Ode in Shaldon, Devon, has been named the UK’s most sustainable restaurant by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).
The SRA’s inaugural national awards, announced at London’s Cinnamon Club today, recognised restaurants across seven categories covering all aspects of sustainability.
All restaurants having undertaken the SRA’s star rating in 2011 were considered for the awards, comprising more than 400 outlets nationwide, ranging from fine-dining establishments to neighbourhood restaurants.
Ode won the overall award for the most sustainable restaurant of the year, beating River Cottage and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
The SRA praised chef-proprietor Tim Bouget’s huge commitment to sourcing local and seasonal, high-welfare food, with a high regard for energy and water efficiency and waste management, as well as a real dedication to treating staff fairly and engaging with their local community.
Bouget said: “As a small, family-run restaurant we are very honoured to have received the Sustainable Restaurant of the Year award. Since opening Ode in 2007 our principles were that the entire business worked in tune with the environment and that formed the basis for our eco ethos and organic policies.”
The SRA’s environment award recognising energy efficiency went to Raymond Blanc’s two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, while Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage won the award for sourcing.
Fearnley-Whittingstall said: “Sourcing the very best, local, seasonal, high-welfare food for River Cottage restaurants is our top priority – and, of course, one of the great pleasures of our business. To be recognised as the best at this in the UK is a great honour, a tremendous endorsement of all we are striving to do, and a fantastic boost to the whole River Cottage Team. We certainly won’t be resting on our laurels though; rather we’ll be working hard throughout 2012 to see if we can improve our all-round sustainability.”
Mexican restaurant group Wahaca, which is owned by former MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby, won the Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year award, beating Radisson Edwardian and Carluccio’s.
The SRA awarded two restaurants its Society Award, which recognises a business’s efforts to engage positively with its staff, customers and the local community. The awards went to the Oxo Tower Restaurant in London and Friska in Bristol.
Meanwhile two special awards were presented to restaurants displaying either genuine innovation or outstanding achievement in a specific field – this year sustainable fish – chosen by the judges.
Finally the Clink, the commercial restaurant run by inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison High Down in Sutton, Surrey, won the SRA award for Innovation voted for by the SRA’s advisory board.
Mark Linehan, SRA managing director, said: “Every one of these restaurants is a really worthy winner. They are seven very different restaurants, from Scottish chippy the Bay, to the Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and Ode in rural Devon, proving that dining out sustainably is not the preserve of the rich or the London elite. With the dedication shown by these restaurateurs, anyone can run a successful hospitality business in a sustainable way – precisely what diners want.”
Sustainable Restaurant of the Year
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year
SRA Award for Sourcing
River Cottage (winner)
The Royal Oak, Bishopstone
SRA Environment Award
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons (winner)
Petrichor at The Cavendish
University of Winchester
SRA Society Award
Oxo Tower Restaurant Bar and Grill (winner)
Café Spice Namasté
The Bay Fish and Chips
SRA Award for Innovation
The Clink (winner)
SRA Special Award for 2012
The Bay Fish and Chips
By Kerstin Kühn
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Published by: The Caterer