Sharing stories from some of our favourite food heroes

21 February 2019
French Broad Chocolates, Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Copyright © Nicole McConville

French Broad Chocolates on sourcing sustainable cacao

  • WHO: Jael & Dan Rattigan, co-creators
  • WHAT: We make awesome chocolate, crafted with love & served with gratitude
  • WHERE: 10 South Pack Square, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, USA

“We work with farmers and producers who share our ideals of sustainably-produced, wholesome foods. In the summer of 2016, our co-founder Dan travelled to the remote Peruvian Amazon with a cohort of fellow craft chocolate makers to establish a connection to a new source of cacao. Because of the effects of climate change, coffee is becoming increasingly challenging for farmers to grow in the region, so some are turning more of their attention to the commercial production of cacao. Cooperativa Agraria Cafetalera (CAC) Pangoa, a large cooperative with over 700 farmer members, is at a crossroads. Most of their cacao production is undifferentiated, what might be called ‘commodity cacao’. But under the leadership of Esperanza Dionisio Castillo, with support from an organization called Conservation Cacao, the members are being encouraged and trained to devote a portion of their production to fine flavour varietals with more attention given to the quality of harvest and fermentation. Conservation Cacao’s mission is to save the rainforest through sustainable cacao. The chocolate we make from this cacao brings this effort to fruition.”

To read more about French Broad Chocolates visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Appellation talk local networking

  • WHO: Daniel Murphy & Emily Murphy, chefs
  • WHAT: Refined regional dining in the heart of the Barossa Valley
  • WHERE: 375 Seppeltsfield Road, Marananga, South Australia 5355, Australia

“For us, true sustainability is about community support as much as it is about menus showcasing locally-farmed produce and guests refreshed by glass bottles of sparkling rainwater. Our commitment to the local Barossa community is further reinforced by our recruitment values. We actively preference local candidates and revel in our ability to introduce and nurture them in the unique art of luxury Australian hospitality. Along with other premier dining establishments in the Barossa such as St Hugo, Fino and Hentley Farm, Appellation is a founding member of the Barossa Restaurant Experience program; a subsidized dining program helping local hospitality recruits experience all the magic and finesse of fine dining, serving to inspire a healthy industry network and benchmark for excellence in Barossa cuisine.”

To read more about Appellation visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Appellation, Marananga, South Australia, AustraliaAppellation, Marananga, South Australia, Australia

Turl Street Kitchen on helping its community

  • WHO: Adam O'Boyle, owner
  • WHAT: An independent restaurant serving great local, seasonal food
  • WHERE: 16–17 Turl Street, Oxford OX1 3DH, UK; plus other locations

“We work with local businesses as much as possible. We work closely alongside our sister charity, Oxford Hub, and support them with events within the building such as Project Soup (a community dinner series using food that would otherwise be thrown away), and we are currently working with another food project charity to host an event within our building. We are part of a local independent business network, Independent Oxford, and often host their events in the building, too.”

To read more about Turl Street Kitchen visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Turl Street Kitchen, Oxford, UKTurl Street Kitchen, Oxford, UK

High Street on Hudson share three of its favourite dishes

  • WHO: Ellen Yin, partner & Eli Kulp, chef/partner
  • WHAT: All-day neighbourhood restaurant, bakery & café
  • WHERE: 637 Hudson Street, New York City, New York 1001, USA

“The Bodega is an ode to the New York City neighbourhood corner store. It’s a breakfast sandwich made on a sage black pepper buttermilk biscuit with local farm eggs, aged Hudson Valley cheddar and homemade sausage.

“Our turkey sandwich made on our homemade Kaiser roll with Fossil Farm New Jersey/Pennsylvania turkey, green goddess dressing, lettuce and tomato

“At dinner, hand-made smoked paprika mafaldine with braised Fossil Farm rabbit, peas and pecorino.”

To read more about High Street on Hudson visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

High Street on Hudson, New York City, New York, USAHigh Street on Hudson, New York City, New York, USA

Willem Hiele on reducing food wastage

  • WHO: Willem Hiele, chef & Shannah Zeebroek, sommelier
  • WHAT: A gastronomic restaurant in Belgium
  • WHERE: Pylyserlaan 138, 8670 Koksijd, Belgium

“We have a garden nearby where we grow our vegetables and herbs ourselves. There is a lot of nature (dunes, etc.) around this place. Every product that enters our restaurant is made sustainably by local farmers and is fair trade. When it comes to meat, we try to buy the whole animal and work nose-to-tail.”

To read more about Willem Hiele visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Willem Hiele, Koksijd, BelgiumWillem Hiele, Koksijd, Belgium

Wild Canary celebrates local producers

  • WHO: Kate & Matt Harvey, restaurateurs
  • WHAT: A botanical bistro with its own kitchen garden
  • WHERE: 2371 Moggill Rodd, Brookfield, Brisbane, Queensland 4069, Australia

“We are fortunate to be surrounded by some of the most diverse and rich farming regions providing food Australia-wide. To throw the spotlight on these individual regions we host regular ‘producer lunches’, where we visit a chosen region, develop relationships with the farmers and purchase their produce for use at Wild Canary. Our menu during this time is defined by the produce from the region we are showcasing. This all culminates in the producers lunch, where the farmers come and share their story with the guests over a five-course meal made from produce from the region. We have also ventures into the countryside to host farm tours and lunches on site at producers farms to create a more in-depth food/farm experience.”

To read more about Wild Canary visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Wild Canary, Brisbane, Queensland, AustraliaWild Canary, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Actinolite talk hyper-regional cuisine

  • WHO: Justin Cournoyer & Claudia Bianchi, co-owners
  • WHAT: Canadian restaurant focused on sustainable eating using local, seasonal ingredients
  • WHERE: 971 Ossington Ave, Toronto, Ontario M6G 3V5, Canada

“Actinolite is about hyper-regional cuisine. Our major goal is to find and source food that reflects our local region, as well as the specific time of year. We respect our ingredients and our suppliers. That means supporting local and small scale producers in as many aspects of the restaurant as possible. From our vegetables to our plates (the chef works with local potters who create the perfect feel and shape of the dishes for our restaurant), it is imperative that we are supporting our community. Our wine program follows the same philosophy, sourcing our wines from producers who farm in harmony with nature – sustainably, organically and biodynamically.”

To read more about Actinolite visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Actinolite, Toronto, Ontario, CanadaActinolite, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

News: Actinolite named as one of Toronto’s best restaurants

21 February 2019

Canadian TL&CC Collective eatery Actinolite is celebrated in two major publications as a must-visit Toronto restaurant.

It’s been an exciting start to the year for Toronto, Ontario, Canada restaurant Actinolite. The TL&CC member restaurant has been featured on two “Best Restaurant” lists. Toronto Life named them fourth on their list of “The City’s 100 Best Restaurants”, which aims to represent “a cross-section of the city’s dining DNA, with high-end fine dining and pedigreed splurges alongside exceptional chef-driven neighbourhood spots, creatively inspired carry-out joints and specialists in dishes that can be found almost nowhere else.”

The publication acknowledged Chef Justin Cournoyer’s passion for local, seasonal food, and praised the restaurant for mastering the art of modern Canadian cuisine. “The unassuming dining room has the feel of a local restaurant, but aspires to, and achieves, so much more: this is the pinnacle of contemporary Canadian cuisine right now.”

Actinolite was also celebrated on NARCITY, with a piece by Instagram-famous foodie An Tram (@mtlfoodsnob). Titled “These Are The Best 25 Restaurants You Need To Discover In Toronto For 2019”, the piece placed Actinolite in the “Date Night” category. “It's a neighbourhood restaurant with an upscale food performance, yet a superb laid-back ambiance,” writes Tram. “Dishes change according to seasons and showcasing the best of each ingredient is the restaurant's main mission.”

She adds that: “Your date will be smitten you thought her/him worthy of such a beautiful spot.”

News: other things you need to know

  • We are pleased to announce a new feature on the TL&CC website, the introduction of our Member Restaurant login area. Now members can update their contact details and send us comments to update their profile information, all on one easy-to-use interface.
  • Jonathan Gushue, executive chef, and Zita Cobb, innkeeper, at Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland, Canada, are bound for New York City on Thursday, 28 February. The pair are hosting a one-night culinary engagement at the James Beard House, which will be followed by a panel discussion with TL&CC USA associate editor, Gabrielle Gershenson, and James Beard Foundation chief strategy officer, Mitchell Davis. Click here for more information.
  • Also in the line-up for Fogo Island Inn is a collaboration with James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author and Top Chef judge, Hugh Acheson. Atlanta to the Atlantic, which takes place from 15–17 March, 2019, sees Acheson join Fogo Island Inn Executive Chef Jonathan Gushue in an exploration of North Atlantic and Southern USA cuisine. For more details, click here.
  • Warragul, Australia restaurant Hogget Kitchen is partaking in a special event as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. The Village Feast, held in the small town of Jindivick an hour from Melbourne, features live music, competitions, stalls selling food, drink and produce, and a town fair for children. Hogget Kitchen chef/owner, Trevor Perkins, will be onsite at The Deli and Smokehouse stand. For more information, click here.

TL&CC Q&A: Ben Gibbons, head chef, Turl Street Kitchen, Oxford, UK

21 February 2019

Turl Street Kitchen was Ben Gibbon’s first taste of life inside a busy restaurant kitchen under head chef at the time, Carl Isham. He worked at the restaurant one evening a week after finishing a seven a.m. to three p.m. shift at his full-time job at Worcester College, Oxford University. This experience gave Gibbons the knowledge and skills needed to go off and run his own kitchens. Now he has returned to Turl Street Kitchen, this time in the role of head chef. “We’re going to be putting new and fun spin on the place with new menus and a slightly different style of food,” he tells TL&CC. “The menu will consist of more vegetarian and vegan dishes than before, the style of food will be modern European and we’ll still be sourcing locally where possible.”

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sitting at a beach bar in Cadiz on a late afternoon with my wife, a cold beer and some tapas.

What was your first experience with sustainable eating? I used to work on a farm as a teenager, so I understood early on where vegetables, meat and dairy come from and how close to home they grow. Why buy asparagus from Peru?!

What do you love most about what you do? Customer satisfaction and making ideas work.

What do you consider the most overrated ingredient? I’m not sure there is one; everything has its place. It’s true that sometimes certain ingredients go through popular phases, but that shouldn’t give them a bad name. You’ll come across that same ingredient one day in a different format and absolutely love it.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever been taught? How to bake bread. I learnt this first during my time at Turl Street Kitchen in the early days. One of my uncles is a fantastic bread baker and I’ve been lucky enough to pick a couple of things up from him, too.

When was the last time you ate out, and where? Olis Thai in Oxford. Absolutely stunning food in a very friendly and personal environment. It’s always booked up, so eating there is a treat.

Are there any mentors or food heroes you would like to thank? Rob Dennis – uncle, mentor and my first head chef; Anthony Wallbridge – friend and mentor for roughly eight years; Carl Isham – friend and first head chef at Turl Street Kitchen.

What are your favourite books or cookbooks? Kitchen Confidential (Anthony Bourdain), El Celler de can Roca (Joan Roca, Josep Roca, Jordi Roca), NOPI: The Cookbook (Ottolenghi), all of The Moro cookbooks, Morito (Samanatha and Samuel Clark), and Under Pressure (Thomas Kellar).

What is the dish on your menu that most engages you? My wife is Spanish and I have a huge love of Spanish food, so when I can bring together British ingredients and deliver them with a Spanish influence it makes me very happy.

What do you make from scratch? Everything.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you are doing? Food photography perhaps, or a roadie in a band.

How would you like to spend your day off? Watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, playing squash or cooking somewhere outside of work.

What does success mean to you? Happy customers, a happy team and good food.

What is your current obsession, the thing you think about at 3 a.m.? New dishes and how they’ll look on the plate.

What are the qualities you admire most in others? Humour, loyalty and trust.

Can you tell us something we don’t know about you? I’m an unbelievably huge fan of the band Oasis.

Which three words best describe your cooking style? Influenced, fun, vibrant.

If you could eat only one thing today, what would it be? Salmorejo, a lovely Andalusian chilled tomato and bread soup served with diced boiled egg and iberico jamon on top.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d speak Spanish fluently and weave the guitar like Keith Richards.

What do you think the future of food will look like? A lot more vegetable and pulse dishes and less meat or fish dishes. A century ago we’d only eat meat or fish once or twice a week, and I think we’ll go back to that. I think we are heading that way already, actually, which is not a bad thing.

What is your number one sustainability tip or trick? Don’t waste a thing.

Farm-to-fork dining with this week's feature restaurants

14 February 2019
Fish, Marin, California, USA

Fish shares its sustainable seafood policy

  • WHO: Bill Foss & Kenny Belov, owners & Doug Bernstein, chef
  • WHAT: A socially conscious establishment that's about more than just food
  • WHERE: 350 Harbor Drive, Sausalito, Marin, California 94965, USA

“To ensure sustainability, we have set our own standards that are stricter than anything else that's out there. Knowing the fishing vessel, the captain and the catch method are all part of our checklist for what we buy and serve to our customers. We buy direct from local fisherman and are registered with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. We even land fish on our dock – it doesn't get more local than that.”

To read more about Fish visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Greasy Zoe’s on one special producer

  • WHO: Zoe Birch, owner/chef
  • WHAT: A tiny handmade restaurant with a DIY ethos
  • WHERE: 3/850 Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, Hurstbridge, Victoria 3099, Australia

“All our suppliers are heroes! One major hero of ours is Hurstbridge Farmgate. It is a very small operation – owners Paula and John have a small organic vegetable plot in their backyard. Every Saturday morning from ten a.m. to twelve p.m. they open the door to their farmgate and sell to the community the produce they have picked that morning. The vegetables aren't your average supermarket array; they are heirlooms and varieties even I have never seen. The quality is impressive and the care is unbelievable. They have information sheets on all the vegetables on offer, including recipes they have written. They also do workshops, garden tours and sell local artists’ works. All just the two of them! The produce is the highest quality I have ever used and it offers an alternative to locals buying from supermarkets or farmers’ markets where most of the fresh produce isn't grown locally.”

To read more about Greasy Zoe’s visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Greasy Zoe's, Hurstbridge, Victoria, AustraliaGreasy Zoe's, Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia

Samuay & Sons shares two dishes that celebrate its region’s cuisine

  • WHO: Weerawat ‘Num’ Triyasenawat, chef/owner
  • WHAT: Contemporary Isaan cuisine inspired by seasonal local produce in Thailand’s northeast
  • WHERE: 133/25 Phonpisai Rd. Mhakkhang, Mueng, Udon Thani, Thailand

    “'The Relish’ – with this dish, we humbly represent Thai cuisine by making six kinds of relish from six different local vegetables. We serve this simply with soft-boiled duck egg.

"Grilled organic beef with homage rice noodles, baked herbal Thai eggplant, tomato, black garlic and shrimp paste jam – here we showcase the food culture from our region, which has been developed from so many food cultures including Vietnamese, Chinese and Laotian. We bring this together in one dish.”

To read more about Samuay & Sons visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Samuay & Sons, Udon Thani, ThailandSamuay & Sons, Udon Thani, Thailand

Brazen Open Kitchen on plant-based cooking

  • WHO: Kevin Scharpf, chef/owner
  • WHAT: An open, from-scratch kitchen creating honest food sourced locally
  • WHERE: 955 Washington Street, Suite 101, Dubuque, Iowa 52001, USA

“Brazen has a strong vegan following and several guests that are completely plant-based. We have worked with a plant-based group and provided cooking classes to teach plant-based cooking. Our vegan miso ramen is an example of a plant-based dish we have cooked: miso broth with alkaline noodles, nori, mushrooms, carrot, cabbage and radish.

To read more about Brazen Open Kitchen visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Brazen Open Kitchen, Dubuque, Iowa, USABrazen Open Kitchen, Dubuque, Iowa, USA

The Vicarage talks farm-to-fork dining

  • WHO: Steven Tuke, executive chef
  • WHAT: Locally sourced produce with a menu driven by responsible local gardeners, foragers & farmers
  • WHERE: Knutsford Road, Holmes Chapel, Cranage CW4 8EF, UK

“With a fundamental farm-to-fork approach, The Vicarage Hotel has carefully selected premium responsible suppliers all within an hour of its picturesque location, with several small holders only a stone’s throw away. Being surrounded by the lush, rolling green pastures that define the Cheshire region, it’s not surprising that the quality of local ingredients is impeccable. However, it goes without saying that the pub has its farmers and suppliers dedication and diligence to thank for the regular deliveries of fresh, tasty produce.”

To read more about The Vicarage visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

The Vicarage, Cranage, UKThe Vicarage, Cranage, UK

Villa Aida on growing its own produce

  • WHO: Kanji Kobayashi, owner/chef
  • WHAT: Farm-to-table dining in Japan
  • WHERE: 71-5 Kawajiri, Iwade-shi, Wakayama 649-623, Japan

“I grow some vegetables and herbs in my garden, and I have a rice field too. The restaurant staff also do some field work. This is a good thing for them, because they feel gratitude for the environment and they are careful about wasting food. I use only seasonal ingredients, and cooperate with local producers to reduce food mileage. I compost inedible parts of the vegetable (peel, core, etc.) as well as vegetables that are going rotten – I then use the compost in my field.”

To read more about Villa Aida visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Villa Aida, Wakayama, Japan Villa Aida, Wakayama, Japan

Indulge on its environmentally-friendly food philosophy

  • WHO: Mitchell White, owner/chef
  • WHAT: A cosy bistro with pride in its region’s people & produce
  • WHERE: 80 Bourbong Street, Bundaberg Central, Queensland 4670, Australia

“We try to let our food speak for itself, so customers are eating it without us having altered it much. It also means there is little food wastage, and we have compost bins for what fruit and vegetable waste there is. Additionally, we grow our own herbs out the back of the shop.”

To read more about Indulge visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.

Indulge, Bundaberg Central, Queensland, AustraliaIndulge, Bundaberg Central, Queensland, Australia

14 February 2019

We asked Samuay & Son’s Chef Num to answer the Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery Questionnaire. There are only two rules – you have to tell the Truth, and do it with Love.

14 February 2019

Kevin Scharpf, chef/owner of Brazen Open Kitchen, Dubuque, Iowa, USA, demonstrated his cooking skills on the latest season of *Top Chef*.

07 February 2019

Read more about seven magical members of the Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery Collective.

07 February 2019

Head chef at Song Kitchen, Elizabeth Mason discusses her unique and exciting menu that fuses Middle Eastern, Italian and Mediterranean flavours with modern Australian fare.