United Kingdom (Brighton)
Britain’s most ethical restaurant doesn’t have a bin. Founded by ex-St John chef Dougie McMaster, the team at Silo brews its own booze, mills its own flour, churns its own butter and even has chairs made from jeans and plates formed from plastic bags.
“We ruffle a lot of feathers. Silo is radically different from every other sustainable business, which often latch onto one aspect of sustainability to get kudos – whether it’s a seasonal menu, locally sourced, or organic. But with us it’s a holistic idea, like a moral compass. We question every material that’s wasted. I look at objects and see value in them when others see waste.”
At the UK’s first ever zero waste restaurant, all materials are digestible by us or ‘Bertha’ – its ravenous £22,000 communal compost machine. “She turns up to 60 kilos of organic waste into compost in one day, something that gives life and grows new food, as part of a closed loop mentality.”
Silo has been certified as 95% organic. Everything that comes in is an unprocessed as it can possibly be. They don’t accept packaging, make yoghurt, do fermentation workshops and ferment everything. They brew all our own drinks, like kefir, kombucha, ale, ebulus, cider and mead.
We travelled to Brighton to sit at the Retford-born international chef’s table – and chew the fat on his pre-industrial “futuristic medieval” food system, caveman cooking, a pirate ship kitchen atmosphere and the omnivore question.
FutureHero interview ► This is what he had to say.
Dougie McMaster, Owner and Head Chef