Nuno Goncalves, executive head chef at Quaglino's in St James's, London, tells Katherine Alano how the restaurant's sustainability policy has resulted in a delicious cocktail fashioned from kitchen waste
You've introduced a supper club at Quaglino's to run alongside the restaurant's A Science of Sustainability menu. Can you tell us more about it?
We are determined to create awareness on sustainability, while providing our guests with the best possible ingredients, sourced responsibly to ensure our future as a sustainable and responsible business.
It will be a challenging process but we are determined to be at the forefront of our industry for ethically and sustainably sourced produce, carefully balancing our menus while keeping our guests informed of our clear objectives.
What can diners expect from the menu?
There will be the usual Quaglino's favourites, such as our seafood cocktail and succulent steaks cooked on our new Synergy grill, which will cut our carbon footprint by nearly 40%. More inventive dishes will showcase ingredients such as wonky or surplus vegetables, fresh fish from day boats in Cornwall and Brixham or our finishing herbs, which are grown in London warehouses that have been converted into "urban gardens".
Tell us about the drinks
Our menu has been carefully thought through by bar manager Marco Sangion and head mixologist Federico Pasian, who bring flair and passion for great ingredients to all of their creations. We are working together to provide our guests with drinks that include sustainably sourced ingredients alongside byproducts from our kitchen's daily operation.
The Quaglino's bar team is dedicated to ethical bar work. What does this involve?
This involves working closely with the kitchen, minimising our wastage and creating delicious, inventive cocktails, such as "the world's most sustainable cocktail". The base of the cocktail is an organic vodka infused with the peel of purple carrots, used as a side dish in the restaurant, which adds a distinct earthiness to the distill. This is mixed with homemade jasmine milk, made by overcooking a small handful of jasmine rice, which is blended to make a creamy solution similar to milk. A fruity twang comes from a mandarin cordial made using the skins of mandarins that are freshly squeezed every day for the menu.
Bunches of mint are used daily in every bar, but it is usually only the leaves that are used, with the stems discarded. We make mint stick oil by blending the stems with organic olive oil, which adds freshness and a gorgeous smell to the cocktail.
Are other D&D restaurants adopting a more sustainable approach to their menus?
We are taking group-wide initiatives in providing more sustainable menus to our guests, such as our "Waste not, want more" campaign, which can be found on our website.
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