Food Heroes 2

I know that I waxed lyrical about the Black Swan at Oldstead in Food Heroes 1, but I think they should be applauded again for their most recent award – Michelin’s first-ever green star for their commitment to sustainability. They are an inspiration for their use of locally produced and sourced products and in the current circumstances for their imaginative and unfailing commitment to high product values in their weekly Food Box menus.

In his email, Tommy Banks said:

Michelin has also bestowed The Black Swan Oldstead, with its new sustainability emblem – a green four-leaf clover – which recognises sustainable gastronomy and distinguishes restaurants taking responsibility in the conversation of resources and the protection of biodiversity. This is a huge honour and evidence of my team’s work, passion and commitment. 

But that is not all! There are two other good pieces of news for those of us who dream of visiting restaurants in our near or distant future.

The first one I thought I would never see in my lifetime – a vegan restaurant awarded a Michelin star …. in France.

The Guardian of 19/1/2021 noted that,

‘A vegan restaurant in south-west France has won a Michelin star, the first for an establishment serving only animal-free products in France. Claire Vallée runs the restaurant ONA – which stands for Origine Non Animale – in the city of Ares, near Bordeaux, which she launched in 2016 thanks to crowdfunding from supporters and a loan from a green bank.

Image: Guardian. Claire Vallée

In addition to Monday’s award of the classic star, Vallée also won a green star, which Michelin introduced last year to reward establishments with a strong record for ethical practices. ONA is “the first vegan restaurant in France to win a star”, a Guide Michelin spokeswoman told AFP.’

The Menu from ONA

The final cause for celebration is the award of the first Michelin star to a restaurant in York, England. The restaurant is, of course, Tommy Bank’s, Roots. Rob recommends it.

Tommy said,

‘I am absolutely thrilled and honoured that Roots York has been awarded a Michelin star in this year’s MICHELIN guide, the first restaurant in York to do so.

Since we opened the doors of Roots in 2018, it has certainly developed and evolved. We set off with lots of different ideas – some stayed, others didn’t. A few things have remained a constant; our commitment to local producers and self-sufficiency, as well as one day reaching Michelin potential. 

This achievement is testament to the team’s hard work and I hope it shines a spotlight on the diverse food and drink scene in York.’

The Sample Tasting Menu from Roots

You might like to read a little about Tommy Banks here, and below is one of his recipes, from Olive Magazine for Tomato Salad with Shaved Goat’s Cheese

Image: Olive Magazine. Tommy Banks recipe.

Weekly Recipe

Tomato Salad with Shaved Goat’s Cheese