- Annie Dunne
PLANT-BASED DINING @ PLATES BY KIRK HOWARTH
This week I was in London for a few days, a trip I planned around the Simul per Cibum Dinner, a new kind of food industry supper club, which is the brainchild of Charles Banks, founder of the Food People A not for profit ‘supper club community’, that unites food industry foodies ‘Simul Per Cibum - together through food’ but that has impact beyond the plate - helping shift the future of food and food education for future generations.
This months restaurant of choice was PLATES, a fully plant-based restaurant in East London, where its founder, Kirk Howarth, puts nature at the forefront of all his creations. I first came across Kirk, when he was interviewed by Charles, for the recent Trends Summit. His story is fascinating, and one I could relate to on many levels.
Kirk contracted Lyme’s disease whilst working as a chef in Australia, which resulted in physical and mental health issues. He began to research nutrition and the power of food for restoring mental wellbeing and found that a fully plant-based diet was the most healing. As an already established chef, who has worked across the globe, he wanted to share his journey through his food, and so Plates was formed.
He takes plant-based as a starting point to create high-end food experiences, creative concepts and boundary-pushing content that celebrates all nature has to offer.
His food ethos combines old-world training with new-world techniques to develop a unique way of elevated, plant-based cooking. Inspired by chef Kirk Haworth’s personal health journey, it takes a plant-based diet and lifts it to a standard worthy of a Michelin-trained chef.
He came to plant-based by way of health, for people and the planet. For him, sustainability is not just about the earth, the food or the ingredients - it’s about creating a way of life where we can all flourish. Using this focus, he has created an innovative, avant-garde style that has become synonymous with Plates.
The decor is paired back and simple, but the warm welcome from staff instantly makes you feel "at home". A welcoming cocktail of rose vodka, with Rhubarb and a dash of champagne was accepted with joy!
To start, a super crusty "house bread", baked to perfection, exceptional crust with a fluffy inside. Served with a wild mushroom parfait & jelly. A perfect harmony of flavours.
For mains, a plate of rainbow colour. A Ballotine of winter vegetables, sage stuffing, roasties in coconut fat, sticky parsnips, smoky sprouts, caramelised onion gravy & red currants. Beyond delicious !
And my absolute favourite of the night, a Christmas toffee pudding like no other. Warm caramel sauce and spiced orange ice-cream. No compromise, just a plate of plant based deliciousness!
One to definitely add to your restaurant list for 2023