One Planet Plate spotlight on…Hypha, Chester

We sat down with Hypha founder Nicholas Friar, to discuss the inspiration behind his restaurant, the local businesses he works with and the seasonal dishes on the menu including their One Planet Plate, a plant-based lasagne, featuring local, seasonal vegetables.

How did Hypha and its concept start? What first interested you in creating a sustainably focused restaurant?

It felt like it was time for the industry to make a change in the right direction, and who better than the food industry to change the ideals of food waste for the general public.

What inspired your menu?

The seasons, we showcase the produce that is grown or foraged in the region, using creative techniques to produce a time capsule of flavour. 

Any advice for people who are wanting to eat more sustainably?

Stay away from the supermarkets, try and find your local farmers’ market. And don’t beat yourself up too much when you first start, no one can be perfect from the get-go. 

Why is sustainability important to you?

It’s such an attainable goal for most people that is overlooked due to convenience. Although a lot of food services during the industrial revolution made it easier to preserve, food it also made us lazy with the basics 

Who are some local businesses/suppliers that you work with?

Alice Leech (@veg.and.petals), I’ve known her for years and it’s great to work with someone I’ve got a good relationship with, she began growing edible flowers and has expanded to grow other produce exclusively for us at hypha. Hoole food market has made great strides to bring in sustainable produce for restaurants and locals. 

What current seasonal produce are you cooking with?

Wild Garlic, which we forage ourselves for the restaurant. It is becoming more and more popular with the general public, which is a gateway for people to go out and start foraging for themselves. 

What is your favourite/signature dish to cook at home? 

Sunday roast, it’s my fiancé’s favourite meal. You can harness the seasonal local produce in many varieties in the same dish. I love that it’s different every time and damn tasty

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