Turn up the beet

Epicure Magazine|January 2020

Turn up the beet
Kirk Haworth, executive chef of Plates, shows why London’s plant based dining scene is heating up.

I started to eat a plant-based diet myself when I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2014, and became unbelievably intrigued with the power of fruits and vegetables. I spent a lot of time learning about and understanding their nutritional values and more, and the way they work in the body when consumed.

And over the years, London’s plant-based scene has evolved into something exciting – more and more restaurants that are not even plant-based are adding interesting plant menus to their restaurants. It’s so fast and progressive here in the city that the vegetable scene just keeps on getting better.

GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK

CUB in Hoxton is my new favorite and they do a fantastic vegan menu. A collaborative project between Ryan Chetiyawardana and executive chef Doug McMaster, the dinner-only restaurant offers a seasonal six-course zero-waste vegetarian feast. My favourite dish is the Chervil Roots. These buttery little stubs are layered with miso, apples and ‘turbo whey’ which they get from Neal’s Yard (it’s a by-product of cheese-making that would otherwise go down the drain). The whole thing is creamy, savoury and uber umami. Other notable dishes are the deconstructed Tomato Salad, accompanied with muscat grapes and lemon verbena-brined green tomatoes; and Shrooms on Shrooms, king oyster mushroom served three ways – roasted, raw and boiled.

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January 2020