When you get an invitation to anything at Cafe St Honoré, you say yes. The restaurant is lovely and chef Neil Forbes’ work is always excellent. This Tuesday, he hosted the Scottish launch of One Planet Plate, an initiative from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). The combination of great food and a good cause was irresistable.
What’s One Planet Plate?
The SRA has their mission in the name: ensuring that restaurants are sustainable. One Planet Plate takes this a step further and explicitly puts sustainable food on the menu. The restaurants that take part in the campaign all have at least one dish that meets one or more of the challenges that the SRA issued:
- More veg: good for you and good for the planet.
- Waste no food: how can we do more and waste less?
- Low carbon footprint: use ingredients that don’t use a lot of resources to produce.
- Celebrate local: support the local economy and look after the environment too.
- Source fish sustainable: we must look after our seas!
- Better meat: chose meat that has less impact on the environment even if it means paying more for it.
Chefs have met this challenge in a variety of ways and you’ll see One Planet Plates in restaurants as different as Restaurant Mark Greenaway and Dishoom. They give diners another dimension of choice: not just the final dish but the ethos with which the dish has been composed. I’m curious to see how it translates onto menus and will be looking for One Planet Plates when I go out.
Back to Café St Honoré and Neil Forbes
We didn’t go hungry at the One Planet Plate’s Scottish launch. We all gathered at Café St Honoré where staff from SRA had come up from London to meet with restarateurs and food writers from around Edinburgh. We spotted Seedlip cocktails and chatted before sitting down.
The menu told us we’d start with ‘sourdough bread, dips and patés’. It turns out that that was code for ‘a delicious feast’. We had proscioutto, rollmops, smoked salmon, pork paté, broad bean and mint dip, a remoulade, salad, rye, brown and white bread, arbroath smokie paté. All completely gorgeous. The rollmops get a special mention: they were pickled with the lightest touch, perfectly filleted, smooth and rich and fresh.
The main was another fish tour de force. Charred mackerel served on tomato panzanella. It was perfectly judged. The tomatoes were perfectly ripe, the bread soaked up the juices. The mackerel was buttery soft. It all worked together perfectly.
I had another appointment that afternoon so had to duck out before the parfait. Twitter and Instagram tells me I missed out big time. I’m grateful to have been there for the starters, mains and inspirational talks from SRA and Neil.
To quote the website: “One Planet Plate is a restaurant movement that puts sustainability on the menu.” Visit the website for a full list of participants. In Edinburgh, we have Aizle, Martin Wishart, Galvin Restaurants, L”escargot blue, The Witchery, Honeycomb & Co, First Coast as well as others. The campaign is UK wide so you can eat One Planet Plates across the country.
34 Thistle Street North West Lane
Edinburgh EH2 1EA
Telephone: 0131 226 2211
Caroline was invited to lunch by SRA who also provided the photos from L’escargot bleu and Dale Mailley.