Top chef says sustainability here to stay

THE CHEF at the restaurant listed as “number one” in the Sunday Times/Harden’s Top 100 food list has attributed his success to operating sustainably.



Andrew Fairlie, of the eponymous restaurant at Gleneagles Hotel, also urged his fellow chefs to follow his lead or risk losing customers.


Fairlie has topped the prestigious list which ranks Britain’s top 100 restaurants strictly by the quality of their food. However, he predicted that a restaurant’s sustainability would very soon be as important as its food and service.


“Working in an unsustainable way just isn’t acceptable any more,” the two-Michelin-star chef said. “Chefs who aren’t doing it have to take a long look at themselves. Apart from anything else people question us about it all the time and very soon they will be demanding it from all restaurants.”


Earlier this year Harden’s guides became the first in the UK to highlight restaurants’ sustainability credentials alongside their ratings for food, service and atmosphere.


In an online debate through the FootprintChannel earlier this month, other leading industry figures also suggested that consumers expect food businesses to be sustainable. Some have called for a “cultural change” in UK commercial kitchens to deal with one of the biggest environmental challenges – food waste.


Fairlie’s comments come just a few days after the 2012 Green Gram Paper showed restaurants are struggling to get to grips with sustainability. According to the survey, restaurants are the least likely foodservice channel to describe their business as green. They are also the least likely to have an environmental initiative in place.


However, four out of five restaurant owners said they wanted to be more sustainable.


Fairlie added: “Running the restaurant sustainably just comes naturally. I can’t imagine it any other way. It’s what we have always done, it has developed organically and we are better for running it that way.”