uniforms and aprons - innovative dining

The biggest mischaracterisation about sustainability in the fine dining world is the concept that it is inherently restrictive and limits the types of meals that can be served, as well as the uniforms and aprons of the staff who serve it.

This is far from the case, and whilst the latter is self-evident, a cursory look at the list of Michelin Green Star recipients highlights not only just how many ways a restaurant can gleefully embrace a sustainability vision, but also the extent that it improves and innovates on the dining experience.

Introduced in 2021, the Michelin Green Star is awarded to restaurants who commit to the environment whilst providing “culinary excellence”, with no specific set criteria for the types of restaurants that can win the award.

Whilst only a small number of restaurants have been awarded the Green Star so far, all of them have done so in a unique way.

For example, Aponiente, a Three Michelin Star seafood restaurant that was the very first to receive a Green Star, approaches sustainability primarily through a harmonious relationship with the Andalucian coast on which it resides.

On the plate, this involves prioritizing what head chef Ángel León calls “discarded fish”, or the types of aquatic species that are plentiful on the coast but not widely fished.

These include moray eel and sea bream, as well as more unusual underwater vegetables and “edible sea lights” that take advantage of bioluminescence, as well as the widespread cultivation of eelgrass as a sustainable source of food.

These lead to completely unique and unusual plates, but this is only part of what the restaurant does to promote innovative sustainability.

The fixtures and fittings are locally sourced, local seawater is used for cooking and hygiene to preserve freshwater sources and the electricity is provided via solar power, a benefit of being based on the Mediterranean coast.

Sustainability is dependent on the local environment that a restaurant intends to protect and harmonize with.

March 18, 2024 — Jake Blakey