From farm to kitchen - An Electrolux blog by Simon Hulstone

The  Staff Canteen
Simon Hulstone blogs about sustainability in the kitchen, from his ingredients to his equipment. As a chef, you always want to ensure you’re getting the absolute best for your money. It’s all about profitability when it comes down to it, and for me that’s where sustainability really comes in. Forget the buzzwords, it’s about ensuring that everything you do equips your business as best as possible for the future. Using local produce and growing your own ingredients can be a real advantage for a restaurant. We’re lucky to have a brilliant supply of local scallops, crabs and fish here in Devon at The Elephant and also have our own farm where we grow vegetables and rear animals. Growing your own is of course very much the vogue at the moment, as is foraging, but when it comes down to increasing the quality of the product and providing a monetary benefit to the business, it’s a no brainer. The commercial benefit to the business and the long term savings have been enormous and it means we have better produce with less waste – we grow and use what we want. It does mean that we’re kept on our toes though as we have to use everything. But anything that pushes us to be constantly inventive with our dishes is a positive and the whole approach has certainly informed what I believe to be a cleaner, more mature food style in the restaurant. We have to cook very much with the seasons to ensure that everything we cook is at its peak! We aren’t a chain, our produce supply is always indefinite, but I think that’s important as it influences the food we cook in a way that keeps us original and unique. From a sustainable perspective it also means that you can cut out the middle man to keep costs down, and reduce food miles – doing your bit for the environment and the bottom line. The same goes in the kitchen too. It often comes as a surprise when I tell people that my most treasured bit of kit is my dishwasher! We decided not to hire a KP and took on another chef instead when we got the Electrolux Professional Hood Type dishwasher. Its water consumption and energy use is unparalleled – in a small kitchen it’s these sorts of things that make a big difference. Having stoves that control heat dispersion for example, as we do with our Electrolux XP modular unit, can not only save energy but also keep the working environment more comfortable – allowing the team to focus on what they do best. From ingredients to equipment, considering the sustainable benefits of what you are investing in is vital.
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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 30th April 2014

From farm to kitchen - An Electrolux blog by Simon Hulstone