Sustainable Gastronomy 2 minutes 15 June 2023

Green Star Focus: Apricity, London

In awarding Green Stars, it is the MICHELIN Guide’s mission to shine a light on leaders and innovators in the field of sustainable gastronomy. Since 2021, the Great Britain & Ireland Guide has been using the award to honour the people and restaurants who show us the way towards a greener future. Apricity, sitting just off bustling Oxford Street in the heart of London, was recognised with a Green Star at the MICHELIN Guide Ceremony 2023.

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Driven forward by chef-owner Chantelle Nicholson – a passionate advocate for eco-conscious cooking – the team at Apricity constantly strive to make their restaurant as positive for the planet as possible. From how they display the menu to the food and the furniture, there is nothing that hasn’t been considered in their actions.

It starts, as always, with the food. In line with many sustainably minded restaurants, the chefs at Apricity put British vegetables at the forefront of their cooking. The produce that powers this cooking is used in the height of its season and is either foraged or comes from small-scale suppliers who take biodiversity and soil regeneration seriously.

Working with companies who share her sustainable outlook is key for Chantelle, meaning that any meat and fish on the menu has been sourced with this in mind. Regenerative farming methods are used when animals are reared and all the seafood is sustainably caught off British coastlines. The à la carte includes plenty of plant-based dishes, and the tasting menu allows you to choose between a vegan and non-vegan option at each course.

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As you can imagine for a restaurant with such a strong eco ethos, all of these ingredients are cooked with a zero-waste approach. Dishes are designed to incorporate everything from skins and seeds to tops and tails, most notably with their ‘wasted’ dip that ensures the bin is avoided at all costs. This even extends into the bar, which the Apricity team see as an extension of the kitchen. Innovative zero-waste cocktails use preserved leftovers from the kitchen to craft regularly changing drinks like a Mayfair Manhattan with pickled blackberry.

When it comes to wine, the team are as selective about their suppliers as ever, offering an extensive list of low-intervention options from producers who treat soil health and biodiversity as top priorities. English and Welsh winemakers are championed too, fitting into the locally led philosophy of the restaurant.

All of this impressively eco-conscious food and drink is served in a bright and peaceful dining room that is itself a beacon of sustainability. When designing the room, interior architect David Chenery was brought in to ensure Apricity’s principles of minimal waste and a circular economy were adhered to through upcycling, repurposing and the use of sustainable materials. Everything from the paint to the toilet paper was carefully considered.

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The result is a restaurant fit out that produced 40% less emissions than the standard and saved 98% of construction waste from ending up in landfill. Among the many intriguing sustainable features of the room are exposed walls, skirting boards turned into bar fronts, chairs fashioned from recycled Coke bottles and decorative wall cladding made with timber from the old staircase.

With both the cooking and the restaurant itself being treated with such a strong environmental ethos, it’s not surprising that single use items have also been removed as much as possible. Chantelle and her team work with suppliers to use reusable crates and containers, and have also installed water taps to replace bottled water. They estimate this has already saved over 10,000 bottles from being wasted. Small initiatives like this make up a big, admirably sustainable picture that is well worthy of a Michelin Green Star.

Staying overnight in London? The Michelin-recommended The Beaumont Hotel is just a short walk from Apricity.

Sustainable Gastronomy

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