We focus on the global, traditional and seasonal offerings that this week's seven feature restaurants bring to their tables.
“Nicole is a restaurant that takes pride in being a product of its environment. Our motto is that whoever comes to the restaurant, when they close their eyes and eat the food, they should know they are in Istanbul and in a particular part of that city. We not only make sure that everything we source is local but we also want to make sure that the food reflects Istanbul being the real junction of cultures and history from the Byzance to the Ottomans, with different nationalities, ethnic origins and languages.
“From day one at Nicole we believed that if we were to cook decent food we had to source locally and in season. We highly prize farmers' markets, work closely with the producers and let them propose their best ingredients. We don't stick to a strict menu to be able to serve our guests the best possible produce. The limits of what one can and cannot purchase in their region is to be considered as a challenge to come up with creative solutions.
“We hardly ever serve beef on our menus because first of all Turkey is not really a beef grazing country. Also we now know very well that the industrially produced beef is the greatest contributor to the damage of the environment through the carbon emission. And when we do serve red meat it is never fillet steak but usually the so-called unwanted pieces to show that in good hands every cut is delicious and nutritious. We have a huge section of the cuisine dedicated to 'olive oil dishes' which are mostly vegetable based. We have a historically 'vegan' cuisine in Turkey that we cherish here at Nicole.”
To read more about Nicole, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.
"The name 'Fawda' means chaos. Our premise is that out of chaos comes creativity. Each day we start afresh, taking new inspiration from our producers and the goods they have on offer. However, there is also an element of irony as we seek to offer a fine dining experience and a calm, relaxed atmosphere in what can often be hectic surroundings.
“Fawda Restaurant is all about our locality. Everything evolves around where we are: the heart of the Old Quarters of the city of Bethlehem. We are passionate about our guests but also the local people: our team, the farmers selling in the neighbouring souk and the artisans all around us. We rely on local produce: fantastic, seasonal Palestinian fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains and meats. We work with the local city and take seriously our environmental and social responsibilities: in waste management, historic preservation and inclusion.
“Our buying policy with farmers is based on integrity and transparency. We never order in advance so as not to drive the farmers to pick early to meet demand. Instead, we design our menu based on what they have to offer each day. We never negotiate selling prices in order to preserve their income without the effect of 'assistance'.
To read more about Hosh Al Syrian, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.
Hosh Al Syrian (Old City, Bethlehem, Palestine)
“During March and April BOCA hosted three important events that helped strengthen the restaurant's direction towards sustainability and supporting local products. The events brought us closer to local heroes who we may or may not have heard of before the initiatives. It took us on multiple road trips across the United Arab Emirates discovering what very inspiring individuals have been doing in the desert. We were blown away by how much can be done here locally using new technology and techniques with absolute efficiency and minimum impact on the environment.
“In March, we hosted Danish food writer, chef and sustainability advocate Trine Hahnemann for an informal evening with guests discussing sustainable solutions, organic sourcing and food cooked with love.
“In April, BOCA along with the house of Gonzales Byass – Spain’s most prominent Sherry producer – presented a four-course, wine-paired one hundred per cent vegetarian dinner celebrating local ingredients and an impelling collaboration between restaurant, chef, farm and oenologist. Also in April, the Spanish house of Perelada hosted a dinner preview of BOCA’s new seasonal menu.
“Moving forward we have exciting plans after summer when we host our first zero-waste dinner collaborating with big sustainable wine producers who are helping conserve the oceans.”
To read more about BOCA, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.
BOCA (Dubai, UAE)
“The found-and-foraged concept is one of the things we want to keep within the concept of Hujan Locale. Hujan Locale means 'it rains in one place but not the other', and to honour this we have created a cooking school that showcases how traditional Balinese live and cook. This class is more about understanding what Bali is like in the rural areas rather than in the tourist spots. Traditionally mothers used to cook with the ingredients that surrounded them rather than buy from the supermarket, or markets, even some of the traditional pasars (markets) are importing fruits and vegetables, so to promote sustainability, we use our own gardens that are producing crops on a weekly basis.
“Not only do we use local vegetables but also locally-farmed freshwater fish rather than only ocean fish. We also use fish that the locals eat on a daily basis such as ikan selar and gurami, which are similar to trevally. We also use bonito, (skip jack and yellow fin tuna) rather than the blue fin variety.
“We have long term friendships with many street food vendors or warung owners – our friendships and their dedication inspires us as they feed this nation. It is important to us that we support them rather than jump onto any passing trends, as once they have gone, then so too has our cuisine culture and heritage – unless of course you Google it.”
To read more about Hujan Locale, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.
Hujan Locale (Bali, Indonesia)
“In Oaxaca, food is a living reflection of its culture, customs and traditions. The work of producers, farmers and fishermen is fundamental for Origen. Our cuisine is also sustainable and ethical because we know that the human value behind each dish is essential.
“Our aim is to share with our clients the great gastronomic richness of the state of Oaxaca – its regions, microclimates, and cultures, and the best-quality ingredients that Oaxaca offers. We change the menu constantly, according to what is available from local farms, many of whom we work closely with, choosing heirloom varieties of vegetables. We support sustainable growing practices and try to buy from small, indigenous farmers, paying fair prices and encouraging agro-biodiversity. We also take great pride in recycling and creating as little waste as possible.”
To read more about Origen, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.
Origen (Oaxaca, Mexico)
“We do not use any products from outside Brazil in our restaurant, except for some wine. Everything else – no exception – comes from Brazil and ninety per cent from the Rio area. We use greens from the local organic street market and all eggs are from our garden, or another local producer. In addition, we have two gardens in Rio – one in the city and the other in the mountains. In total, we have around eleven thousand square metres of land to produce one hundred and twenty chickens and more than forty varieties of produce. These gardens are the main source of inspiration for Chef Rafa e Silva and his sous chefs to create new dishes and ideas for Lasai’s daily changing menu.
“We choose to use only line-caught fish – never, ever use farm raised seafood – and do not use seafood from outside of Brazil. There are no fish named on the menu, instead waiters verbally tell our customers what it is. It can change from table to table, according to whatever seasonal shellfish and seafood we have available that day.
“For the first time in Rio, and partnered with others, we are doing a buy-ahead. For example, we buy a crop of tomatoes even before they grow, assuming all costs for the production of the tomatoes – whether they grow or not.”
To read more about Lasai, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.
Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
“We believe in honest food, preferably from our own backyard. That’s why we cook with plants: botanic gastronomy. We pick plants. Smell them. Taste them. Analyze them. Ferment them. Cook them. Until there’s something on your plate that will truly astound and overwhelm you.
"Our study about eating began in 2011. We scoured the world and tried to understand eating cultures. To investigate. To allow ourselves to be inspired by the traditions we found. Over the course of the years, we have translated the insights we have gained to the food available in our region. Take the traditional Japanese miso, made with soybeans and salt. A preparation with a history going back thousands of years. We make it here with Dutch pearl barley. The technique of fermentation, however, is exactly the same. Traditional cuisine, reinvented.
“Sourcing our ingredients from a wholesale store would be too easy. Instead, we’d rather pick them ourselves allowing our guests to taste the area and the season.”
Stay tuned for details of De Nieuwe Winkel’s brand new restaurant, opening 30 May.
To read more about De Nieuwe Winkel, visit their Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery profile here.
De Nieuwe Winkel (Nijmegen, Netherlands)
30 May 2019
Taking on our lighthearted TL&CC Q&A this week is Yizhar Sahar, chef/owner of Rutenberg in Old Gesher, Israel.
23 May 2019
There are no cities in sight for this week’s seven feature restaurants who all enjoy the benefits that their out-of-the-way locations brings to the table.
23 May 2019
This week's hot-smoked high-country river trout celebrates real 'get away from it all' wild fare
23 May 2019
We chat with Hayley Pember-Calvert from Leonards Mill, Australia about their permaculture gardens and autumn menu.