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Sonya Meagor
07773 298 269
Sonya Meagor
07773 298 269

Eco Cuisine Blog

Want to Know More About eco cuisine?

 

about eco cuisine chocolate brownie

 

You may already know that eco cuisine was founded and is headed up by me, Sonya Meagor, a Cornish maid residing in North London. You all know that ethical eating is central to eco cuisine’s ethos and we strive to ensure that sustainability runs through everything we do. But, you may not know how the business got started, or indeed, much about me personally. The team suggested I shed some light on it in the blog, so that’s what is in store in today’s blog post!

 

For as long as I can remember I’ve loved food – I mean good proper food…cooked from scratch like my mum used to do for us. Back then there wasn’t so much produce to choose from but our basic suppers always included fresh vegetables and there was always fresh fruit in the bowl for snacking. All my grandparents grew their own vegetables in the back garden – just a simple plot with some staples like potatoes, carrots, peas, beans, onions and salad leaves, not forgetting tomatoes in the summer.

 

You may think that with an interest in food from such a young age that it would be natural for me to pursue a career in it from the off. But of course, life doesn’t always work like that and in-fact my background is book-keeping/payroll/pensions! Can you believe I hold a Payroll Management diploma?

 

As a young person moving to London I had wanted to start a sandwich bar but with no funds to start one (a lot of money back then in central London) I gave up on my food dream…but it was ignited again and I just had to work out a way to get there finally.

 

My final finance role was with CLB (CooperLancasterBrewers) a large accountancy practice on the Aldwych. One day I handed in my notice, I had just had enough of not pursuing my dreams and working for an employer. By this time had catered a couple of parties, a christening for friends for 60+ guests and had gained lovely feedback.

 

Initially I worked part time for local Accountants practices while trying to make connections for my catering business. It took longer than I expected it to but almost ten years later I have my own kitchen at the Millfield theatre. The business now has some regular corporate clients, but we are still looking to grow and bring sustainable eating to more people – so we are always looking for more clients of course!

 

Sonya with vegetables

 

I have based the business around how I personally live my life around food with plenty of vegetarian options – good quality meat from a local butcher – sustainable seafood, MSC prawns and shellfish and fish – seasonality at the core of everything – adapting menus from around the world using British produce.

 

The sustainability side comes from my caring for animal welfare and the environment .I actively support the RSPCA, Compassion in World farming and Friends of the Earth. We recycle whatever we can – including taking away bottles etc. from venues who do not have a recycling option – delivering in a fully electric, zero emission van – using biodegradable trays/lids/plates/cutlery or reusing china/metal ones – running the business in an ethical manner including paying above the London living wage, respecting suppliers payment terms, communicating to clients/prospective clients with clarity and transparency.

 

World Environment Day Planet

 

Ethical living is so important to me and I know it is really important to others too, so I am delighted that eco cuisine can serve the needs of those who want fantastic catering that is kind to the environment too.

 

eco cuisine – sustainable catering that doesn’t cost the earth!

 

If you are interested in finding out more about us, get in touch today on 07773 298 269




British Food and Your Event

You may already be aware that it is British Food Fortnight at the moment. Held in the autumn at the same time as harvest festival, British Food Fortnight is the biggest annual, national celebration of British food and drink.

 

Love British Food and British Food Fortnight are the brainchildren of Alexia Robinson. Alexia founded British Food Fortnight in 2002 in response to the Foot and Mouth crisis and the fact that, though there were numerous food initiatives, projects and events taking place across Britain at that time, there was no overall flagship event to bring them to the public’s attention.”

 

 

At this time of harvest we thought what better timing than to write a blog post for you all about British food and incorporating it into your daily menus or for catering a special event.

 

At eco cuisine we always encourage you to look for seasonal British food whatever the time of the year. You can see our seasonal shopping list here.

 

It is officially autumn and at the moment you should be able to find squashes of all shapes and sizes. We use them to make roasted squash with caramelised pear and blue cheese. It is a firm favourite and this could be incorporated into an Autumn salad or made small and served as a finger food on sticks.

 

seasonal butternut squash

 

Fresh peas are good now too and these can be used as a side dish or combined with plenty of fresh mint to make a pea/mint puree and served on crostini (toasted and oiled slices of French stick) as a finger food. Both the squash finger good and the crostini are perfect for an evening soiree.

 

Beetroot is abundant and we combine with salmon – this is a great combo accompanied with horseradish cream served in mini cups as a canapé or as a cold starter.

 

 

Kale is popular now as well and we use it in curries as a vibrant green colour and great texture.

 

We are also moving into the shooting season and game will be available – we use duck breasts to create a version of the duck, spring onion, cucumber rolls but we use wraps and black cherry jam and cut them small as a bite size finger food. Mixed game casserole as a warming main course or served in a pie with a puff pastry topping is a fantastic filling option too.

 

We try to encourage clients to use my suggestions of seasonal produce – so scallops wrapped in Parma ham is a popular choice currently. And if you’re feeling in need of an aphrodisiac or just being indulgent, native Cornish oysters are in season. I like to serve them on ice with Tabasco and lemon…

 

British plums eco cuisine

 

Finally, English plums are here! I found them in my local supermarket at £1.75 kilo. I was delighted – seasonal produce at it’s best and cost effective too.

 

If you have an evening event coming up that you are catering for, why not use British produce and try these suggestions? If you haven’t got much time on your hands, or the skill to prepare, you can always get in touch with us – we cater private events for sixteen guests and up.

 

 

Remember we cater for corporate and private events, so get in touch to find out more.



What is a Vegan and Veganism?

This weekend there was a vegan festival here in London and you may have seen Instagram feeds filled with #vegan and #plantbased or perhaps you attended the festival yourself. What with veganism hitting the headlines recently and more and more people adopting a vegan diet, we thought we’d explain a little more to those of you who aren’t sure what veganism actually is.

 

vegan bowl food

 

The Vegan Society define veganism as:

 

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.

 

There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey – as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.”

 

You can read more about this here. But people follow a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons from health considerations to environmental due to intensive farming or for religious reasons.

 

One of the biggest misconceptions about vegans is that all they can eat is a plate of greens but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Options are actually very broad but it is important to ensure you get all the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.

 

It is quite easy as a vegan to eat five portions of a variety of fruit and veg a day but it can be tricky getting enough protein from fruit and veg alone (though it is possible!) So eat some beans, pulses and other proteins too – have some dairy alternatives such as soya drinks, which are enriched with calcium. Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat in small amounts and as with omnis, it is important to have plenty of fluids – around eight glasses a day. If you’re having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.

 

If you are exploring veganism do take a look at the Vegan Society website, or there are a lot of support groups online too.

 

At eco cuisine a dish which is very popular with our vegan clients is a chickpea curry.

 

vegan vegetables

 

For two persons

 

Sauté two onions and add two chopped cloves garlic – cook until soft. Then boil four tomatoes and skin then chop and add to the onions. Next add 1/2 inch piece of grated ginger.

 

After 10 minutes add a teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric and sauté for a further 10 minutes.

 

At this stage you can taste and if you want more spice for a bit more kick, add chopped fresh chillies to your heat tolerance.

 

Add your tinned chickpeas with water and then add some seasonal veg to bulk it out – if making now, I’d be adding some lovely kale for texture and flavour  – just simmer for 20 minutes and serve with brown rice.

 

Yummy!!

 

Tried it? Share with us over on our Facebook page.

 

Remember we cater for a variety of dietary requirements and provide meat/fish/vegetarian and vegan catering.



Seasonal Shopping List for September

Autumn is just around the corner – next week in-fact on the 22nd September and it feels as if it is here already with the sudden weather change.

At eco cuisine we are all about sustainable food and eating seasonally is a big part of sustainability. When buying British seasonal produce you are supporting your local economy, helping the environment and it is of course cheaper too.

There are arguments for seasonal eating being a healthier option too.

With this in mind we create a seasonal shopping list so you are aware of what will be in season this autumn and can make informed decisions when buying your weekly food shop.

 

Seasonal Pumpkin Soup

 

Fruit and Veggies

Artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, sweetcorn, cucumber, courgette, kale, spinach, onion, tomato, lettuce, mangetout, runner bean, pumpkin and squash, leek, plum, blackberry, apple, fig, damson, grape and melon.

 

Meat and Fish

Autumn lamb, partridge, wood pigeon, duck, venison, grouse, brown trout, oyster, mussel, sea bass, clam, cod, crab, dover sole, grey mullet, haddock, halibut, herring, john dory, lemon sole, mackerel, monkfish, plaice, salmon, sardine, scallop, squid and turbot.

 

Seasonal Meat Pie

 

I know what you are thinking… all this delicious produce sounds perfect for hearty soups to start and warming fruit pie for dessert and you are right!

 

Let us know what you whip up in the kitchen this month over on our Facebook page