Climate Dine With Me

In August, Interface, a sustainably driven flooring company asked Suzanne James to plan and cater a Carbon free dinner. They approached us because they knew our company does everything we can to reduce our environmental impact…  “reduce, reuse, recycle” defines our company’s working culture and influences all stages of our process from sourcing ingredients to waste disposal.

Guests were invited to this event on 100% recycled and plantable paper embedded with a wildflower seed mix, that only had to be dampened and planted just under the surface of the soil in a sunny spot, watered regularly and hey presto your seeds to grow!

The evening was hosted at The Garden Museum (next to Lambeth Palace) and took place on Thursday, 14th November.

As the 32 guests arrived they were greeted with English Sparkling Wine from Meopham Valley Vineyard in Kent served alongside a selection of exquisite canapés.

The inspirational panel included Ella Gilbert from the British Antarctic Survey, who presented the latest climate science and current research on ice shelves, Maria Smith, architect, engineer and founding Director of Interrobang, Hattie Hartman, Sustainability Editor of Architects Journal and Jon Khoo, Head of Sustainability at Interface.

So what was on the menu for such a special evening?

The starter was Somerset Red & Essex White Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Norfolk Chickpea, Roasted Carrot Falafels, Fava Umami Dressing and Crisp Kale, served alongside baskets of Brick Bakery Artisan Sour Dough Peckham Rye Bread with Rapeseed Oil. The red quinoa was from Corsten near Bath, and the white quinoa from Great Tey. The butternut squash was grown at our allotment in Nunhead, in our first pumpkin arch. The falafels were made from the first ever crop of commercially grown chickpeas in Thetford. The Umami dressing is made from a paste that won the great taste awards and is made from British grown Fava Beans. As a huge fan of cut and come again vegetables we even managed to add some crispy kale to add a new dimension the the texture.

The main course was Olive Green Lentil Casserole with Pickled Aubergine, Zehug, Tahini Dressing and Coriander Cress. The lentils came from Partridge Hill Farm in Askwell and the delicious coriander cress from mini crops who grow in a vertical farm in Deptford (which I am always amused to explain was once used for raves!).

On to dessert; Dark Chocolate and Mexican Avocado Tart with Candied Kumquats and Hazelnut Crumb. Even though avocados are not ‘local’ our supplier, Avocargo, supplies certified Global GAP Avocados from Jalisco and Michoacan in Mexico. These growers ensure sensible and sustainable stewardship of the land.

Last but not least; Tea & Coffee, Volcano single origin hand roasted fair trade Guatemalan Coffee, Tea, Tisanes, Perruche Sugar, Oat and Soy Milk & Coconut Kefir Petit Fours. We use Volcano single origin Fair-trade coffee as they are local to us and pay a fair price for their beans, ensuring growers earn more for their crop. Volcano place long-term contracts with farmers which guarantee high standards are met thus improving farming practises. Volcano incidentally, also introduced the first biodegradable and fully compatible coffee pods! Tea comes from Birchalls, a family company also based in South East London. Birchalls are members of the ethical tea partnership and are both Fair-trade and Rainforest Alliance certified….. and of course, no meal would be complete without some of our home made Coconut Kefir Truffles!

We are so proud to have been part of this wonderful event, and really enjoyed creating such a special menu.