Food Made Good Awards 2018 winners revealed - and there's a TUCO member amongst them!Written by Anjali Dattani
The chefs, owners and managers of businesses at the forefront of fixing up the food system were honoured at the Food Made Good Awards 2018, the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s industry leading accolades for businesses helping diners use the power of their appetites wisely.
A pizzeria using aluminium take-out boxes, a beach restauarnt leading a community-wide single-use plastic purge, one of the UK's largest pub chains going to war on food food waste, and a caterer increasing coffee sales by 20% while also directly supporting the farmers who grow it, are just some of the outstanding and replicable innovations recognised at the seventh Food Made Good Awards.
We are delighted that Jim Crouch of TUCO member University of Plymouth, picked up the award for Food Made Good Champion; awarded to the individual doing most to engage the industry on the key sustainability issues on the SRA’s online member community.
Poco Tapas Bar in Bristol where the connection between farm and fork grows ever closer, ways of keeping food on the plate and out of the bin are increasingly ingenious, and the menu’s celebration of veg and better meat continues apace, was named Food Made Good Business of the Year, repeating its success of 2016.
Two thirds of Poco's dishes celebrate vegetables while the meaty dishes feature less intensive species and cuts like muntjac deer and pig’s head terrine. There’s no such thing as waste in the Poco kitchen. If the kitchen has made full use of an ingredient then it’s passed to the bar, and vice versa. From fruit peels to pea skins, jams, juices, infusions and purees mean practically nothing ends up in the compost bin. Even the best in the business know there’s more to do though. When the team conducted a thorough review of everything they purchase, they discovered only two apparently unrecyclable items – sponges and pens. A home has been found for the old pens – sponges remain a challenge!
The Food Made Good Awards recognise restaurants and foodservice businesses whose accomplishments in the last year have driven progress in the industry and demonstrated that food can be made delicious, ethical and sustainable. The winners provide a tasty treasure trove of the best concepts proven to make a positive difference, providing diners with the inspiration to vote with their forks for a better food future, and operators winning ideas to use in their business.
Raymond Blanc, OBE, President of the SRA, said: “Year after year, chefs and restaurateurs continue to delight me with their winning submissions to The Food Made Good Awards, demonstrating how food can be a powerful force for good. Their greatest reward would be for consumers to eat in their dining rooms and for their colleagues across the industry to follow their lead.”
In the only publicly voted award, Dusty Knuckle Pizza in Cardiff won the hearts of delicious.magazine readers to claim the title of the People’s Favourite with its mix of tasty, locally sourced toppings delivered in a waste-busting aluminium box.
Seaside café ODE-truefood scooped the Reduce Reuse Recycle award, sponsored by Paper Round, for running a community-wide campaign to rid its village of the scourge of single-use plastic.
Caterer bartlett mitchell’s bespoke, premium coffee brand that’s sold more than half a million cups and helped transform the lives of the farmers who grow it, helped it to success in the Support Global Farmers category.
JD Wetherspoon won the Waste No Food award for its successful 2018 war on food waste which saw it tacking the issue from all angles; offering smaller portions of favourite dishes, feeding thousands of people with surplus via Fareshare and switching waste contractor to send unavoidable waste to anaerobic digestion.
bartlett mitchell founder Wendy Bartlett set out to satisfy customers’ demand for premium coffee while simultaneously ensuring a fair deal for the farmers growing it. In the two years since the caterer created Perkee, working with a cooperative of more than 600 farmers in Nicaragua, many of them women, they’ve provided them with a range health, education and business opportunities as well as increasing coffee sales by more than a fifth.
The Source Fish Responsibly award was won by Lussmanns Sustainable Fish and Grill where a five-year plan to overhaul its seafood menu now means diners can enjoy ten different dishes featuring eight species – 90% of which are Marine Stewardship Council certified. Cod cheeks, mackerel, crab, hake and bream are just some of the varieties on the menu.
Professor Tim Lang, founder of the Centre for Food Policy and the man without whom there would be no Food Standards Agency nor Sustain, no concept of food miles, as well as a much-diminished understanding of the connection between food, health and the environment, was named Raymond Blanc Sustainability Hero, sponsored by Open Blue Cobia.
Ethical water company Belu was named Food Made Good Supplier of the Year for its success in shifting hospitality businesses to a more sustainable water service with a cocktail of free filtration systems and better bottles.
The winners of the 17 Food Made Good Awards were revealed at a special ceremony at FEST Camden in London. Cinnamon Club, Poco Tapas Bar, OXO Tower Restaurant Bar and Brasserie, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, The Good Egg and Oystermen were among the restaurants serving the 500 guests dishes created to follow the SRA’s recipe for a better food future – One Planet Plate.
A full list of winners is available here.