Sam Buckley’s trailblazing Stockport restaurant, Where The Light Gets In, last night won ‘The Sustainability Award‘ at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards – a commendation that highlighted not just their direct relationship with farmers and fishermen, but also the creation of their very own farm – The Landing.
The restaurant has already been recognised for its sustainability credentials by bagging itself a Michelin ‘Green’ Star Award back in February, and this award, supported by the Sustainable Restaurant Association champions the restaurants that are becoming global leaders in sustainability, both in the kitchen and when it comes to customer choices.
The judges praised Buckley for creating the farm during lockdown, on a rooftop of a multistorey car park in Stockport town centre – a collaborative community growing space designed and built in partnership with Manchester Urban Diggers.
It not only provides produce for the restaurant but also for the local community, as well as promotes food sovereignty, community engagement in local food systems and increased biodiversity. The space also means that the restaurant can now compost all the cardboard it receives.
As a result, this produce, as well as weather patterns and sea conditions, all dictate the menu – meaning there’s no choice offered to diners, with the aim to offer guests a balanced menu ‘that both nourishes the body and sustains our eco-system’.
This sense of wellbeing also extends to the wider restaurant team, who do yoga once a week to lower inhibitions and “heighten our awareness” Buckley says.
“For me, sustainability means being able to keep something going long term,” says Buckley. “In that sense, every business needs to be sustainable.”
The National Restaurant Awards also unveiled ‘THE LIST’ last night, the UK’s Top 100 restaurants. Moor Hall in Lancashire came in at number 2 in the list, with Cartmel’s L’Enclume coming in at number 10.
Ibn Manchester, the wonderful ERST came in at number 54, whilst Michelin-starred Mana earned a respectable place at number 78.
You can see the whole list here: