Eco-conscious market opens in Buck Street, Camden Town
- Credit: Archant
A total of 80 environmentally friendly businesses are housed in shipping containers including Adrian Martin’s seasonal and foraged food restaurant Wildflower
A zero-plastic policy, and food waste recycling are part of a new eco-conscious market in Camden Town.
The 88 recycled shipping containers on the site of the old Buck Street market will house 80 ethical retailers committed to sustainable practices to reflect the 'significant changes in consumer sentiment towards sustainability'.
A roof garden holding community events, yoga classes and workshops sits alongside hipster male grooming parlour Sweyn Forkbeard, and handmade children's wear Dress Up Baby.Composted food waste from traders will generate energy that will be fed back into the power grid.
Maggie Milosavljevic, Commercial Director for LabTech who are behind the site said: 'Being conscious of the impact we have on the planet should be at the forefront of every retailer's strategy. We hope to set a new precedent not only for markets and traders, but also consumers: to start thinking more consciously about the environment and engaging in a positive change towards a better environment.'
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Street food outlets are part of the mix, with burger and sandwich outlet Yolk Breaker and One Pound Meal Instagram star Miguel Barclay taking units.
Barclay's New York-style pizzeria Miguel's Pizza will be his first bricks and mortar venture, as will Wildflower for Irish food star Adrian Martin.
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The 28-year-old's fine dining restaurant using only foraged, and seasonal ingredients with a zero waste policy, is a perfect fit.
Martin is a regular on Irish TV's Six O'Clock Show and has a series Chef Adrian Easts Ireland and two cookery books.
We asked him some questions:
Q Why open your first restaurant in Buck Street?
A I've always wanted a unique experiential restaurant that has a small number of covers and focuses on nailing the food and service. The market in Camden is unique and it really fits my ethos and what I wanted to do with Wildflower through reducing waste, being good to the environment and serving seasonal produce that's sustainable. I visited the market a lot as a kid and I fell in love with its vibe and the fact that everyone is not only accepted but welcomed there. There is also a limited amount of fine dining in the area so we wanted to bring more people to Camden for that.
Q You made a very young start as a TV chef - have you always been passionate about food?
A Absolutely. I started working in kitchens at the age of 14. I worked in a One Michelin star restaurant as Head of Pastry at 17 and I've always loved it. I had planned to go to Australia to work in Melbourne when I was 23, but I was asked to do a live TV show in Ireland just before I was set to leave. I couldn't turn down the opportunity and decided to stay and give TV a go. Here I am five years later, still a regular on the same TV show.
Q You encourage people to cook 'real food' what do you mean by that?
A I'm a big believer in using the best quality produce and ingredients no matter how small. So, I find the best veg and the best meat in whatever location I'm in. I avoid convenience and processed food where possible. Real food isn't mass produced, it's quality, it's fresh, it's organic, it might cost a little more, but you'll feel much better, energised and even look better from quality food.
Q Are there also benefits for the planet?
A Foraged food is completely wild. So it's seasonal and grows naturally without any sprays or pesticides. Basically, when you forage you are only using what nature is offering you. Health benefits are very similar to buying quality foods, the only difference is it's free. Please be careful what you pick and try though, I'd always recommend asking an expert.
Q How difficult will it be to supply the restaurant in urban London?
A Not difficult at all. We are dealing with some great suppliers who pick daily and provide us with different ingredients every day. This allows our menu to change, grow and evolve, as each day we're working with different forged produce. Emma Gunn has been great; I plan on bringing her in to teach all my staff more about foraging and growing more of our own produce.
Q Give us a few examples of dishes on the Wildflower menu.
A We have some amazing dishes; our scallop with smoked burdock, for example, the burdock root a cross between celeriac and swede, it's delicious. Other dishes I'm incredibly proud to offer our guests are our wood sorrel risotto, the turbot with stuffed courgette flowers, and our mixed wild mushroom broth with stonecrop.
We have even tried to find wines that have foraged ingredients and will be including a tea pairing for our tasting menu.
Wildflower Restaurant is in Buck Street, Camden High Street.