Please enjoy responsibly - for the facts



Four sustainable food initiatives, including premium milk, urban apple picking and a café for a cause

GOT MILK? The UK’s dairy industry has had a turbulent few years. The fixed price of milk can have a negative impact on the farmers who produce it, which is why Arla has launched its Farmer’s Milk, sold for an extra 25p for a 4l bottle, the proceeds of which go directly to the farmers that make up the cooperative. The aim is to get buyers thinking about the journey milk goes through to get from cow to bottle, and it follows a campaign that saw Arla’s farmers head to 19 destinations around the country to educate consumers on the work of dairy farmers in the UK.

FARE’S FAIR FareShare is one of the UK’s foremost food waste charities, redirecting unwanted but still edible food to people who need it. If it’s a cause that’s close to your heart, get involved – the charity is on the lookout for volunteers over the autumn and winter. If you’re in London, you can head to its HQ in Deptford and take part in sorting ‘wonky fruit’, which will then be used to provide breakfasts for schools around the capital.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST We’re huge fans of using the restaurant industry for philanthropy around the world, and London’s a hotspot for social enterprises putting on food for great causes. One of its prime exponents is Conflict Café, which returns to Waterloo’s House of Vans from 22 September2 October. Conflict’s aim is to generate funds to aid war-torn countries through exploring those areas’ food cultures. You’ll taste the food of Syria, Lebanon

and Sri Lanka, among others, and know that each bite you take goes towards the ultimate aim of peace in some of the countries worst-impacted by war. Buy tickets at

GROWTH SPURT Education is crucial to improving food sustainability, and Whole Foods’ Whole Kids Foundation is starting ’em young. It’s running a four-week campaign alongside School Food Matters to improve education about nutritious, organic food and its availability in schools. Tom Aikens has also created a chutney that’ll be available at Whole Foods stores during the campaign, which culminates on 18 September.

You don’t have to be in a beautiful orchard surrounded by green fields to pick apples. Not in the case of Urban Orchard, anyway, which uses London fruit in its cider. Its Apple Donor project


offers green-fingered individuals and companies the opportunity to collect and donate apples from gardens, allotments and city farms. In return, you’ll get money to put towards your own projects. How do you like them apples?

Photograph (goat) by Mike Lusmore



CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A fruity cocktail makes the perfect accompaniment to a dip; a snacking plate; snorkeling at ROBINSON Club Maldives

FEEL-GOOD FOOD When it comes to fun in the sun, overindulging can leave you lethargic. But with ROBINSON Club’s nutritious WellFood® concept, you’ll feel as good as new...


N OUR EYES, food and drink is one of the most important parts of going on holiday: it can recharge you, put you in the mood for a lazy, sun-drenched nap, get you ready for a party and give you a taste of the local environment. But too much of a good thing can leave you not feeling your best. Luckily, at ROBINSON Club – a network of 24 luxurious, all-inclusive holiday resorts spanning Europe and beyond – the food and drink programme is designed to nourish you, not to exhaust you. With its WellFood® concept, which can be found across its resorts, ROBINSON Club has devised ways to use each resort’s local food landscape to create meals for its guests that give them a genuine sense

of the area’s food culture. Not only that, but this is healthy, balanced cuisine that’s high in protein and low in fat, all made to taste absolutely delicious by ROBINSON’s highly trained chefs. ●


TRY IT YOURSELF If you want a first-hand taste of the WellFood® concept, why not try ROBINSON Club Maldives? The luxury resort features the hallmarks of a coastal paradise getaway – sleep in guesthouses on stilts above the sea, snorkel in clear blue waters, get active with sports programmes, and take advantage of the resort’s all-inclusive meal upgrade offer, valid until the end of October 2016. To book your ROBINSON holiday, visit Follow ROBINSON Club on Facebook at @RobinsonClubResorts or on Instagram at @robinsonclub



SUCK IT AND SEE All natural and made with herbs organically grown by independent farmers in the Swiss Alps, Ricola herbal sweets are as environmentally friendly as they are delicious


HE MOMENT YOU put one of Ricola's delicious herbal sweets into your mouth, you're unlikely to be thinking about how they're made. But in fact, the continued focus on quality and sustainability not only makes Ricola herbal sweets taste so good – it means the pristine Alpine environment is protected, too. For decades, Ricola has been committed to thinking and acting sustainably, from the cultivation of its herbs to the production process used to make its herb drops. Sustainability is a way of life for the Swiss company.


The sweets are made with a blend of 13 organic herbs, grown without the use of pesticides by independent farmers, and with careful soil management to support local species diversity. Whatever your favourite flavour – from Delicious Elderflower to Original, and many more – you can be sure it's been made with as much focus on the environment as on mouthwatering great taste. Ricola's dedication to sustainability doesn't stop with the ingredients it uses, either – every management decision is influenced and informed by an emphasis on environmental awareness. Careful use of resources is key to this, including the reduction of energy consumption, CO2 emissions, waste, and the quantity of materials used in packaging. Nurturing long-term relationships with suppliers and farmers also means quality and sustainability can be ensured from the field to the shop floor. The end result is that Ricola herbal sweets are as delicious as they could possibly be, without compromising the fragile, beautiful and fertile environment they rely on. And doesn't that leave a better taste in the mouth? ●

HEY, SWEET THING Ricola sweets are available in seven tempting flavours; Tasty Cranberry, Refreshing LemonMint, Delicious Elderflower, Scrumptious OrangeMint, Luxurious Liquorice, The Original and Fresh Mountain Mint. Available in convenient click-shut boxes, they’re priced from £1.35 and are available from all good supermarkets, health food stores and chemists.

GETTING THERE The easiest way to get down to Lewannick is down the M4 or the A303 by car. If you're getting the train, go to Exeter from Paddington or Clapham Junction and get a taxi to the farm.



Farm-to-table dining takes on a whole new meaning for Mike Gibson when he visits Coombeshead Farm and discovers exactly where and how his dinner is produced Coombeshead Farm

Photograph by Claire Menary

Tom Adams once said to me: “You drink rosé in Provence and it’s going to taste delicious; it's not so great in Bethnal Green.” Whatever your thoughts on Provençal rosé, you can see what one of London’s most exciting young chefs was getting at. So even if you’ve already eaten his brand of farm-to-table grilled and smoked food at Pitt Cue, the boutique B&B Adams co-owns with chef April Bloomfield at a former dairy farm in Devon is something else entirely. Here, the surroundings are as much an ingredient in the dishes as the famed Mangalitsa pigs raised just around the corner, or the plump, beaming chickens that peck at the lush grass outside. Adams’ food shines even surrounded by the towers and concrete of the City, but here it finds a home. Meals are served at the communal dining table, with a menu dictated by what the seasons and

the environment has to offer. We tucked into snacks of home-cured pork belly slices with padrón peppers, and lamb sweetbreads with homemade ‘salad cream’, before freshly baked sourdough with cod’s roe, duck parfait and gooseberry purée and earthy beef tartare with nasturtium came out from the humble kitchen Adams and his team cook and serve from. Loin of pork, its fat so beautifully rendered as to provide no resistance between the teeth, was delicious, as

LEWANNICK ◆◆ Population: 973 ◆◆ Closest city:


was unctuous, slow-roasted pig’s head, while a tangy yellow tomato salad and salt-baked kohlrabi provided much-needed lightness, and a cultured-cream mousse with blackand whitecurrants was a characteristically confident finisher. The staff estimate that within a year, Adams’ famed, hairy Mangalitsa pigs will have moved in, and the growing of produce will have ramped up to the extent that the B&B will be up to 90% self-sustaining. It’s very much a boutique operation – there are five comfortable and sparsely furnished double rooms, and space for ten for dinner – and the size means it’s hard to imagine it turning over huge profits. But that’s not the point of Coombeshead; it exists to showcase the beautiful things that can happen when farm and chef work with each other, not for each other; the early signs are that Adams and Bloomfield’s farm-to-table mecca does all that and a whole lot more. f Rooms from £175 per night based on two sharing; dinner £50;

Lewannick is a tiny hamlet just outside of Launceston in Cornwall. Exeter's also not far – not that you'll want to leave here, of course.




SOHO FARMHOUSE Soho House might have made its name by offering people working in the creative industries a place to eat, drink and relax in the city (since its first in London, opened in 1995, it now has almost 20 locations worldwide), but Soho Farmhouse is its first foray into country living. The spot is less a farmhouse, more a beautifully designed modern country village set over 100 acres, with spas, pools, bars and, of course, a bountiful farm shop and a huge, upmarket restaurant serving locally sourced farm produce. 1 Tracey Farm Cottages, Chipping Norton OX7 4JS;

L'ENCLUME ROOMS If you're up on your farm-to-table knowledge, you'll know that Simon Rogan is one of its finest exponents in the UK. Along with Fera at Claridges and a few other restaurant involvements, he runs his vaunted two-Michelin-starred farm-to-table restaurant L'Enclume in the tiny village of Cartmel in Cumbria. Not only can you tour the farm and eat at the restaurant when you visit, but you can stay in one of a few compact but luxurious guesthouses dotted around the village, too. Cavendish Strreet, Cartmel, Grangeover-Sands LA11 6PZ;


SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A HOLIDAY Sandals has long been the go-to brand when it comes to planning luxurious Caribbean getaways, but aside from offering a stellar collection of resorts, there’s a dedication to the environment running through the entire company


ANDALS HAS A pretty clear approach to eco-consciousness – because its resorts are made for love, loving the environment has become second nature. But how do you ensure 24 properties over seven countries maintain high eco-friendly standards? Firstly, each and every one participates in the EarthCheck benchmarking and certification programme, meaning


everything from recycling to conservation is kept in mind. Total water use is closely monitored at each resort, and there are waste and energy management programmes in place. Secondly, a collective dedication among all staff to maintaining high ecofriendly standards is key – employees participate in workshops and seminars conducted by an environmental committee, local government organisations, and also by nongovernmental organisations. Sandals aims to run some of the most eco-friendly resorts in the entire hospitality industry, and has everything in place to do so. As well as a dedication to protecting the Caribbean's geographical environment, Sandals is committed to supporting its local communities, and does so through the Sandals Foundation, a non-profit organisation launched in March 2009 to continue and broaden the philanthropic work that Sandals Resorts International began when it opened its first site in 1981. The foundation has raised more than $28m to date through carefully implemented projects and programmes, and is dedicated to bettering the Caribbean community


LEFT: Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International, participating in the Reading Roadtrip programme, which enables Sandals’ guests to help children gain reading skills

through environmental preservation, community development and educational empowerment. Through fundraising and working closely with employees, the foundation enables Sandals to ‘give something back’ to the communities it serves, including funding community centres and working to preserve and protect the Caribbean’s precious natural resources. The foundation has also launched the ‘Reading Roadtrip’ programme, where holidaymakers can volunteer to help

local schoolchildren learn to read. To date, 4,000 children have received help with their reading through the scheme, and 22,000 books have been donated by volunteers – it’s a great way to use your holiday to make a difference. ● For more info see, call 0800 742 742 or visit the Sandals Luxury Travel Store at 135 Fulham Road


NORWAY, YOUR WAY Want to tuck in to truly tasty and sustainable salmon? Of course you do, and environmentally friendly Norwegian salmon will help you do just that


ARMING SALMON HASN’T always been a particularly sustainable practice, but there are projects around the world that are changing the way we think about, farm and cook one of the world’s favourite fish. Seafood, and salmon specifically, has been a pillar of Norwegian industry for hundreds of years. Not only that, salmon is a naturally efficient animal, meaning that it takes much less feed than other protein to produce on a large scale. But in Norway, there’s more to the sustainability of its aquaculture than the fish themselves: in addition to producing



feed from vegetable ingredients, abundant and tightly regulated wild species such as anchovies, and byproducts from the filleting industry, the Norwegian seafood industry has pioneered a number of environmentally sustainable aquaculture initiatives, to ensure that the fish that lands on your plate has ended up there in a way that’s kind to the planet. Four decades of research and development into the techniques used has resulted in a system that’s kind to the fish (just 2.5% of the space in Norway’s salmon farms is taken up by


GET INVOLVED AND WIN A HOLIDAY If you want to show off your seafood cooking prowess and be part of the discussion about where your food comes from, share your recipes and photos with the Norwegian Seafood Council on Facebook. Not only will you be influencing like-minded cooks from all over the world, you’ll be entered into a competition to win a trip for two to Norway to see the beautiful environment for yourself. To get involved, go to seafoodfromnorway

FROM LEFT: The cold, clear Norwegian fjords; a selection of recipes made with Norwegian salmon; a fisherman with a salmon right off the boat

the fish themselves, with the other 97.5% taken up by the water that makes up their environment). This, in addition to the fact that farmed salmon has a significantly lower carbon footprint than farmed beef or pork, mean that cooking with Norwegian salmon is a sustainablyminded practice in itself. â—? Learn more at, check out the Salmon Academy at, or follow the Norwegian Seafood Council on Facebook at @seafoodfromnorway using #SummerSalmon


THE SELECTOR Sustainably-minded bars, kitchen gardens, social enterprises and nose-to-tail dining – if you’re looking for something extra, these thoughtful venues provide so much more than just dinner and drinks, and are definitely all the better for it



These bars all commit to environmentally and socially sustainable initiatives in their day-to-day service

London Cocktail Week takes place from 3-9 October. cocktailweek


In association with


1  White Lyan 153-155 Hoxton Street, N1 6PJ

Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, is so dedicated to offsetting food waste that he uses absolutely no fresh ingredients at Hoxton bar White Lyan – which marked a first for the global bartending industry when it opened. Instead, all the cocktails are made in-house, pre-bottled in batches and infused with ingredients that would ordinarily be used as garnishes. Oh, and there’s no ice, either. What remains is a pared-down bar, with no back-bar full of bottles – just a functional, sparse room and drinks with enough flavour and character to elevate the bar to an award-winning level. Which we think is pretty cool. LCW signature serve: Tennessee Nitro Martini, with Jack Daniel’s Old No.7, Sandow’s cold brew coffee and Mr Lyan cola. 020 3011 1153;




BEST OF THE REST 15 Westland Place, N1 7LP

Jamie Oliver’s bar and restaurant has been renowned as a great eating and drinking destination for years, but there’s another reason to love it that you might not even be aware of: it’s completely non-profit. Added to that, every year the restaurant recruits 18 young people aged 18-25 and trains them as part of its apprentice programme. LCW signature serve: Strawberries & Cream, made with Langley’s gin, Dolin dry vermouth, fresh strawberries, tarragon, chai, coconut water and clarified milk. 020 3375 1515;

 3   The Happenstance 1 Ludgate Hill, EC4M 7AA

The Happenstance’s bar and restaurant

3-9 October

The most famous part of the festival – this is your chance to seek out somewhere new or rediscover an old favourite on the self-guided Cocktail Tours. More than 200 of London’s best venues have been carefully selected based on their outstanding quality – here’s a handful, along with their £5 signature serves, available throughout London Cocktail Week. All you need is a Festival Pass – available from DrinkUp.London


 2  Fifteen


group Drake & Morgan’s commitment to local and seasonal sourcing as well as a focus on sustainable and ethical trading won it a Sustainable Small Group of the Year nomination at this year’s SRA awards. LCW signature serve: Dos Veleros, made with Havana Club 7YO rum, fresh lime juice, ginger and homemade vanilla syrup. 0845 468 0104;

 4   Hawksmoor Spitalfields 157A Commercial Street, E1 6BJ

As well as sourcing top-quality meat at its restaurant from leading butcher Ginger Pig, Hawksmoor’s bars and restaurants also work closely on fundraising events with food charity Action Against Hunger, which works to provide self-sufficiency and combat famine in disaster zones around the world.

LCW signature serve: Honey Melba – Evan Williams bourbon, Amaro Cia Ciaro, strawberry Aperol and citric acid. 020 7426 4850;

 5  Oriole Smithfield Market, East Poultry Avenue, EC1A 9LH

One of London’s new entrants into the World’s 50 Best Bars list, Oriole is a glitzy bar where the drinks list is inspired by the exploration era. The bar team grow garnishes for their top-end cocktails – including golden thyme, chocolate mint and pineapple sage – under a hydroponic light right at the bar. Now that’s a way to cut down on waste – not to mention food miles. LCW signature serve: The Duke of Savoy, with Hennessy cognac, calvados, hazelnut sugar, quince cordial and lemongrass juice. 020 3457 8099;


1  The Culpeper 40 Commercial Street, E1 6LP

There’s almost not a speck of green space to be seen around Commercial Street – unless you know where to look. And that’s on the roof at much-loved pub The Culpeper, where staff grow as many herbs and vegetables for the menu as possible. And what can you grow in the depths of the city, you ask? We’ve spotted courgettes and radishes. If you’re green-fingered yourself, you can take part in gardening workshops up there, too. 020 7247 5371;



Most things taste better if you grow them yourself, and these cafés and restaurants do just that


BEST OF THE REST  2   Fera at Claridges 49 Brook Street, W1K 4HR

‘Fera’ is the Latin word for wild. Fitting, really, given that Simon Rogan’s restaurant is all about reaping what we can from the earth under the eagle eye of head chef Dan Cox. Most of the produce is sourced from Rogan’s farm in Cumbria, but it’s also taken from the secret ‘Mayfair meadow’, a bijou veg garden Rogan planted to recreate his infamous L’Enclume, which yields things like rosemary, sunflowers and bay. 020 7107 8888;

 3   CRAFT London Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ

Stevie Parle is all about crafting his own ingredients to achieve a superior final product. Over its three Tom Dixon-designed levels, his Greenwich restaurant is home to beehives and a garden supplying both the


2 kitchen and bar, and it’s even got its own orchard, planted with rare apple species. 020 8465 5910;

 4   The Dairy 15 The Pavement, SW4 0HY

If you’ve been to The Dairy, you probably won’t have noticed a garden. That’s because it’s tucked away on the roof, where chef and coowner Robin Gill and his team grow veg and herbs, and keep bees to supply honey.


020 7622 4165;


 5  FARM:shop 20 Dalston Lane, E8 3AZ

Dalston’s FARM:shop grows lettuce and most of its herbs on site using hydroponics, while an aquaponic system enables the café to farm tilapia fish and grow courgettes, chillis and flowers, to name just a few.


BEST OF THE REST  2   Café from Crisis

 4   Dans le Noir?

66 Commercial Street, E1 6LT

30-31 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0DU

London’s original social enterprise café is celebrating its 12th year – a milestone for any venue, let alone a not-for-profit. It partners with hospitality businesses around London to teach its trainees, mostly homeless people and ex-offenders, everything from cooking to frontof-house. It’s helped more than 250 to date.

A restaurant where you eat your entire meal in pitch-black? The idea is to turn the tables and to create an environment where those with sight are guided by blind people. The restaurant donates 10% of its profits to charity, but its message is to prove that businesses could and should employ disabled staff.

020 7426 5681;

020 7253 1100;

 3   Chicken Town

 5  Brigade

The Old Fire Station, Town Hall Approach Road, N15 4RX

139 Tooley St, SE1 2HZ

Tottenham’s Chicken Town uses higherwelfare chickens and rapeseed oil to make fried chicken that’s healthier than most on the market. It’s also committed to improving things for young people in the area.

Brigade was born out of a collaboration between PwC, De Vere Venues, Beyond Food and Big Issue Invest. It has a simple ambition: to help people who are homeless or at risk to gain meaningful employment in cooking. 0844 346 1225;

020 8885 0190;






 5  1

Taste good; do good. These social enterprises put funds and time into giving back to a raft of fantastic causes  1  Social Pantry 170A Lavender Hill, SW11 5TG

When it’s not creating delicious seasonal salads and some of the best brownies we’ve eaten (it’s all about that pistachio crumb), Battersea’s favourite neighbourhood cafécum-catering company works with Key4Life, a charity helping young offenders to get back into work after release from prison through an innovative rehabilitation programme. Graduates of the scheme can join the café fulltime, if a position is available, or undertake a three-day taster session. There’s a personal link here, too: Social Pantry’s owner and founder Alex Head heard about the scheme through a friend, and now personally mentors Suhail, an ex-offender who’s gone on to work at Gaucho. 020 7924 4066;






 2   Chinese Laundry

 4   Native

107 Upper Street, N1 1QN

3 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP

We’re particularly interested in one of Chinese Laundry’s most popular dishes: the street-style chicken carcass, which is marinated in spicy sauce, deep-fried and coated with a spicy Sichuan rub and fried peanuts, designed so that diners can just pull off the meat – a dish it’s worth getting sticky fingers for.

Covent Garden restaurant Native is based around wild food that’s indigenous to the UK, with a menu made up of our country’s best foraged produce and game. It was co-founded by a chef from River Cottage in Devon, one of the finest exponents of sustainable cooking.

020 7686 6847;

 3   The Clove Club

020 3638 8214;

 5  Farmacy 74 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH

Isaac McHale’s lauded restaurant is wellknown for many things, but it’s particularly renowned for one of its signatures: deboned, crispy chicken feet with a tarragon vinegar emulsion. It’s so popular that it spawned a wave of beak-to-feet menus across the capital.

At this Westbourne Grove newcomer, they believe that a healthy body is synonymous with a healthy planet, an ethos delivered through delicious, organic vegetarian food. You’ll find a particular focus on using every last bit of the plant and composting anything that can’t be used to minimise waste.

020 7729 6496;

020 7221 0705;

Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, EC1V 9LT




THE WHOLE HOG A few of the guiding lights of the nose-to-tail and root-tofruit movements


 1  St John 26 St John Street, EC1M 4AY

020 7553 9844;


Photograph by ###

St John restaurant in Smithfield is a bastion of the London food scene – and so is its chef and founder Fergus Henderson, who set it up in 1994. Henderson pioneered nose-to-tail cooking through his use of offal, heads and snouts, and he’s also published a book called, er, Nose-to-Tail Eating. The restaurant is hugely respected in the industry, and it’s gone on to branch out with its Bread & Wine, Maltby and Druid St Bakery sites. The standout dish? The devastatingly simple roasted bone marrow.

QUICK IN & OUT LUNCH MENU £9 • 12pm – 5pm Includes a main dish and a drink (soft, wine or beer), ideal for lunch hour or business meetings, available Monday to Sunday

DAILY AFTERNOON REMEDY £28 per person • 3pm – 5pm Try our take on the traditional afternoon tea which includes sweet and savoury treats, not a sandwich in site, and more importantly – cocktails!

2 FOR 1 COCKTAILS 5pm – 8pm Happy hour is here, every day, any cocktail on the list

020 3837 3102


IT'S TIME TO GET STREET SMART StreetSmart is a simple initiative that adds a voluntary £1 to your bill at participating restaurants, which goes directly to local charities fighting homelessness


HEN IT COMES to sustainability, there are two things to consider: making choices that benefit the environment, and the human populace, too. Homelessness is already a very real problem – since 2010, the number of people sleeping rough in the England on any given night has doubled to more than 3,500 people, based on information from the Department for Communities and Local Government. StreetSmart is a charity that aims to tackle this crisis head-on, with an annual fundraising initiative that takes place in participating restaurants every November and December. A voluntary £1 per table is added to diners’ bills, with the money raised supporting projects near the restaurant where the donations are made. It aims to provide comfort and


hope to those in crisis with nowhere to call home, and enable homeless people to rebuild their lives. The charity launched in 1998 and has raised £7.9 million, all from £1 donations; last year, £512,600 was raised from 525 participating restaurants. It operates in 22 UK cities and regions, and currently helps fund more than 70 projects across the UK. Last year the top earners for StreetSmart included the restaurant groups Harvey Nichols, MEATliquor (pictured below), Polpo and D&D London. David Loewi, managing director of D&D London, says “We are delighted to support the work of such a dynamic and worthwhile charity. StreetSmart’s commitment to help support the homeless in our city is inspirational.


CHARITABLE BOOKINGS A new way to support StreetSmart, not just at this time of year, but all year round, is to make your business of personal restaurant bookings via the ChariTable Bookings platform. It’s simple: for every booking, £1 per diner is donated by the restaurant to a charity of the user’s choice, at no extra cost to the user. It’s an easy way to make a genuine difference. Book by visiting or by downloading the app.

We have been a proud supporter of this worthwhile cause and look forward to working together for many more years to come.” 100% of all the funds raised goes to support local projects StreetSmart takes nothing in administration. This is made possible by the support of Deutsche Bank, the charity’s sponsor, which pays all the costs associated with running the campaign. StreetSmart’s simple but effective way of working has garnered support from a number of names not only from within the industry, but also from the likes of

Stephen Fry. “I have no hesitation in supporting and recommending the work of charity StreetSmart,” Fry says, “which is low in bureaucracy and high on delivering where help is needed. We may not be able to solve the question of homelessness but at least by doing something we, in some way, diminish its tyranny.” Elsewhere, Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Marcus Wareing described the initiative as “a fabulous charity that remembers the homeless at a time of year when we should be thinking of others.” You can do your bit by dining at

restaurants like Nobu, Gymkhana, Coq d’Argent and The Botanist, who are participating in the initiative during November and December. Your £1 donation will go towards helping the homeless at this crucial time. You’ll know a restaurant is involved if there’s a StreetSmart card on your table when you dine. ● For a list of restaurants, visit For news and updates, follow StreetSmart on Twitter at @TweetSmartTwo




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RED HOT: Amaranth is quite common in Britain – it may even be growing in your back garden. Look out for its bright red leaves, which are so vibrant the plant was once known as ‘LoveLies-Bleeding’. One plant can produce up to 60,000 seeds. ANCIENT HISTORY: The Aztecs were big fans of amaranth, using it in religious ceremonies and revering it for its nutritional qualities – it’s packed with protein, iron and magnesium.


Photograph by Barna Tanko/Alamy

This brightly coloured beauty is amaranth, with seeds that have a similar look, taste and superfood reputation as quinoa. It may be trendy now, but this little gem has been around for centuries

PART OF THE FAMILY: Amaranth is closely related to quinoa, beetroots, chard and spinach. Although it’s technically a seed, it can be simmered like grains to give a dense, porridgelike texture.

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Foodism - 13 - London, food and drink  

Foodism Magazine - Issue 13 - The Sustainability Issue

Foodism - 13 - London, food and drink  

Foodism Magazine - Issue 13 - The Sustainability Issue