- Silo, Brighton – Everything about Silo is designed with waste reduction and sustainability in mind, in fact it’s hailed as the first zero waste restaurant in the UK. Here are some of the coolest reasons why:
Plates are made from recycled plastic bags
Toilets are flushed using waste water from coffee machines
Leftover steamed milk, a by-product of the coffee making process, is used to make cheese
2. Skipchen, Bristol – The essence of the restaurant is in its name; Skipchen is a not-for-profit that creates ‘pay-as-you-feel’ meals entirely from food that would otherwise go in the bin. It’s run by volunteers who after hours go in search of wasted food, most often finding it in supermarkets' skips.
Health and safety is of course taken into consideration and although some of the food is past its best before date, it is still perfectly good. We have become wrongly obsessed with such dates, ignoring their dubious origins as a stock control mechanism for Marks & Spencers. The most important point to remember, when debating whether or not your food product is edible, is to simply trust your own instinct - if it smells terrible, it probably is terrible.
So far Skipchen has served up a variety of dishes, from lobster to spicy beans on toast. Importantly, the whole atmosphere benefits from the diversity of its clientele, which comprises people from all walks of life, some people are able to pay a lot for their meal, others are unable to pay anything. Similar cafes exist across England – examples are the ‘Saltaire Canteen’ in Bradford and the ‘Save the Date’ restaurant in London – all of which are part of the same charity, known as The Real Junk Food Project.
3. St John, London - Chef Fergus Henderson, champion of the ‘nose to tail’ eating philosophy, founded St John’s restaurant in Smithfield, 1994. His catchphrase is, ‘if you're going to kill the animal it seems only polite to use the whole thing’. With this in mind, his restaurant serves up dishes like roasted marrowbone with fresh parsley on toast. Most of his meals use alternative cuts of meat, like pig’s trotters, duck hearts or pigs tail. He ignores current fads related to eating only the 'desirable' parts of the animal, a tendency that leads to vast amounts of the slaughtered animal going to waste. Instead, Henderson celebrates the different tastes and textures of all meats.