Benugo to collaborate with Turner Prize-nominated artists to make dishes more sustainable
Caterer Benugo has launched a long-term collaboration to introduce more sustainable dishes to the menus at 10 of the cultural institutions at which it operates across the UK.
Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe's 2021 Turner Prize-nominated Cooking Sections examines food systems using installation, performance and video including long-term project Climavore, which looks at forms of eating that respond to the climate crisis.
The relationship began during the Serpentine Gallery's Back to Earth project, which earlier this summer saw Cooking Sections work alongside Benugo to add Climavore dishes to the menu at the newly opened Magazine restaurant at the gallery.
In participating restaurants, farmed salmon has been removed from menus and replaced with ingredients such as seaweeds, sea vegetables and bivalves, which improve water quality and cultivate marine habitats. Sites taking part include the V&A, Science Museum and BFI Southbank in London, the Science & Industry Museum in Manchester, the Holburne Museum in Bath, and the Ashmolean in Oxford.
Cooking Sections is also working with Benugo to create new products using filter-feeders and regenerative coastal ingredients that have a positive effect on marine ecology and proactively respond to ecological challenges, including foraged Cornish seaweeds and ‘ocean greens'.
New items on menus using these ingredients include a wrap with dulse hummus, grilled carrots, piquant peppers, cabbage and red pepper; and a salad with barley, quinoa, lentils, beets, grilled carrots, piquant peppers, flaked Cornish dulse, courgetti, spinach, omega seeds and a lemon and tahini dressing.
Both products are pre-packaged in boxes produced by Notpla, made using a seaweed and plant coating to make them grease-proof and water-resistant, instead of synthetic chemicals. The packaging is naturally biodegradable in weeks as well as recyclable and home compostable.
Climavore dishes on the menu at the Magazine in the Serpentine's North Gallery include soda bread with seaweed butter and Scottish rope-grown mussels with white wine, garlic, urfa and sea fennel.
The collaboration will form part of Cooking Sections' Turner Prize 2021 exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum in Coventry 29 September 2021 to 12 January 2022 and is taking place at 11 further sites which are not operated by Benugo.
Shane Kavanagh, commercial director at Benugo, said: "We are delighted to expand our collaboration with Cooking Sections on their Becoming Climavore project by bringing it to life at some of our partner cultural venues across the UK, as part of a wider movement. Sustainability improvements in food often translate as doing less harm, and the opportunity to learn about, and experiment with, ingredients which actually have a regenerative effect on ecology and do positive good has been immensely exciting."
Pascual and Schwabe added: "We are delighted to be working with cultural institutions across the UK and Benugo on Becoming Climavore, a project that questions how we eat as humans are changing the climate."
Benugo was founded in 1998 in London's Clerkenwell by brothers Ben and Hugo Warner and was bought by Westbury Street Holdings (WSH) in 2007.