Bristol restaurants join #OnePlanetPlate campaign

Putting sustainability back on the menu

Restaurants across Bristol are showing their support for the launch of One Planet Plate this weekend. A campaign from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, it aims to get conversation flowing about the sustainability of restaurants’ dishes, by challenging restaurants to offer special dishes that display the highest ethical standards.

The point is that while it’s getting easier to make sustainable choices when we’re shopping for food to cook at home, when it comes to eating out, it all become a bit murkier, right?

In a recent survey by restaurant guide Harden’s, almost nine out of ten people questioned said that they thought restaurants should focus on creating menus that help them make sustainable choices.

Cue One Planet Plate: the campaign offers chefs a great chance to show their skill and ethical commitment by crafting dishes that not only taste awesome, but that also come at a minimal cost to the planet. The response has been huge, with Bristol restaurants signing up in their droves to to offer special dishes for the launch on 24 March to coincide with the launch of WWF Earth Hour. Punters will be able to find said dishes at Bell’s Diner, Pasture, The Ethicurean, Box-E and Wahaca, among others, and Root’s

head chef Rob Howell has decided to serve his popular beetroot, blackberry and hazelnut dish as part of the campaign.

Having become known for his sustainability credentials at Root, Rob says, “We’re using less meat and fish and wasting the very bare minimum. In fact, we’re wasting less here than at any restaurant I’ve ever worked in – less than a bag a day goes to recycling.

“Whether as a chef, or just as a human being, you should want to do the right thing when it comes to food. So, we’re all about making it tasty, but ensuring we’re smart about it. That means it’s good for business, the planet and our customers. The meat we do use, there’s absolutely no wastage, we use every scrap of the aubergines, butternut squash and beetroot too. What’s really fantastic is that we’re getting such a mix of customers, many of them enjoying dishes they never would have imagined eating. Last week we had two hench blokes in sat at the bar and one said to the other that the aubergine dish was the best thing he’d ever eaten.

“One Planet Plate is a fantastic opportunity to showcase great ingredients that tell a good story of some kind.”

Rob has even shared the recipe for the celebrated beetroot dish that he’s using to mark the campaign. He says,

“We’ve chosen this recipe as one that champions an ingredient that can easily be sourced locally and stored for many months of the year. It also encourages a trip to your nearest bramble hedge for a spot of foraging!”

Here’s the full recipe for the dish if you fancy trying it out at home.

Keep an eye out for these special dishes on restaurant menus over the next few days, and if you snap ’em, don’t forget to tag #OnePlanetPlate and #CrumbsSnaps.