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Wahaca, River Cottage and ODE among winning restaurants in SRA's inaugural awards

By Emma Eversham , 23-Jan-2012

Wahaca, River Cottage and Devon restaurant ODE are among the restaurants who have been awarded by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) for their strong efforts in running sustainable businesses.

ODE, run by Tim Bouget, was named the SRA's Restaurant of the Year for its 'superb' work in sustainable food sourcing, waste management and engagement with its local community while Thomasina Miers' Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca was voted most Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year in what are the SRA's first ever awards.

Miers, whose group performed well in the Environment and Society sections of the SRA's rating system, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received this award from the SRA, not only in recognition of all the hard work we put into sustainability across the board, but also when there are so many other great restaurants working hard in this area too. I think these awards are going to be a great annual event for shouting about what restaurants are doing, and can achieve, with all things green.”

Environment, sourcing and society

The association recognised eight restaurants in all across seven categories of awards with five of the awards being based on scores achieved by restaurants that undertook the SRA Star Rating last year.

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and River Cottage were recognised for their hard work in the areas of Environment and Sourcing respectively, while the Oxo Tower restaurant and Bristol's 'healthy fast food' restaurant Friska jointly won the Society award for engaging positively with their staff, customers and local communities.

The SRA's Innovation award, voted for by its Advisory Board, was won by The Clink, the restaurant at High Down prison. Judges were impressed by the charity's work to introduce a range of sustainable actions at the restaurant which is staffed by inmates, such as growing vegetables onsite, placing graduates with restaurants outside the prison and installing a wind turbine to generate electricity.

And Aberdeenshire restaurant The Bay Fish & Chips was awarded the SRA's Special Award for 2012. The restaurant became the first fish and chip shop to gain Marine Stewardship Council Chain of Custody for haddock and scored 100 in the SRA's sustainable seafood section.

Mark Linehan, SRA managing director, said: “Every one of these restaurants is a really worthy winner. They are seven very different restaurants, from Scottish chippy, The Bay, to the Michelin-starred Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, and Ode in rural Devon, proving that dining out sustainably is not the preserve of the rich or the London elite. With the dedication shown by these restaurateurs anyone can run a successful hospitality business in a sustainable way – precisely what diners want.”

The SRA Award winners are:

  • Sustainable Restaurant of the Year - ODE, Devon
  • Award for Sourcing - River Cottage, Devon
  • Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year - Wahaca, London
  • Environment Award - Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxfordshire
  • Society Award - OXO Tower Restaurant, London and Friska, Bristol
  • Award for Innovation - The Clink at High Down Prison, Surrey
  • 2012 Special Award - The Bay Fish and Chips in Stonehaven, near Aberdeen

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