Hyper-environmental restaurant to open in Oxford

A new restaurant, wine bar and wine shop will launch in the upmarket Jericho area of Oxford this May. Yes, there are a lot of openings going on – it is promising for the industry. Nearly all of them talk about seasonality and local produce but none more obsessively than this one.

Called Wilding, the name comes from the practice of “regenerating overworked land to return it to nature”.

An announcement said Wilding’s founder Kent Barker’s “intention to make as little impact on the environment as possible and they only work with the very best in agile, environmentally-responsible businesses that support this ethos.”

Barker, who has previously held senior positions at Bibendum, Oddbins and Enotria, and now runs Eighty Stony Street in Frome, has brought in chef Dominique Goldtinger (formerly of Bistrot Bruno Loubet and most recently Maremma in Brixton) to oversee the food.

The chef will be working with a local Somerset forager (of course!) to bring seasonally-changing and biodiverse ingredients to the menu.

There will be dishes such as hand-dived scallops with seashore vegetables and wild capers andchargrilled asparagus with Caerphilly cheese and hogweed shoot dressing, and suppliers will include Westcombe Dairy, Cove Shellfish and Hogget and Boar, and fermentations and breads will be made in house.

If we’ve been harsh, it’s because environmental concerns are at the forefront of nearly all upscale launch, and have been for the past few years. It is now part and parcel of modern restaurants. Still, Wilding sounds interesting, and Oxford is well in need of better dining options, not least near the canals, which are beautiful, but lacking in fine food.

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