‘Not Native’ Guest Series | Tasting menu with undesirable species
Native, London Bridge’s foraged-focused restaurant will launch the ‘Not Native’ guest series. Inviting chefs from across the UK, the series will highlight the UK’s edible non-native species by creating tasting menus formed primarily from undesirable species such as Japanese Knotweed, Grey Squirrel, Signal Crayfish and Wild Native Fal Oysters.
Launching this September, Head Chef and Co-founder Ivan Tisdall-Downes will work closely with a stellar line up of chefs including eco-chef and food waste activist Tom Hunt, award-winning food writer Olia Hercules and Sam Bryant & Alicja Specjalna of Whole Beast, famed for their nose-to-tail dining. Each will shine a spotlight on the versatility of wild British ingredients through the lens of global cuisines including Korean, Filipino, Ukrainian and Polish.
A nice way to process local products and products that are not desired in an area, into tasting menus. For example, did you know that you can eat the Japanese knotweed? At restaurant Native they create a delicious sorbet from it! We already reported that the gray squirrel is being eaten more and more in the UK, but it remains a special dish. Cool idea to seek collaboration with colleagues for a sustainable way of cooking!
‘Not Native’ Guest Series in restaurant Native
The inaugural event will be held on Monday 9th September and will feature Budgie Montoya of Sarap, a Filipino restaurant that aims to reinterpret traditional recipes with a modern, local narrative. Dishes include Fresh lumpia with foraged herbs and wild mushrooms; Market fish kinilaw (literally ‘eaten raw’, is a raw seafood dish native to the Philippines, similar to ceviche) and sea buckthorn with pineapple weed vinegar; and ‘Puto’ meringue with purple potato, buttermilk and badger bean halo (Philippines dish which is a concoction of crushed ice, evaporated milk and in this dish sweetened beans).
The Japanese knotweed as sorbet and Korean Fried Squirrel
“At Native, we believe that we should be using what’s available to us in the fields, forests and coastlines of this country, but that certainly doesn’t mean only using species native to the UK – if it grows here then it’s fair game. We want to challenge people’s negative perceptions of these species; whilst you wouldn’t want Japanese Knotweed growing anywhere near your house, it makes an incredible sorbet. I’ve been so impressed with the levels of creativity from the chefs and can’t wait to sample dishes like Korean Fried Squirrel and Venison Bulgogi (spicy Korean-style dish cooked quickly in a wok) with Sea Kale kimchi.”
The Not Native Guest Series will run Monday’s from September through late November. Tasting menus will be priced between £40 and £60 and can be booked through the Native website.
Confirmed dates in the Not Native Guest Series are as follows:
Budgie Montoya of Sarap – 9th September
Sam Bryant & Alicja Specjalna of Whole Beast – 30th September
Olia Hercules – 7th October
Tom Hunt – 25th November
Website: Restaurant Native