East Sussex, UK - Could you serve Douglas McMaster's menu in a restaurant filled with new furniture?
Of course you could, but my pumpkinseed milk coffee tastes all the better sat at a salvaged table with Douglas before he starts service. 'Just me, a bunch of ideas and no money' was how the founder and chef described finding the empty old building, now home to Silo in Brighton. A moment of serendipity as he knocked on the door and the owner, now Douglas' business partner answered. A year, 200 reclaimed school tables and a shoe string later, Silo opened. Douglas shows me candles made with shoe laces and reused jam jars filled with cooking oil.
Reuse, reduce, share, repeat is Silo's mission. A zero waste restaurant, plates are made from plastic bags, products are delivered in re-useable crates and they feed anything not consumed by customers to the organic compositor on site. 'The waste of a waste house made Silo', Douglas described Brighton University's 'Waste House' built almost entirely out of unwanted things, highlighting that a third of materials used for Britain's new builds are wasted. Silo saved unwanted unwanted materials from the project.
The menu is divided into plant, fish and meat. A year before opening Silo, Douglas did a stint as a vegan, so veggie food at a gastronomic level has given the restaurant a distinct following, although the nose to tail ideology serves carnivores organic grass-fed meat with equally unique, artful dishes.
Cutting out food miles and over-processing, Silo demonstrates a respect for the environment. 'Once exposed to the reality of something, it's hard to turn your back on that' Douglas described his sustainable choices, crossing food and design. Even cushions came like a camping roll, made of reused jeans stuffed with torn tights. All too familiar with laddered tights that go to waste, I mentally gave Douglas an emoji fist pump in respect.
We moved onto his favourite food emojis and talked about food and fashion. Function over fashion is how Douglas describes his style. The jam jars for glasses, floor tile table tops and his fairtrade organic Nudie Jeans apron, all have their function, but they also reflect sustainable fashion and divine taste at Silo.
Silo has a flour mill and makes the most amazing bread accompanied by butter they churn themselves. See the Style Salvo blog for more including images of the delicious cauliflower and green rye porridge and a sugar-free rhubarb and organic rose petal pudding.
Story Type: Feature
Date Modified: February 10, 2016, 10:20 AM