MOST IN­NO­VA­TIVE: Silo, Brighton

Olive - - Explore - Silo­brighton.com

It’s been open for less than six months, but al­ready Dou­glas McMaster’s ‘zero waste’ restau­rant has caused quite a stir with its 60-kilo com­poster that stands in pride of place, at the en­trance. Once inside the restau­rant, its airy in­te­rior and strik­ing re­claimed fur­ni­ture be­lies the work that’s go­ing on be­hind the scenes, where Dou­glas and his dis­ci­ples are busy brew­ing al­co­hol to serve in re­cy­cled jam jars; cul­tur­ing but­ter to spread on their own, slowly fer­mented sour­dough; cur­ing lo­cal meats; and cook­ing de­li­cious dishes with ‘in­ter­cepted‘ in­gre­di­ents that would oth­er­wise be des­tined for the scrapheap. ‘I opened a sim­i­lar restau­rant in Aus­tralia with an artist called Joost Bakker – a Dutch­born Aus­tralian who makes art us­ing waste items,’ says Dou­glas. ‘It worked, so I brought the con­cept back to the UK.’ Dishes such as the brown rice risotto (£9) com­bine waste-free wiz­ardry with culi­nary know-how. The recipe uses fer­mented brown rice paste stirred into a fresh, short brown rice risotto along with ‘espresso mush­rooms’ that are grown in the used cof­fee grains from the on-site cof­fee shop. Curd made with left­over milk from the cof­fee jugs is added, along with a salsa verde made from herbs grown on the premises in wheely bins. ‘It’s a spec­tac­u­lar dish,’ says Dou­glas. ‘It’s in­cred­i­bly healthy be­cause it’s made from the fer­mented paste, which is full of good bac­te­ria, plus it’s not

go­ing to break the bank at £9.’ Must or­der ³'atch-box ½sh´ Ĵ12 ¯ a dish of ever-chang­ing poached ½sh caught via the lo­cal ³catch box´ scheme, whereby the restau­rant takes what­ever the ½sher­men land. Served with plum vine­gar, caramelised onions, seaweed salsa, grilled cu­cum­ber and oys­ter emul­sion.

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