A zero waste, organic and vegetarian restaurant — Tiny Leaf — is due to open in Notting Hill this Thursday, serving food sourced from local suppliers which would otherwise go to waste.
Menus will change on a daily basis due to the unpredictable nature of deliveries, but potential dishes may include buckwheat pancakes with blueberry compote, coconut yoghurt and bee pollen for breakfast, washed down with nut “mylk”. Lunch could include courgetti with hemp pesto with a butter bean ragu, and for dinner, broccoli steaks with baba ganoush.
The four-storey venue has been the dream of Justin Horne, a chef, writer and food activist, along with general manager Jonathan Krauss (formerly of Chiltern Firehouse). This is his attempt to play a part in tackling the 18 million tonnes of food piled into landfills each year.
There will be an events space, which will screen food-conscious films and documentaries and host talks on subjects such as organic farming and soil health (Craig Sams) and biodynamic wines (Tom Harrow).
In addition, 20p per litre from the sale of Tiny Leaf’s alkaline bottled water will be donated to Whole World Water, an organisation that aims to improve water supplies to people in need of clean water. And the restaurant will match each £1 voluntary donation added to the bill, with the money raised going to Refugee Community Kitchen Calais and the Soil Association. Diners can even take their leftovers home in free ‘bio-boxes’ made from biodegradable vegetable polymers.
The UK’s first zero waste restaurant, Silo, opened in Brighton in 2014, founded by ex-St. John and Noma chef Douglas McMaster. Chefs and restaurateurs are generally moving towards more sustainable approaches, for example at Poco in Bristol, where they use a ‘weigh to waste’ approach to monitor how much waste is being generated, and how it can be reduced.
At Tiny Leaf, they will turn vegetable peel into crisps, zest all citrus to make oils and dehydrate husks to use in curries and as garnish. All organic waste will be composted, all cardboard, paper and plastic recycled, and any excess veg donated to a community kitchen. Even builders waste was recycled by The Good Rubbish Company.
Justin Horne’s main aim, he says, is to “change people’s perception of what waste is, then we can change out how much waste we create.” He also wants to stress that eating seasonal, vegetarian food is key to reducing carbon footprint, and stresses that an important aim is “to educate, inspire and also have some fun in exploring this new approach to food”.
Tiny Leaf, 209 Westbourne Park Road, W11 1EA