Council becomes the first to gain top catering sustainability accreditation

A street food business that set up its own sustainable catering consultancy last year has helped Enfield Council to gain The Sustainable Restaurant Association’s (SRA) coveted three-star top rating for its Civic Centre restaurant.

Gourmet Goat provided expert guidance on how to improve the sustainability of the food offering for over 600 council workers plus the NHS Royal Free Foundation trust staff based in the building.

Enfield is the first council in the country to become a member of the SRA, and go through the rigorous rating process that considers everything from sourcing ingredients responsibly to supporting the community.

They scored highly in celebrating local and seasonal produce, after Gourmet Goat brought on board over 20 new suppliers almost all based in Enfield or within 30 miles of the restaurant.

Fellow recipients of the SRA’s outstanding three-star grade include Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Founded by Enfield residents Nick and Nadia Stokes in 2014, Gourmet Goat is renowned for its sustainable street-food served in London’s iconic Borough Market, and has achieved an impressive array of honours for its continued efforts to reduce food waste, including prizes at the BBC Food & Farming Awards, Slow Food Awards, and earning the SRA’s three-star top rating.

Wanting to use their experience and expertise of setting up and running a successful sustainable food business to help others do the same, the couple launched Gourmet Goat Sustainable Solutions consultancy in 2017.

Since last October, Nadia and Nick have worked with Enfield Council’s head of culture Paul Everitt and his team to revamp the Civic Centre’s entire food and drinks offering, introducing all new healthier meals and snacks showcasing the high quality produce available in the borough.

The early morning menu now includes a cooked breakfast featuring bread made only a mile away at Holtwhites Bakery and meat from local farms, along with granolas and yoghurt pots.

For lunch, council workers and NHS trust staff can now tuck into freshly-made and seasonally-changing dishes ranging from eight-hour pulled pork to British rose veal tagine and East Mediterranean style salads, with vegetables sourced from nearby Forty Hall organic farm at Capel Manor.

Gourmet Goat Sustainable Solutions helped recruit new development chef Ben Murphy to drive the changes, such as establishing Meat-Free Monday and creating seasonal items with sustainability at the core, like kimchi made from leftover cauliflower leaves and vegan meringues with chickpea aquafaba.

Nick Stokes said: “It has been a fantastic opportunity to help rebuild a restaurant based on sustainable principles, and showcase Enfield’s amazing producers. We’re delighted that the Civic Centre’s new food offering has achieved the SRA’s three-star rating so early on, and proved such a success with so much positive feedback from council workers and increased sales.”

Paul Everitt, Enfield Council’s head of culture, added: “We are currently facing many issues around public health, food waste, decline in local business and our environmental impact. The best way to tackle these issues is from within the Council itself. To get my fellow co-workers eating healthier options, reducing food waste, using local suppliers and reducing one-use packaging. I am grateful to Nick and Nadia for all their advice and support to get this project off the ground.”

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