By Tom Tanner
Iced Katy Rodgers’ Crowdie & Perthshire Raspberry Parfait, Macerated Scottish Berries. If that description of a dessert doesn’t scream impeccable provenance then none will. This was chef Neil Forbes’ third of three interpretations of a One Planet Plate at the launch lunch for the SRA’s One Planet Plate campaign in Edinburgh this week; an event to celebrate the 20 or so restaurants that have already signed up to highlight dishes on their menu that scream sustainability, helping customers use the power of their appetites wisely.
Neil left none of the assembled restaurateurs, journalists and influencers in any doubt about his understanding not just of what makes a One Planet Plate but also why it’s important for chefs to create and serve them. Each of the dips, pates and pickles that made up the spectacular spread of starters came with a story. As chef, Neil is the vital link between field and fork and he carries out his responsibility to showcase his producers with pride, passion and a deal of panache.
Neil said: “Sustainable is such a buzz word just now for so many reasons. Making a few small changes to how we run our lives and businesses can have a huge impact on future generations. I’m delighted to be hosting a lunch at Cafe St to highlight how the restaurant industry can make big differences by being more sustainable. I encourage others to follow the One Planet Plate ethos and together we can strive for a more sustainable future.”
Food tells a story, it has a connection to the past and it most certainly has a massive part to play in shaping our future. The two dozen chefs in Edinburgh to create a One Planet Plate (bringing to 170 the number of recipes you can download on the website) responded to the ask of dishing up a recipe that celebrates local; features more veg; has a low carbon footprint; includes better meat; sources fish sustainably, or wastes not food.
Just take open up the online treasure trove of recipes that have coming rolling in from Edinburgh…At the launch lunch, Neil and his team served up marvellous new season mackerel and the campaign website features his marvellous mussels. Douglas Roberts at The Witchery is also showcasing sustainable Scottish seafood – in the form of hand-dived Isle of Mull scallops. Scallops are also the main ingredient in Fred Birchmiller’s One Planet Plate at l’escargot bleu and at Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, Berwick crab mayonnaise & toasted granary bread is chef Jamie Knox’s One Planet Plate.
Meanwhile at Restaurant Mark Greenaway, seasonal vegetables take centre stage in his beautiful Summer Vegetable Garden dish. The glories of game, wild partridge to be precise, are being championed by Stuart Ralston at Aizle. Seeds for the Soul vegan café has chosen to hero its Mexican mushroom wraps. Dale Mailley marries sustainable Scottish seafood with foraged ingredients in his wild garlic pasta bowties and cockles and winkles at Gardener’s Cottage.
For those keen to explore all the ethical delights that the Scottish capital has to offer, you’ll be as excited as we are about the SRA’s new partnership with ethical lifestyle magazine pebble. It will be promoting the One Planet Plate campaign throughout their new pebble guides. The partnership launches in Edinburgh with pebble’s guide to all the great green things to do see and experience in the Scottish capital launching in August.
Editor and founder Georgina Wilson-Powell said: “I’m thrilled that only a month after launch, the SRA want to partner with the pebble guides for the One Planet Plate campaign. I believe that it should be easy, fun and affordable to eat sustainably, and the One Planet Plate makes eating out with being eco in mind, even easier.
“We’re proud to support the One Planet Plate and the SRA campaign through the pebble guide to Edinburgh, where we’re curating the definitive list of everything eco and awesome in this historic city.”
If you’d like your restaurant to join the campaign or know of one you think should, then don’t hesitate to get in touch [email protected] And to find a One Planet Plate recipe or a restaurant serving one click here