Shaldon café named UK's Sustainable Restaurant of the Year
By TheGreenMan | Thursday, February 07, 2013, 16:38
A SHALDON beachside café has been named the UK's Sustainable Restaurant of the Year, 12 months after its sister restaurant won the same award…
Tim Bouget (centre) receives the award for Sustainable Restaurant of the Year from renowned chef Raymond Blanc (right) and Matt Couchman of Southbank Fresh Fish
Tim Bouget, co-owner of cafe-ODE in Shaldon's Ness Drive was recently presented with the prestigious prize by world-renowned chef Raymond Blanc OBE at the Sustainable Restaurant Awards at London's OXO2 in London.
Blanc is president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), which rated more than 400 restaurants across the UK to find the country's most sustainable restaurants.
cafe-ODE – which opened in spring 2012 – won the overall award by achieving the highest score in the SRA's Sustainability Rating.
Tim and his wife Clare designed, built and set up cafe-ODE with the intention of making it the UK's most sustainable restaurant. According to the SRA, the restaurant "demonstrates an outstanding commitment to social and environmental responsibility".
The win is being hailed as a "extraordinary", especially as cafe-ODE's sister restaurant – ODE-dining in Shaldon's Fore Street – won the same award last year.
Mark Linehan, managing director of SRA, said: "To set out to open the most sustainable restaurant and achieve it is a terrific feat. To do it twice is extraordinary.
"Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of cafe-ODE's success is that it is a very popular local restaurant, serving high-quality, but simple, well-sourced food in the heart of a thriving community. It epitomises the efforts and achievements of all the Sustainable Restaurant Awards winners."
"We are so thrilled that all our efforts to make cafe-ODE as sustainable as possible have been recognized," said Tim. "To think that this time last year we hadn't even exchanged on the land! We've had tremendous support from the builders and our backers in particular, but also the local community, who have been terrific. I like to think that when people come to the cafe we communicate what we are doing and they engage with it and appreciate it."
Hard to fault
The SRA's assessors say they found café-ODE hard to fault. "As well as its almost flawless sustainable sourcing, cafe-ODE also demonstrated excellent environmental standards – recycling paper, glass, cardboard, cooking oil and plastic and using renewable electricity. Its commitment to sustainability is genuinely built in – with a grass roof, designed to attract local wildlife. Most of the materials involved in the construction were recycled and there is solar thermal energy equipment installed to keep the environmental impact to a minimum."
Equally notable, say the SRA's assessors, was "Cafe-ODE's dedication to the local community – running cooking classes for schoolchildren from the village as well as well as raising money for the local wildlife trust."
Other winners at this year's awards, sponsored by Southbank Fresh Fish, included River Cottage in Axminster (SRA Award for Sourcing) and Poco in Bristol (SRA Award for Environment and the award for Best Food Waste Strategy).