cafe-ODE in Shaldon has been named the UK’s Sustainable Restaurant of the Year, a year after its sister restaurant ODE-dining won the same award.
Co-owner of the beachside cafe Tim Bouget was presented with the prestigious prize, sponsored by Southbank Fresh Fish, by world-renowned chef Raymond Blanc OBE at the Sustainable Restaurant Awards at OXO2 in London.
Blanc is President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, which rated more than 400 restaurants across the UK to find the country’s most sustainable restaurants. cafe-ODE won the overall award by achieving the highest score in the SRA’s Sustainability Rating.
Tim and his wife Clare designed, built and set up cafe-ODE with the express intention of making it the UK’s most sustainable restaurant. It opened in spring 2012 and demonstrates an outstanding commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
Mark Linehan, managing director of SRA, said: “To set out to open the most sustainable restaurant and achieve it is a terrific feat. To do it twice is extraordinary. Perhaps the most pleasing aspect of cafe-ODE’s success is that it is a very popular local restaurant, serving high quality, but simple, well sourced food in the heart of a thriving community. It epitomises the efforts and achievements of all the Sustainable Restaurant Awards winners.”
Tim said: “We are so thrilled that all our efforts to make cafe-ODE as sustainable as possible have been recognised. To think that this time last year we hadn’t even exchanged on the land! We’ve had tremendous support from the builders and our backers in particular, but also the local community who have been terrific. I like to think that when people come to the cafe we communicate what we are doing and they engage with it and appreciate it.”
The SRA’s assessors found it hard to find fault with cafe-ODE. As well as its almost flawless sustainable sourcing cafe-ODE also demonstrated excellent environmental standards - recycling paper, glass, cardboard, cooking oil and plastic and using renewable electricity. Its commitment to sustainability is genuinely built in – with a grass roof, designed to attract local wildlife. Most of the materials involved in the construction were recycled and there is solar thermal energy equipment installed to keep the environmental impact to a minimum.
Equally notable was Cafe-ODE’s dedication to the local community – running cooking classes for schoolchildren from the village as well as well as raising money for the local wildlife trust.