TALLULAH RUSHAYA FINDS HOW PRIME LONDON RESTAURANTS ARE THINKING GREENER, WITH CONSCIOUS COOKING AND RESPONSIBLE SOURCING
Increasingly, London’s dining scene is becoming more transparent with how food is sourced and prepared. Discover a selection of restaurants across the capital, where good food is more than a promise.
68 Duke Street, Mayfair
Founded by Chantelle Nicholson, this Michelin Green Star eatery uses British produces to fuse joyful dining with conscious cooking. No stone has been left unturned in this Mayfair-based restaurant, including how menus are displayed to low-intervention wines. Taking greater strides towards a circular economy, Apricity is creating a sustainable community.
“It’s the pillar of our menu in many ways. We work with seasonal produce, and small-scale farmers in Kent and East Sussex. We work with regeneratively-farmed meat, focusing on the lesser- known cuts,’’ says Chantelle.
‘‘We work with suppliers who share our ethos and are doing more to try and become more circular in the way they work – for example, by eliminating single-use packaging.’’ The journey towards a more regenerative menu, has meant ‘going without a few things’.
However, at Apricity, whose menu features dishes such as butter-poached Cornish cod with fresh flour orzo and rhubarb granita with ‘goldencomb’ (plant-based honeycomb), Chantelle’s encouraged to be more conscious and creative with where produce comes from.
Recently, eco coffee brand Illy has partnered with Apricity to make coffee-led recipes and a bespoke blend that diners can enjoy alongside the seasonal menu.
63 Bartholomew Close
Within the historical City of London, near the Barbican, characterised by its magnificent architecture, St. Barts invites diners on a journey through the British Isles. The Michelin Star restaurant was founded by three friends: Johnnie, Luke, and Toby.
Inspired by the dining spot’s surroundings, its interiors are carefully considered, with its tableware being made by St. Barts co-founder Luke, with local woodworker Archie Faber using wood from fallen London plane trees to create their tables.
Executive head chef Johnnie Crowe uses all elements of meat and fish, operating on a zero-waste policy. “It’s fun to think about how you’ll use them, rather than just focusing on the most ‘popular’ bits – finding creative ways to entice diners to eat something unusual, and surprising them with how delicious something not-so traditionally appetising can be,” he says.
‘‘You may have a lovely fillet of turbot as a main dish and the trim is then used for one of our snacks, and we’ll always use offal to create kebab. We also work with a lot of rare breeds and so get meat produce through a cull, rather than farmed – for example, the venison on our winter menu.’’
20 Berkeley Street
Having opened this summer, new addition to London’s dining scene, 20 Berkeley is already making an impact. Designed by Pirajean Lees, this intimate restaurant creates sophisticated dishes that promote the use of ingredients from the United Kingdom’s green and pleasant land.
‘‘I would say our focus is on provenance and that working with individuals instead of big groups gives us a much better base to initiate sustainable operations from,’’ says executive chef Ben Orpwood.
‘‘One example is Brett Graem’s pigs, Brett’s goal is to have the pigs fed on rapeseed oil production by-products, all the omega 3 is for the pigs, then cold pressed rapeseed oil is for the kitchens. Any oil left over is to be turned into fuel for the delivery vans, a full circle!’’
At the restaurant’s Nipperkin Bar the emphasis on ethics and sustainability remains present, using in-house spirits to create innovative and memorable cocktails.
‘‘We aim to execute a closed-loop service, where we minimise our carbon footprint by reducing deliveries, reducing packaging, upcycling many of the bottles, and packaging we use,’’ explains Angelos Bafas, head of bar.
‘‘We also try to reduce waste as much as possible, we use offcuts or by-products from the kitchen but also give a second (or sometimes third) life to all of our ingredients. We sometimes must sacrifice a couple of elements, like garnishes. This is why you’ll find the focus is solely on the juice element of our drinks and nothing else.’’
Other mindful bites
mallow, Canary Wharf
This 100% plant-based restaurant takes culinary inspiration from around the globe. mallowlondon.com
Jones Family Kitchen, Belgravia
Set in the heart of the historic and quaint Eccleston Yards, it serves some of the best steaks in London. jonesfamilykitchen.co.uk
Rotunda, King’s Cross
This canal-side establishment is the destination for gate-to-plate dining, with Mexican dishes. rotundabarandrestaurant.co.uk
Fallow, St James’s
Founded on conscious creativity, its award-winning menus reflect the best of British fare. fallowrestaurant.com
Read more from The London Hub: