St John’s College puts sustainability on the menu

December 11, 2019

A Cambridge College has strengthened its commitment to sustainability by holding a special evening featuring environmental presentations and concluding with a four-course tasting menu created by two of the UK’s leading Vegan chefs.

St John’s College hosted the event which comprised talks by three prominent sustainability and conservation academics: Dame Polly Courtice, Professor Andrew Balmford and Dr Chris Sandbrook who collectively outlined the stark reality of our current environmental crisis.

Fifty invited guests – Bursars, Catering Managers, Fellows’ and College Stewards, Chairs of High Table and Wine Committees and Head Chefs – representing 17 Cambridge Colleges attended the event.

The four-course vegan tasting menu was prepared by Andreas Antona and Luke Tipping from Simpsons Restaurant in Birmingham, a Michelin-starred restaurant ranked in the top 10 Vegan Restaurants in the UK and in the top 40 in the world.

The meal, prepared in St John’s College kitchen, included a Carrot Broth with a Parsley Oil; Pickled, Raw Heritage Beetroot with Red Vein Sorrel; Celeriac, Kales, Hen of the Wood Mushrooms, with Truffle Sauce and Celeriac Puree; and to conclude Thin Apple Tart with Blackberry Sorbet.

Bill Brogan, Catering & Conference Manager at St John’s College, said: “We were delighted to host this high-profile event which raised further awareness of the importance of sustainability.

“The hard-hitting presentations focused everyone’s minds on the challenge ahead, with the vegan tasting menu illustrating how we can create world-class cuisine using sustainable ingredients. I’d like to thank Nick White of the University Centre and Ivan Higley of Darwin College from the Sustainability Committee of the Colleges’ Catering Managers Group who helped me to organise the occasion.”

Nick White has held pop-up Vegan events with other Cambridge Colleges, and was the winner of the Sustainability Award at the The University Caterers’ Organisation (TUCO) Conference in 2018.

The same year, St John’s College won gold in the Cambridge Sustainable Food Business Awards.