Why going greener is to everyone's taste
Sustainability doesn’t stop at the kitchen door these days.
Lewis Hamblet, executive chef at the Exclusive Collection’s South Lodge, explains how mindful consumers are driving the green trend that goes far beyond more vegetables on your plate
“We want to give our guests the same great experience they’ve always had, but we are also aiming to reduce our food wastage. That’s why we’ve introduced concepts like ‘bowl food’ - which has become big since Harry and Meghan served it at their wedding.
The traditional meat and three veg is definitely dying out. Instead, Mediterranean or Asian dishes work particularly well with bowl food - you can have a few types, say edamame tofu or kimchi (great source of probiotics) with sticky rice. Because you know that generally people will have about two bowls each, you can easily make exactly the right amount. There’s also a definite trend towards gluten-free food and we try to strip out the allergens at source, which means using imaginative and interesting substitutes Veganism’s definitely not a fad, it’s a movement and at our Botanica restaurant, we’ve worked hard on a more plant-based menu.
One of our signature dishes is our ‘wasted burger’ made from beetroot and carrot pulp - a byproduct of freshly squeezed juice. The chips we serve with the burger comes from potato skins.
We do have meat options, usually chicken, fish or beef. The butcher who supplies us actually farms his own beef. We try to source as locally as possible. We use a company called Love for Local - they get things for us such as ‘wonky’ strawberries and ‘wonky’ vegetables.
There’s even a blueberry farm that backs onto the grounds, you can’t get closer than that! Our meeting and events guests particularly enjoy snacks such as blueberries, as well as nuts and raisins.
We also have our kitchen garden at South Lodge, where we harvest everything from figs to beetroot to spinach. We have a rocket composter so kitchen waste gets put to good use in the flower and plant borders on site. In line with the four pillars, wellness is a priority for our staff too, they have a vegan Monday for example. We try to live this ourselves, not just tick a box.