As of now, 2022 hasn’t been the refreshing breath of air that we’ve been hoping for. Within the heavy news headlines and stories, there was one this week about a Turkish farmer who offered cattle VR glasses to create the illusion that they were in the sun-filled pastures instead of inside barns. They were able to produce more excellent dairy. I don’t know what would sound more absurd and, in reality, scary. It’s the opposite of Reganuary. If you’ve never been aware of it, it’s the idea that is simultaneously challenging the environmental aspect of Veganuary as well as promoting the concept of Regenerative agriculture. Regen AG is referred to by a large portion of the field, is viewed as more sustainable than the vegan diet.
A teaspoon of healthy soil will contain more microorganisms and bacteria in it than the people on the plane.
There’s no standard definition for regen agriculture, but it’s basically working in harmony with nature to improve biodiversity instead of using monoculture farming exclusively employing methods that are healthier in the long run for our environment and the soil, the animals and ultimately for us. The soil’s health is vital in all of this, since the soil with a healthy pH will contain more microorganisms and bacteria it than the number of humans living on earth. If the soil is not properly maintained soil will degrade and become eroded. Regenerating is more than “being sustainable”, which has become so widely used and greenwashed that it’s nearly gone from meaning.
In the month of April, Native restaurant, set by university buddies Imogen Davis, and Ivan Tisdall-Downes has come up with an Regenerary menu a la carte inspired by these concepts. Ivan is the chef and was initially self-taught however, he’s now spent working with River Cottage, which clearly has a lot of similarities to his current job and also he was made the cut on Great British Menu whichis 2020. Imogen does a great job in as a front-of-house manager, and was named on the Code’s “100 most influential women in hospitality” list. She is a sommelier too.
The Regenuary themes continue inside with floor tiles constructed from computer parts as well as bars and walls from reclaimed clay, tables made of recycled materials
“Native at Browns is the most recent version following a string of pop-ups, one of which is in Osea Island, off the Essex coast, where every day’s menu is based on tide times that opened in Mayfair’s boutique store Browns in 2021. We salute anyone who is brave enough to create a dining establishment in an epidemic that is global however, there’s no need to be aware of the tide times. However, there’s a minor obstacle in terms of finding it. It’s located (quite literally, as we have passed it two times) behind the Bouji shop, which is selling Gucci and Balenciaga for the whole month’s rent. It’s out of sync with the overall ethos and ethos of this restaurant.
Enter the restaurant but it all is transparent. The floors are constructed from computer components, the bar and walls are made of recycled clay, and tables too are made of recycled materials.
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The wine selection is natural, and Imogen effortlessly finds the perfect wine for any taste, and every course is on the menu. I enjoyed a delicious wine called spergola, which is from Italy that originates from a small family owned vineyard made up of removed vines.
With just three options for mains and starters It’s a small, properly-planned menu, with a focus on foraged and seasonal ingredients which each of Ivan and Imogen have a lot of fun on. We picked several dishes to take home to share. The first is the chef’s wasting snack intended to make use of leftovers from the kitchen, such as crispy pakora pieces made of peelings. A twist on sesame prawns toast, which was topped with seaweed was the star and was a delicious, healthy and tasty bite.
Ceviche of chalk stream trout made with tiger’s Milk, then served with micro herb for an extra flavor, is the kind of food I always want to have in January.
In contrast to Veganuary, it’s not a vegetarian menu. Six of these dishes contain meat, and they’re two main dishes. The first is a delicately pink medallions of deer’s fallow haunch, which is meat that’s not intensively cultivated – with pickled beetroot, smoked beetroot, and Shiitake. It’s a traditional wintery dish. The other is an offal cut smoking ox tongue that is sliced and sprinkled over the cauliflower roast using wild garlic. It is a great way to showcase Ivan’s cooking style that he does not only make use of the best cuts of meat. This means that you can get a deeper flavor to the flavor of his meals.
The starter dish starts with broad pappardelle-like strips made of celeriac that are thinly cut (which can be found in the season) which make the cacio e Pepe and is served with an egg, and then generously sprinkled with curds, which gives it a the creamy flavor of an otherwise earthy rendition of the Italian traditional.