We planned our wedding day, 2 years in advance and we had guests attending from all over the world, including Australia, Canada and Norway.Read More
Our blog is a diary of our adventures in local food. We enjoy preserving harvests of seasonal food so you will find brewing, fermenting as well as jam and preserve making recipes well represented. In addition we discuss visits to our valued Sheffield suppliers and trips wider afield to see artisan producers in action in Derbyshire and the Peak District. A new feature will focus on individual members of our team to share their skills and aspirations.
Tracy and Jade both key members of our team have been well and truely zapped! After driving our electric vans they are the latest converts to the benefits of zero tail pipe emissions and have both bought a Nissan Leaf.
This brings the electric vehicles in daily use for PJ taste to 4 when we add the 2 Nissan ENV 200 vans which have proved such great workhorses. Tracy and Jade now enjoy extremely cost effective motoring and can use our rapid charger when at work. (We especially like this when the sun is shining as our 37 solar panels mean that we do not need to draw from the national grid).
If you are interested in the green driving revolution check out the Top EV benefits here
We expect our new meeting, dining and event space on the first floor of our buiding at 54 Staniforth Road (S9 3HB) to be complete in April 2017.
Throughout the planning process we have worked closely with our Sheffield based architects, Burnell Briercliffe, to make the refurbishment as environmentally sound as possible. Considerations of sustainability are a key part of our core values and we wanted to carefully consider each step of the process from the demolition to the choice of materials used as well as aspects of the levels of insulation and on going impacts of each material chosen.
Talking of insulation we are installing a considerable amount to make the space much more efficient to heat. We have chosen a product from Natural Building Technologies which is actually carbon negative in its manufacture.
Only wood from indigenous forests are used principally sawmill offcuts. Preference is given to wood from sustainable and socially acceptable sources. All the wood used is purchased within the European region, makes a significant contribution to a sustainable, ecological forestry industry.
Improving the insulation to this level will significantly reduce the gas required to operate the central heating meaning less radiators too. In fact we are recycling the existing radiators rather than having to scrap these avoiding waste.
The electrical demand will be minimised by the use of LED lighting throughout and energy efficient applicances along with movement sensor switches - chefs never turn off lights!
So with our Sheffield made tables (from re-used pallets) and 37 solar panels we are keeping things local and low impact.
Since moving to our new production kitchen and premises at 54 Staniforth Road we have become increasingly interested in how to develop more sustainability.
We have been extremely impressed with our Nissan electric van since taking delivery in March. This was sourced through the Inmotion Scheme which adds very favourable grants for business. We are able to charge the van via the 39 panels installed on our roof which effectively makes the running costs free and not to say zero carbon!
Now working on the refurbishment of floor 2 at Staniforth Road we are keen to incorporate as many features as possible to increase the sustainability of resources used in years to come. Built into the plan so far are effective insulation, low energy lighting, rain water harvesting and grey water harvesting (of excess kitchen water use) as well as indoor growing! This will involve extending our recent experiments in growing micro greens indoors to incorporating it as a key feature in the new space. With Sheffield Architects Burnell Briercliffe working with us on the scheme we would welcome any further tips on building sustainability into this refurbishment.
Talking about growing we are extending the volume of crops we grow ourselves and are looking for land on which to develop an Urban Forrest style garden. The ambition would be to grow more unusual perennial plants, bushes and trees to produce crops which we can then use and preserve for out of season use within our menus. Of course some supplies are hard to grow and source locally. Whilst we obtain excellent organic Yorkshire flours and oats from Driffield, sugar at the moment is a more global commodity. It is arguably grown relatively unsustainably in the UK (see my previous post here) so its good to see the progress of our Stevia growing experiment. Planted out in June the foliage has developed well and we are looking forward to our first harvest in the Autumn. Once dried we can make a dried powder and a liquid sugar substitute. On a larger scale it could make a significant contribution to our sweetening needs. We will be taking cuttings in the Autumn and try to sustain more plants through the winter. They are not frost hardy so we will need need to think about this.
On the waste front we have a way to go. We do compost all our organic kitchen waste and recycle cardboard and glass but our general waste bin always seems to fill up fast. Good kitchen management can help by using just in time stock ordering, sensible portion planning, preservation techniques and clever use by-products. This should result in virtually no direct waste of ingredients although packaging of ingredients always seems excessive - any ideas to reduce this?
Our ultimate aim is to produce creative and exciting food for your event that is as near to carbon free as possible. See our menus here and watch our progress!