Chefs are using British farming’s credentials as a major selling point in attracting so-called ’food tourists’. Hannah Binns speaks to the Michelin starred chef and team behind world renowned L’Enclume, in the Lake District.
Chefs have a certain level of ‘responsibility’ within the food system to lead sustainable changes and practises in the face of climate change, Michelin starred chef Simon Rogan has said.
His comments follow an explosion of restaurants utilising British farming credentials to attract customers in recent years, alongside various television shows, such as the Great British Menu, Escape to the Farm and This Week on The Farm, championing the use of local sustainable produce.
Launched earlier this year, Michelin’s Green Star Award recognised 23 restaurants in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland at the forefront of the industry in terms of their ethical and environmental standards.
Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guides, said: "[This] brand new distinction dedicated to sustainable gastronomy shows that our recognition of restaurants goes beyond the search for the best cooking.
“It enables us to also turn the spotlight on those with a great sense of responsibility towards the environment.”
Renowned for its culinary creativeness in harnessing a powerful connection between food and nature as well as its commitment to the farm-to-fork ethos, L’Enclume, Cartmel, Cumbria, was one restaurant to be awarded the Michelin Green Star.
"The award is a massive achievement and real testament to everyone who has played a part in getting L’Enclume to where it is today, and we are really pleased to be recognised and the only company to have two Michelin Green Stars on different continents," said Simon Rogan, who runs the iconic restaurant.
"It encompasses our ethos and our commitment to fresh, local and seasonal produce is one of the reasons customers chose us for a truly traceable dining experience.
"That and hopefully the food is jolly nice."
Head farmer at L’Enclume, John Rowland, added: "Food is something you eat three to four times a day so why not have the tastiest food everyday of your life.
"There is something special about having locally grown produce on your doorstop and new staff tend to spend a couple of days on the farm before their time on the floor to understand the growing process for themselves which helps communicate our ethos to diners."
Renting about five hectares from a nearby farm approximately half a mile from the restaurant, the team at L’Enclume grow a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits and edible flowers which take centre stage on the tasting menu supported by animal protein.
"Our chefs and growers work side-by-side to create the ingredients used in all our restaurants and we limit ourselves to the larder of the local area, only buying in the building blocks from suppliers who share our vision," Mr Rogan added.
"I have always championed the farm to fork movement and it is so refreshing to see it gaining such momentum in the UK and abroad as people are more understanding of their carbon footprint and the impact that imported foods have.
"Chefs have an opportunity to work closely with farmers as well as the public to help encourage sustainable practices, and those embracing this concept will find their produce much more sought after and respected by consumers."
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