Rise To The Challenge With Bruno Loubet

| May 24, 2014

Image: thetimes.co.uk

 Words by Michelle Cha and Khwezi Nkwanyana

ETHICALLY – DERIVED produce has never been so in demand and Bruno Loubet has certainly risen to the challenge to provide it. Vegetables across the world can rejoice as they are finally given the starring role in a meat dominated society. We had the opportunity to catch up with Bruno about his new restaurant, humble beginnings, and his philosophy on food.

Bruno’s new London restaurant, Grain Store, has become a pioneer for vegans, vegetarians, and eco-conscious people. The world renowned chef has teamed up with the talented Michael Benyan and Mark Sainsbury to bring a restaurant like no other.

Bruno has flipped the way we view food. At Grain Store, vegetables are the centre of attention, instead of meat. Inspired by the 2011 documentary, Forks over Knives, Bruno decided it was time to make a change in the way we view and eat vegetables. The documentary explores the negative health and environmental impacts the everyday consumption of meat is causing.

“We cannot sustain the world’s demand for meat. It is causing too much damage. For example, it takes ten kilos of grain to produce one kilo of meat. In addition, we are now deforesting parts of the Amazon to produce meat in Europe. It is ridiculous.”

Through his cooking, Bruno hopes to show the world that you can have both great food and a great ethos. He hopes to demonstrates that vegetables can be just as enjoyable, if not more so, than meat. Of course, this comes with challenges.

“Creating the menu for the restaurant was exciting and difficult. It is so exciting to integrate the flavours that I have encountered around the world to make new meals. However, it is too easy to stick to the traditional vegetarian food menus. I wanted to create something new”

Bruno’s current inspiration is the flavours and cooking style of South Korea. One of his favourite shops in England is Korea’s Food, where he “finds something all the time”. There he sources ingredients that are rarely used in European cooking such as mung beans and millet. South Koreans are the masters of pickling; a fermentation process which increases the longevity of food. Kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage, is one of the most popular pickled vegetables. Some would even call it South Korea’s national food.

Bruno expressed his interest in fermentation and pickling. He is always looking for a new process of cooking to reinvent flavour combinations and create unforgettable food. Bruno finds that for him, sticking to one style of cooking and food is redundant. Inspirations from his travels and neighbourhoods in England constantly refresh his style and creativity in his food.


Kimchi. || Image: maangchi.com

There are numerous videos on YouTube of Bruno sharing his recipes. One of his delicious creations is his brioche tart with blackberry jam.

Life for Bruno has always been full of interesting adventures and travels. Enlisted in the French National Service, Bruno was given a job as a cook in the navy, honing and developing his skills. In 1982, after his enlistment, Bruno went head first into the food industry applying for starting positions at the top 20 restaurants in the world. Of those 20 restaurants only one accepted his application, the famous La Tante Claire in England. Bruno started as a commis chef, mentored by owner Pierre Koffmann. From there his career in England was forged. It is clear than Bruno is not afraid to take risks.

“I am a curious man. I am constantly fascinated by the world around me and this reflects in my cooking. New places and ingredients excite me. However, for now, I am focused on exploring vegetable based cuisines.”

What’s next for the adventurous French man?

“Who knows? We’ll see! I hope to move back to Queensland and start my own little farm with a cookery school. I want to provide healthy and sustainable produce for restaurants across Australia. Maybe start writing? But ultimately, I want to relax and enjoy myself.”



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Category: FEATURED, LIFESTYLE, Uncategorized

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