HOW IT WORKS
We encourage staff and guests to take away any leftover food. The remainder is donated to local food charities, individuals and our network of catering contacts. Unused fresh vegetables are used by selected local social enterprises, and we pickle and preserve the rest. Anything really inedible is processed on site, creating nutrient-rich compost for our herb and vegetable gardens. Cooking water is filtered and stored in a water butt for our garden. Vegetable oil is collected and recycled into biofuel. We never, ever, use plastic packaging, skewers, straws or pots.
Our produce comes mainly from farms in Suffolk, Dorset, Devon and Kent. All of our meat is pasture-raised, free range, ethically and sustainably reared, and in almost all cases can be traced to the farm (and quite often the field). Our fish comes from MSC-certified fishmongers and artisan smokehouses. Our micro herb provider is based six miles from our base, and for smaller events we grow our own flowers, herbs and vegetables. We choose suppliers who are actively reducing unnecessary packaging.
As a result of our seasonality guidelines, our menus will naturally adapt and evolve. We will always be honest about this. It means that, for example, you could well encounter a Tamil dosa with spiced celeriac, or Thai som tam salad made with raw British-grown swede instead of imported green papaya (it tastes the same, so keep it a secret!)
We pay London Living Wage plus 10% to all of our staff. No exceptions. We believe this improves the livelihoods of our employees and places pressure on our peers to pay a decent, respectful wage. We believe you will see the results.
During 2020, we will donate 7% of our profits to selected humanitarian, environmental and poverty reduction charities across London and the UK. It’s our way of giving back a little bit of the fruits (and vegetables) of our labour.
What’s the impact?
We have put a lot of careful consideration into the impact of our food sourcing, production and delivery. Here’s a list of products that we feel could be used more sparingly, and some that we are big fans of. We try to keep on top of the latest research and recommendations when it comes to assessing the impact of our food. It’s a delicate balancing act, but we feel this is a good start point.
- ALMONDS AND CASHEWS have a particularly high water/carbon footprint. However, they are nutrient dense and very tasty! We might source suitable alternatives, such a hazelnuts or walnuts, which are grown closer to home. Nuts and seeds are naturally used in comparatively small quantities, and we try to pack in as much flavour and colour when they are on the menu.
- AVOCADO cultivation requires massive amounts of water, which is increasingly being illegally diverted from rivers in northern Chile and Peru – the UK’s key import markets. Due to the high water content, the fruit is heavy and therefore transportation is environment. We source avocados from Spain during January, February and March.
- ASPARAGUS is included in our menus during the months of April, May and June and comes from British farms.
- BEEF AND LAMB are used only in canapé production, due to their high carbon and water footprint and we only source from sustainable, pasture-fed farms in the UK.
- CHICKEN is used in its entirety. You’ll see dishes that feature spatchcock-style preparation or a combination of roasted breast and confit leg. The carcass is always used to produce a stock, which will either be served at your event or preserved for later use. We make chicken salt on a regular basis.
- DRIED, PICKLED, SALTED AND TINNED products are used quite extensively in our menus. These methods of food preservation have been used by cooks for thousands of years to get around seasonal restrictions.
- GOAT is growing in popularity as a sustainable meat with a moderate carbon and water footprint, and has a similar flavour to lamb. Billy goats are a by-product of the dairy industry, and tens of thousands are sent to slaughter each year. We like goat a lot, and you will see it on many of our menus.
- GREEN BEANS feature on our menus only during the summer months and come from British farms.
- TROPICAL FRUITS have no real suitable alternatives, given their climatic dependance, so we carefully curate our menus to use them in moderation, making sure they pack a punch.