They are accountable for both their ethical and environmental standards, working with sustainable producers and suppliers to eliminate waste and reduce or even remove plastic and other non-recyclable materials from their supply chain.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the Michelin Star award, but what about its sustainable sister? Introduced by the Guide Michelin in 2020, the Green Star is a new annual award that recognises exceptional restaurants that are truly sustainable. those that combine culinary excellence with outstanding environmental efforts. In the 2021 edition of the Guide Michelin Great Britain and Ireland, only 23 restaurants received this new eco award. “Many chefs create their cuisine in rhythm with nature and the
resources of our planet for years. By recognizing some of the most committed businesses, we hope to create positive and progressive momentum,” explains Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of GUIDE MICHELIN. Restaurants can only qualify for this new green cloverleaf symbol if they have already received some form of Michelin award, be it a Star, Bib Gourmand or Plate, and there is absolutely no room for greenwashing; Michelin’s rigorous inspectors look for those who are at the forefront of sustainable business practices. “Gourmets and foodies have become increasingly discerning about their consumption habits and are seeking to harness the environmental impact of their actions and choices. We want to show that both gastronomic and environmental excellence can go hand in hand,” says Poullennec.
New Yard Restaurant, Cornwall
On Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, New Yard Restaurant is housedin a converted stable building on the Trelowarren Estate. It offers a leisurely seven-course set menu that is guided by the seasons and created using ingredients that have either been foraged on the estate, grownin the walled garden or ethically sourced from the local area. It is a ‘no option’ menu, which keeps wastage, staff labour and fuel to a minimum. Produce is grown using regenerative agricultural methods, such as ‘no dig’ gardening and using animals to keep the soil healthy. Sometimes, the menu isn’t finalised until the same day, when local fisherman, John, knows how many covers are booked and delivers whatever he thinks is best. “Putting our menu design in the hands of our local suppliers means that we use what’s abundant rather than creating extra demand for what isn’t,” explains New Yard’s co-owner and executive chef, Jeffrey Robinson. “I feel that restaurants and guides have a responsibility to lead by example with how the food system is used, and the Green Star does exactly that. Michelin have taken the first step, and we couldn’t be prouder to be one of the first restaurants awarded.” Wales’ only Green Star was awarded to historic country house hotel Palé Hall in the tranquil Dee valley.
Inver Strachur, Scotland
Set in an isolated former crofter’s cottage and boat store on the shore of Loch Fyne, this beautiful restaurant has stunning views out across the water, and luxurious, eco-friendly, bothy-style bedrooms. Here, chef-owner Pamela Brunton uses local, wild and foraged ingredients to create her outstanding modern menus. „Sustainability is the ground on which we build our business; it’s much more than just a ‘subject’ to us,” she explains. “The people, landscape, plants and animals that guide and shape our menus are an ecosystem, in which we are one evolving part. If they don’t thrive, neither can we.”
Loam, Galway, Republic Of Ireland
The seasonally driven menu is a masterclass in modern cooking and changes daily, depending on the availability of local produce. Chef–owner Enda McEvoy goes above and beyond to ensure sustainability; local potters provide tableware, and local horticulturists grow wildflowers for the tables, thus supporting the local economy. Vegetables and meat are sourced directly from farmers, game from hunters, and seafood and fish from local fishers. In the kitchen, fermenting and salting techniques are used to prevent waste, as is a composting system. Electricity comes from renewable sources, water usage is closely monitored, and induction is used for cooking, as it uses less energy. „Urban environments are where transformative action must take place, because by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. That’sa lot of food, water, waste and energy needed, so cities have a pivotal opportunity to achieve the goalsoftheParisAgreement(the international treaty on climate change),” says Enda. “Recognising efforts in the industry and the pivotal rolethat hospitality can play ishugely important. It encourages learning between restaurants and normalises sustainability efforts, rather than it being seen as a fringe movement.”
In Galway there is another restaurant that has been awarded the sustainability star: Kai Restaurant
Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites, Aran Islands, Republic Of Ireland
Awarded the prestigious Michelin Green Star in January 2021, Inis Meáin Restaurant was founded in 2007 by chef and island native Ruairí de Blacam and design consultant Marie-Thérèse de Blacam. Long-time heroes of an ethical, sustainable and environmental ethos, the restaurant captures the indigenous flavours of Inis Meáin, the middle Aran island, overlooking Galway Bay and Connemara. Under the ethos of ‘Elemental Eating’, chef Ruairí de Blacam brilliantly brings the essence of island life to the table – gathering his ingredients from the Atlantic’s daily catch, whatever that may bring, homestead-reared meat, raiding just ripened trophies from his greenhouse, digging up the root veg and plucking their fruit plots. Being an islander, he feverishly forages from the wild. Food is not in a natural abundance being exposed to the Island’s harsh climate – making food intensely more precious, harvesting what you can, and when. Headliners of lobster, urchins, crabs and fish share the table with the most delicious root vegetables – which flourish in Blacam’s homemade natural seaweed fertiliser.
Tredwells Restaurant, Covent Garden London, UK
Sustainability at Tredwells - We’ve chosen to focus on the three most pertinent to us: people, planet and produce. We believe in respecting all of these wonderful things and are constantly striving to improve how we do things each and every day. The menu champions seasonal British produce; plants and animals alike. We choose to focus on biodiverse ingredients, such as pulses and grains from Hodemedod, and less popular cuts of meat that farmers & butchers find harder to sell. We’re also showcasing plant-based options that are as delicious as their carnivorous counterparts. We support the small producers and only work with those we trust. We have made a commitment to use only sustainable fish and seafood, and are working with a range of suppliers to achieve these goals. As a restaurant, we rely wholly on the supply of food. Given food has one of the biggest impacts on climate change, we feel we have a responsibility to work out how we can minimise our impact.
Silo, London, UK
In Hackney, East London, Silo is the world’s first zero-waste restaurant; the menu is mainly plant-based and everything, fromthe stylish furniture to the coolcrockery, is made with recycledmaterials.
Petersham Nurseries Café, London, UK
Elsewhere in thecapital, the picturesque PetershamNurseries Café in Richmond hasalso received a Green Star, having championed sustainable practicesfor over 20 years. Alongside thedelicious food, waste management isjustasimportant;anadvanced microorganisms and warm water to turn plate waste into aliquid that can then be poured away, eliminating the need forany vehicular transportation. Menus here stick firmly to seasonal vegetables and fruits, with as few food miles generated as possible. Seven on-site beehives offer honey, while the owner’s family farm provides many of the organic ingredients used to create head chef Ambra Papa’s Italian-style dishes, which are served in a stunning bougainvillea- and jasmine-filled glasshouse. „Consumers are becoming far more demanding when it comes to knowing where their food comes from, and that’s a good thing,” enthuses Ambra. „I hope that the Green Star will highlight the fact that you can be green and successful at the same time. Quite often, it’s not the easiest and certainly not the cheapest way of operating, but it is the right way to run a business.” So, next time you’re (Michelin) star spotting, why not look out for a green one.
Green stars in full
ENGLAND ☆ Angela's, Margate☆ Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, Great Milton☆ Black Swan, Oldstead☆ Coombeshead Farm, Lewannick ☆ Daylesford Organic Farm, Daylesford, Hypha, Chester☆ L'Enclume, Cartmel☆ New Yard, Trelowarren☆ Oxo Tower Brasserie, Southwark, London☆ Petersham Nurseries Café, Richmond, London☆ Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottingham ☆ River Cottage Kitchen, Axminster ☆ Silo, Hackney, London☆ The Dining Room, Whatley Manor, Malmesbury☆ The Ethicurean, Wrington☆ The Small Holding, Kilndown☆ Tredwells, Strand and Covent Garden, London☆ Where the Light Gets In, Stockport SCOTLAND ☆ Inver, Strachur WALES ☆ Henry Robertson Dining Room, Palé Hall, Llandderfel REPUBLIC OF IRELAND ☆ Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites, Inishmaan, Aran Islands ☆ Kai, Galway☆ Loam, Galway