As part of the sustainable food movement, chefs and owners of restaurants are joining a movement started by St John’s Restaurant in 1994 in East London, appreciating what is called ‘nose to tail’ eating, code of using every part of the animal.
While new to western sensibilities, this concept of ‘nose to tail’ is not new to many non western civilisations – both poor and affluent. The chinese for example serve testicle omelette (a well known aphrodisiac) and bull penis as part of a steamboat (both of which guilty stomach has tried – tastes better than it sounds!). Fried intestines in Columbia or sheep’s eyes in Mongolia, even fried locusts in Cambodia are all age old examples of sustainable eating.
But this event was a ‘pop up restaurant’ only for a 3 day duration touring in Melbourne. ‘Pop up’ stores and restaurants are popping up everywhere. But not to be discouraged, if you want to savour this ‘nose to tail’ experience, you do not have long to wait in both Melbourne and London. It opens in November as ‘Greenhouse’ (remember the ‘pop up’ creation in Fed Square last year?). Melbourne’s talented Joost (who is now on a world tour with his waste free restaurant concept) in conjunction with his very hip friends will open Greenhouse in a very special (spectacular but still secret I am told) location in Melbourne. Joost is also at the same time opening a ‘Greenhouse’ in Kings Cross in London above the Arts University where they will have 1000 wheely bins filled with earth and grow all their own vegetable on the rooftop (Why wheely bins? So they can move it around to cancel out the effects of the harsher weather)
‘Wasted’ was an event essentially for the carnivorous, Douglas McMaster (the Master Chef UK finalist) cooked a meal that was definitely not for the faint hearted. Organised by some of the most inspiring examples of Gen Y talent at work (Douglas is only 24 years old), it was sensational. Douglas himself worked at St Johns for 3 years refining his craft which was on show this night. The night was superb and fun was had by all. Douglas (what an amazingly talented chef) chatted with the group of 20 diners explaining his vision, his creations and how he makes them happen. Each year millions of tons of food are discarded from restaurants all over the world as waste and Douglas creates recipes that turns this waste into extraordinary meals. He was up at 6 am foraging for dune spinach (did you know there was such a thing?!) at the St Kilda Beach and foraging for mushrooms in and around train tracks. What fun!
The night included 7 courses and a great selection of nibbles before hand like slivers of sphincter served with dehydrated spring onion and onion sauce and chicken heart served with millet and parsley puree (using every bit of the herb).
Every dish was matched with some superb wines . Surprisingly we were reminded how much perfectly good wine is tossed out. So for example the GSM blend we had was discarded by a well known winery in Heathcote, Victoria. It was frankly the best GSM I had had in a while.
But this post will not be complete without a mention of the passionate 20 something Kym Lenoble. He is the brains behind this event, taking Douglas around Australia on this show to educate the eating public. He admits he was most nervous about Melbourne knowing how food savvy the Melbourne public is (compared to Sydney he said). With energy and passion Kym is trying to get young chefs to turn around and help the planet and our eating of it in a more sustainable way.
He has converted his Melbourne audience for sure! Join the guilty stomach on this amazing visual memory of the event…
Venue: Essential Ingredient in Prahran (but only for 3 days!)