One Planet Plate: Latest blog from the Sustainable Restaurant Association

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th February 2018

This month The Sustainable Restaurant Association talks about One Planet Plate - a new campaign on sustainability in restaurants.

Long, complicated and opaque supply chains in which a third of all food produced is wasted, mixed with seafood from dwindling stocks and climate-changing, meat-heavy menus do nothing to fix our creaking food system. With 8 billion meals eaten out of the home every year, chefs have the power to change the way people eat - one dish at a time.

Presenting customers with a fabulous looking, great tasting dish that’s been made with thought, love and a very brief explanation, is often the most effective way of galvanising diners to use the power of their appetites wisely. It’s hard to think of a better way for chefs to showcase how they’re tackling the problems in our food system.

One Planet Plate is a restaurant campaign to put sustainability on the menu – a chance for chefs worldwide to demonstrate to diners in food form how they’re contributing to a better food future. Faced with a full menu of dishes to choose from, it can be hard for even the most conscious diners to feel confident they’re making the right choice, even in the most ethical restaurant. A One Planet Plate is effectively the chef’s sustainable special – his or her recommendation.

SRA logoTo give the campaign a kickstart, we’re launching it to coincide with WWF’s Earth Hour on 24 March – the largest environmental event in the calendar and a perfect moment to grab diners’ attention.

We’re encouraging restaurants to put a One Planet Plate on the menu and will direct trade towards participating restaurants via a dynamic map on our new website. The site, which launches in early March, will also act as a treasure trove of recipes created and contributed by chefs from high end to high street.

Tom Hunt, self-styled eco-chef and co-owner of Bristol tapas restaurant Poco, believes the One Planet Plate campaign is the perfect vehicle for chefs and restaurant to kick off a conversation with their customers about the things that really matter to them.

He says: “We are in the midst of a sustainable food revolution. Everyone is taking an interest in where our food comes from and wants to know how it’s being produced. This is having a knock-on effect throughout our industry driving a race towards a more sustainable food system.

“When we – chefs, restaurateurs and food industry professionals – provide information to our customers about the quality, origin and ethics of our food we build trusting relationships with them and attract new customers from this growing sector of environmentally conscious individuals.

“One Planet Plate is an inspired idea, that draws attention to a particular dish on our menu which truly celebrates good food. Making an example of our best practices.

“I’ve created a One Planet Plate dish for Earth Hour (24th March) to appear on Poco Tapas Bars’ menu using best produce from a local farm. Cauliflower leaves and the florets are roasted in olive oil until they become crispy and charred. Then served with a hazelnut sauce made from our restaurants day old bread. The sauce is silky smooth and unctuous.“Cauliflower is an environmental hero, it grows in the harshest British climates, is affordable, long lasting and of course tastes delicious. This cauliflower dish demonstrates my environmental philosophy, Root to Fruit Eating, which has led our restaurant to become more sustainable. Food sustainability is a celebration of all that’s good and pleasurable about food. Shortening the food chain whenever we can and eating seasonally is part of this process. If we focus on the ethics of our food, good taste will naturally follow.

“The first thing I think about when creating a new dish is what’s in season. I use the Eat the Seasons website as a guide and of course, talk to my suppliers to find out what’s best. Beyond reducing our waste, using local-seasonal ingredients is the best place to improve the quality and sustainability of our products for little or no extra costs.

“One Planet Plate is accessible and easy to participate in. It’s a reminder that food is one of the largest contributing factors to climate change. But importantly one that we can influence in a positive and enjoyable way through indulging in good food.”

quote platesWhile Earth Hour is the launch, the plan is for One Planet Plate dishes to feature on menus for the long-term, engaging all restaurants and diners to support better, more sustainable food practices.

The SRA will host a dynamic online map of all participating restaurants as well as a digital collection of recipes, promoting them both via an extensive PR and social media campaign.

Find out more about how you can be part of a better food future by getting involved in One Planet Plate, creating a recipe and putting it on the menu, click here and submit your recipe, having read the brief, here. If you have any queries, contact Juliane Caillouette Noble via [email protected]

The Sustainable Restaurant Association is a not-for-profit membership org that helps foodservice make smart, sustainable decisions through the Food Made Good campaign.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th February 2018

One Planet Plate: Latest blog from the Sustainable Restaurant Association