win dinner at SILO restaurant – on me! Love Angeli

October 23, 2015 • Competition, Food & Interiors • Views: 1391

_XDB0090 (1)Earlier this month I went to meet Douglas McMaster, the brainchild behind the popular Brighton restaurant Silo, – nestled in the middle of the ‘cooler/trendy’ Laines area of town.

I had no expectations of what I might find or learn I was fascinated by and  wanted to understand the background to the inspiration that led to Silo and how he got to where he is now. He’s only 20 something so I guessed it couldn’t be that long a story right? How wrong I was and what an amazing passion-filled global story it is.

Quiet, gentle and unassuming, Douglas cut his culinary teeth aged 16 working in fine dining in the North of England. Learning his trade the hard way from the ground up in a 2 starred Michelin Restaurant. Working long hours but quietly absorbing the delicacy finesse and flavour combinations a teenage education afforded him….

Then London beckoned via a former colleague and Douglas joined his mate Billy at breakthrough restaurant St Johns in Smithfield Market. St Johns was one of the first places to advocate the ‘top to toe’ vision of using the entire animal. Nothing to be thrown away and all to turned into something delicious. Quite by chance (six degrees of separation!) I used to work 2 doors away from St Johns and I remember distinctly when it opened! It quickly became our lunchtime haunt and I can confirm that the food was always, but always fabulous. Plus it looked so different when you walked in Architecturally hewn into old flour loading bay building there were no frills and bells just long rough wooden tables great food and intelligent staff. What’s’ not to like!150609_MieleFPR_0426

For Douglas, embracing the foodie concepts advocated by St Johns was a game changer. He loved it and set out on a worldwide pilgrimage to see how chefs around the world approached the ethnicity of food sustainability. Copenhagen, New York and Stockholm finally let him to Australia where hem met his guru Joost Bakker. – Sustainability warrior, florist, installation artist, designer… whatever you call Joost Bakker, he’s a man ahead of his time.

In Joost, Douglas found the mentor he dreamed of, a man inspired and driven by communicating the message of creating sustainability in life. Together Joost and Douglas set up Silo Melbourne, amazingly the first ever zero waste restaurant in the world.

In 2013 Douglas returned to the UK eager to spread the message here. For many months he looked for space in the east end of London to open a restaurant but could find nothing quite right. Just by chance Douglas did a spell as an invited lecturer at Brighton University. He took to wandering the streets in his spare time. On one occasion he walked past an empty space on Upper Gardner Street. It was not for sale or to rent but Douglas got ‘that’ feeling. The one where butterflies take flight in your tummy and you know its right.

So he knocked on the door, told his story to the building owner and found himself business partner. And that is how it all began.

He stays as true to his values as much as he possibly can. He believes strongly on the pre-industrial food system of minimizing food processing.  He looks to  Source local, produce where ever possible, he cold mills flour on site. Every element of the Silo experience is thought through to aim for zero waste. Tables and floor are the result of university and schools refitting and throwing them away, they are currently sourcing plates made of supermarket shopping bags. They work with local student studying sustainable design.. The strength of the ethos Douglas wants to communicate runs deep and permeates through every aspect of the business.

For me an inspiring intelligent, driven man, with an amazing vision brought so brilliantly to life, a true testament to fighting for what you believe in and following the dream.

Now all he needs is to stop being a workaholic!

 

HERE IS THEIR PHILOSOPHY IN THEIR OWN WORDS

The story behind silo

Silo was conceived from a desire to innovate the food industry whilst demonstrating respect: respect for the environment, respect for the way our food is generated and respect for the nourishment given to our bodies. This means that we create everything from its whole form cutting out food miles and over-processing whilst preserving nutrients and the integrity of the ingredients in the process._XDB9932 (1)

Our brewery, Old Tree creates fermented drinks using foraged and intercepted plants, herbs, vegetables and fruit. We have our own flour mill which turns ancient varieties of wheat into flour the original way, opposing over-processed industrialised bread making techniques. We churn our own butter, make our own almond milk, roll our own oats and support a nose to tail ideology, meaning that if an animal dies for food we will maximise the whole beast, respectfully.

Our furniture and fittings are created from a desire to re-use. We choose up-cycling before recycling. Our furniture is made from materials that would otherwise have been wasted and crafted with innovation to serve function. We have plates formed from plastic bags, tables made from industrial floor tiles, work benches crafted from filing cabinet frames and yes, we use jam jars for glasses, but for us this is no gimmick, they are plentiful, multi functional, hard-wearing and the not insubstantial energy that would have been used to re-cycle them is saved.

To achieve Zero Waste, all products that are delivered to us come in re-useable crates, food grade jerry cans, pails, urns or containers. All that isn’t consumed by our customers (or us) is fed into our aerobic digester which can generate up to 60kg of compost in just 24 hours. As our use for it is so minimal due to the way our menu is conceived, we offer its services to our neighbours, both residential and commercial, and that way we can share the benefits of waste reduction across our local community.Silo- Brighton

We choose to work this way in order to deliver a highly acclaimed menu, fantastic coffee, beautifully baked breads and pastries whilst demonstrating that a truly sustainable food business is viable both financially and ethically. That way, we can encourage the growth of other waste free businesses through collaboration but also simply by demonstrating that it is possible and it works.

 

 

COMPETITION

Historically  Silo has been a lunchtime place to hang out but now they are opening in the evenings and I’d love for you to try it out!

I’m gonna stump up £50 of my own money for an evening table – as I love the place and want as many people to go there as possible! – how’s about that! Just tell me why you want to win below (hint funny always get me!) and I’ll choose the winner on the 31st November. Good Luck.. Angeli xx

18 Responses to win dinner at SILO restaurant – on me! Love Angeli

  1. I spend too much money eating rubbish so it would be great to try somewhere (far superior) that doesn’t even believe in the literal concept of rubbish! I can promise you that if I won this, I wouldn’t waste this prize!

  2. daniel says:

    Having to cook and was up every day for my daughter (s) with no appreciation, this would be an ideal treat, and i would make them designated driver, which would be another bonus

  3. Although not mentioned, would the prize include stumping up the flight to the UK. I’d leave the wife at home stateside, conscious of the horrendous price of air fares. Am willing to use your air miles, Virgin upper would be magic but not necessary. Finally as a world renowned foodie ordinating from south London, I’d be delighted to bestow the Elephant & Castle stamp of approval on this fine establishment 😉

    Yours humbly the Bouv xo

    • admin says:

      sadly no Danny – you will have to pay your way from NJ! but next time you are over I’ll take you there! Angeli xx

  4. carina says:

    A free meal is always a joy and hey, I have a birthday next month (hint) We live in sunny Hove so this would be a handy bus ride away and would be the perfect way to launch the pre Christmas craziness. I have had a. peek at the menu and it all sounds incredible, I need some inspiration to perk up my pasta and cheer up my chicken. Lovely prize

    • admin says:

      eek – you mentioned the ‘Christmas’ word – cant believe we are so inundated with Christmas in the shops quite so soon – gets earlier each year! Angeli x

  5. Helen jones says:

    I live beyond the pale to the west of Brighton and would like the opportunity to join my betters at Silo. Out here in the boondocks I do try and escape to a better place to eat and this would be a heaven sent prize.

  6. Sheila Shepheard says:

    Funny huh? Well…….. an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman went into a restaurant which advertised that they would pay £1,000 if you ordered a dish they could not serve.
    ‘I’ll have yak’s eye soup,’ said The Englishman but to his amazement he was served with a steaming hot bowl of yak’s eye soup.
    I’ll have cuckoo’s nest soup,’ said The Scotsman and he was amazed to have his order served, beautifully garnished.
    I’ll have elephant’s kidneys on toast,’ said The Irishman, and a few minutes later The waiter returned with a cheque for £1,000.
    ‘I knew you’d never have elephant’s kidneys,’ said The Irishman.
    ‘We have lots of them,’ said The waiter, ‘but we’ve just run out of bread.’

    OK so not so funny but I would still love to try Silo as it sounds spectacular.
    Thanks

  7. Amy B says:

    I love trying out new places to eat 😀

  8. Kai Neville says:

    because im poor and would love a luxury dinner out 😉

  9. Ray Becker says:

    It would make a change someone else paying, they call me father feed em alll.

  10. Sheri Darby says:

    My daughter lives in Brighton and this would be a wonderful treat for her

  11. Petra says:

    Amazing prize!. I would love to take my mother in law.

  12. Natalie Crossan says:

    How did I miss this restaurant? Would make a nice change from trying to grab something to eat on the Pier and being mauled by a Seagull (it’s happened a few times now) – We’re also looking for somewhere to go that my daughter actually likes. We recently went to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant near Middle Street but they seem to smother everything (including the chips) in truffle oil and she really didn’t like it! Poor thing 😛

  13. georgie p says:

    well, i’m fat as it is, so a little bit more stuffing would do me no harm! also, usually you have to pay me to go back to brighton (i lived there for years: now live outside lewes) but i’d actually enjoy going back for this!

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