Few chefs are more passionate about sustainability than Simon Rogan, owner of Two Michelin Starred L’Enclume and One Michelin Starred Rogan & Co, both situated in Cartmel, Cumbria, and Henrock, a Michelin Plate in Bowness-on-Windermere.
L’Enclume was one of only 23 restaurants awarded a Michelin Green Star in the 2021 edition of the MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland. This new award highlights restaurants which are at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their sustainable practices – and who act as role models to all.
Simon’s restaurants serve micro-seasonal, ingredient-led menus, with much of the exceptional produce – including fruits, vegetables and herbs, as well as chickens, ducks, pigs, sheep and cattle – coming from his 12 acre farm.
This sustainable operation returns animal waste to the land to be used as compost and ensures that Simon’s restaurants leave as low a carbon footprint as possible. Ingredients are grown organically and, with harvest to plate often taking place in less than an hour, their quality and freshness is unbeatable.
When it comes to acting more sustainably in our everyday lives, we might not be Michelin-Starred chefs; but we can all make a difference. Here, Simon gives his top tips:
This goes without saying. Quality flavoursome ingredients that have a low carbon footprint should be first and foremost in your cooking. If you can afford it, buy organic, bio-dynamic and fairtrade. Farming the natural way helps encourage soil and water conservation, plus the food has a much better flavour and is full of the nutrients that we need. Buy less and shop more often.
Don’t waste anything
Utilise every part of an ingredient. You can often eat the roots, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds of a plant, not only the fruit. For example, cook broccoli and cauliflower stems or turnip tops, which have just as much flavour as their more renowned parts. Seek out recipe alternatives that use the entirety of an ingredient.
Whatever waste you do have, it’s easy to home compost and avoid landfill sites. Not only will this start shrinking your environmental impact but it will also help to nourish your garden and encourage growth of your own quality produce.
Grow your own
This obviously depends on where you live but even the smallest apartment could have an herb garden. It’s so easy and can save you money. With a little more space, you can grow produce which is amazingly fresh but which can also be preserved, for example by pickling or fermenting.
This is the most impactful way to eat more sustainably. If you want to continue eating meat and fish then ensure it is always sourced from the best possible sources. The environmental benefit of plant-based foods is that they aren’t heavily processed and don’t need huge amounts of energy and resources to produce.
Ditch the clingfilm and review your cleaning products. Use reusable, sealable glass jars and eco-friendly products instead. Plastic should be seen as the very last resort.
Invest in an induction hob
The rapidly falling carbon intensity of electricity in the UK means that induction hobs are the least energy-hungry hob of choice. They are clean, accurate and very fast, which saves you money too, as the energy is cut as soon as the pan leaves the surface or you press the button to turn it off.
Develop green habits
The actions you take every day will help you make big savings whilst helping the planet. Use the right size pan for the right job and use lids where possible to keep heat in and conserve energy. Keep your cooker clean so it cooks quickly and efficiently.
Cook more than one thing in the oven at once to make the most of the heat – and resist the temptation to keep taking a look. Keep that oven hot and preferably make it a convection oven as they are more efficient than conventional ovens.
Green Stars are identified by a new green sustainability symbol and details of their practices are outlined in their online entry. Click here for all Michelin Green Stars in the UK/Republic of Ireland.
For 2021, the guide is published in digital format only, both online (UK and Republic of Ireland) and via the iOS app.