Monsieur Raymond Blanc presided over the Food Made Good Awards this week with typically French gusto, presenting his bon ami Jamie O with the Sustainability Hero Award, among many other accolades conferred upon green-thinking restaurateurs and suppliers. Held at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Lindley Hall on 22 March, the ceremony was by far the award’s biggest celebration in its five-year history, with hundreds of people in attendance for a sit down lunch catered by Petersham Nurseries.
Hackney tapas bar Poco, which opened last year just off Broadway Market, was named the Food Made Good Restaurant of the Year. An offshoot of a Bristol restaurant of the same name, both venues pride themselves on serving affordable food made with local ingredients. Chef/patron Tom Hunt – the self styled ‘eco-chef’ – uses only British produce (apart from lemons) in his root-to-fruit philosophy.
The accolade, awarded to the restaurant judged to be the most sustainable in the UK, was presented by Mons Blanc OBE, president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), which runs the Food Made Good Awards – which was this year sponsored by Nestlé Professional.
Jamie Oliver was this year’s recipient of the Raymond Blanc Sustainability Hero Award for his “unrelenting passion and commitment” to use food as a force for good and to improve the health of the nation.
Raymond said: “Whether Jamie is challenging school caterers head-on, here or in the USA, or throwing himself into campaigns to persuade the nation to buy higher welfare chicken, he carries people with him, leading them to a better place.”
Meanwhile, Lussmanns Fish & Grill received the People’s Favourite Award after topping a public poll of five restaurants shortlisted from more than 600 nominations. The Hertfordshire restaurant earned huge public backing for its community engagement – supporting more than 30 good causes – and menus that feature immaculately sourced meat and fish from British producers.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ won Food Made Good Award for Sourcing for the fourth year running.
South London pub The Roebuck picked up the award for Most Improved Sustainability.
Thomasina Miers’ popular Mexican restaurant group Wahaca, recently recognised as being Carbon Neutral, was named the Food Made Good Large Group of the Year.
Christian Puglisi, chef and founder of RelÃ¦, collected the International Food Made Good Champion award on behalf of the Copenhagen restaurant.
Two new awards – Food Made Good University Champion and Food Made Good Supplier of the Year – were won by Plymouth University and eco-cleaning product company Delphis Eco, respectively.