THURSDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2013 _______________THE SRA AWARDS 2013
The Sustainable Restaurant Awards 2013
I am a passionate supporter of sustainability issues and of the Sustainable Restaurant Association in particular. It was therefore a huge honour to be made their first President last year. In my capacity as president, I took great pleasure in hosting the second annual SRA Awards for 2013 at a wonderful event at the OXO2 in London on Monday!
As this is an event for celebration of so much that is good in our industry - so many of my fellow chefs, caterers and others involved in the food and restaurant business - I gathered together some of my great friends and protégés, and together we created a sustainable feast for guests, including Antonio Carluccio, Rachel Khoo, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Andrew Fairlie. With the ever reliable, ever good humoured Adam and Kush, we produced a starter for the lunch: one of Le Manoir's seasonal classics: Beetroot Terrine, with Horseradish Sorbet.
Then it was over to two great chefs, both of whom were with me at Le Manoir and have now gone on to achieve seriously great things on their own: Bruno Loubet (Bistrot Bruno Loubet at the Zetter Hotel) and Aggi Sverrisson (Texture Restaurant in Portman Square). Both of them excelled themselves - as we would expect - and guests enjoyed a truly delicious and sustainable feast.
Bruno produced a superb English Rabbit with a French Twist (above), and Aggi served a sublime White Chocolate with Cucumber dessert (below).
Of course, I was quite nervous, because during and after the lunch, I was the host and also I was presenting the awards to the winners of the Sustainable Restaurant Awards for 2013. These awards are so important to us and our industry: even the smallest business can really make a difference - in sourcing, in producing and in getting the message across that sustainability is of massive importance. A full list of the awards and winners is below. These businesses deserve your - all of our - support.
The Sustainable Restaurant of the Year award went to cafe-ODE, in Shaldon, Devon. cafe:ODE has followed its partner restaurant ODE-dining in becoming Sustainable Restaurant of the Year, in the second year of the awards organised by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), in association with Unilever Food Solutions.
Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA, paid tribute to cafe-ODE owners Tim and Clare Bouget: “To set out to open the most sustainable restaurant and achieve it is a terrific feat. To do it twice is extraordinary. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of cafe-ODE’s success is that it is a very popular local restaurant, serving high quality, but simple, well sourced food in the heart of a thriving community. It epitomises the efforts and achievements of all the Sustainable Restaurant Awards winners.”
At the end of the event, I was honoured, proud - and not a little moved - to make the presentation of the first Raymond Blanc Sustainability Hero Award (I blush!) to the wonderful, knowledgeable, thoughtful Sheila Dillon.
Sheila has always been a luminary. Never compromising, always curious, we both share the desire for chefs to reconnect with British farming and to encourage everybody to reconnect with their local community and great British food. She has a marvellous sense of ethics which makes her the perfect recipient of this award and has a deep understanding of how the world works and what we need to do preserve and protect it.
I made a speech outlining just some of her achievements in her years as a journalist and broadcaster. I have known her for over 30 years: we first met at the Soil Association, so you can see that our beliefs and passions have been with us for some time now!
A wonderful and moving day for all those involved. I would like to thank everyone at the SRA: not only for organising such a marvellous event, but for making me their President, and most of all for all they do to get the messages of sustainability and ethics in the restaurant business across so well and so tirelessly. Thank you my friends!
SRA Award Winners 2013
Restaurant of the Year: cafe-ODE, Devon
(Sponsor: Southbank Fresh Fish)
Sustainable Small Restaurant Group of the Year: Wahaca, nine sites in London
(Sponsor: Specialist Waste Recycling (SWR))
Sustainable Large Restaurant Group of the Year: Marriott Hotels International
(Sponsor: Chapman Ventilation)
Sustainable Pub of the Year NEW: Preston Park Tavern, Brighton
(Sponsor: Element 29)
Sustainable Hotel Restaurant of the Year NEW: Dixcart Bay Hotel, Sark
Scottish Sustainable Restaurant of the Year NEW: The Bay Fish and Chips, Aberdeenshire
(Sponsor: Denis Insurance Brokers)
Welsh Sustainable Restaurant of the Year NEW: Enochs, Llandudno
London Sustainable Restaurant of the Year NEW: Friends House, Euston Road
(Sponsor: Paper Round)
SRA Award for Sourcing: River Cottage, Devon
SRA Award for Society: Cafe St Honoré, Edinburgh
(Sponsor: Steelite International)
SRA Award for Environment: Poco, Bristol
(Sponsor: The London Linen Group)
SRA Award for Most Improved Restaurant NEW: Babylon, London
Best Food Waste Strategy: The Savoy, London
(Sponsor: Unilever Food Solutions)
Sustainable Innovation Award: Feng Sushi, (Eight sites across London)
(Sponsor: Eureka Executive)
Raymond Blanc Sustainability Hero: Sheila Dillon
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