Originally from Australia, Skye Gyngell is now one of Britain's most respected and acclaimed chefs. At the heart of Skye's cooking is a longstanding emphasis on using seasonal and local produce. Skye, who is chef-patron of Somerset House restaurant Spring, is looked to as a guiding pioneer for environmental issues in the restaurant industry.
At Spring food is celebrated for its conviviality and the joyfulness of sharing seasonal produce. Back in November 2016, Skype launched the sustainable Scratch Menu in a bid to raise awareness on food waste. Through the Scratch menu we want to draw attention to the fact that this produce, despite its appearance, is still truly delicious and that Food Waste is an important issue, says Skye. The aim with Scratch is to provide delicious and nutritious meals using ingredients that are often overlooked for a fair and reasonable price. The menu is not designed to be fancy or complicated, rather think organic ingredients such as beetroot tops and potato skins turned into simple soups, the trimmings from our house made pasta baked with a little leftover cheese or yesterday's bread transformed into warm bread pudding served with a spoonful of last year's Fern Verrow gooseberry jam.
Here, Skye shares a Scratch Menu recipe to try at home.
Tunisian Orange Cake
This sticky yet surprisingly light cake provides a use for many of the everyday waste food products we create in the restaurant, but they are things you might also find at home as well. Combined with some simple store cupboard ingredients it is a perfect showcase for how otherwise disregarded food can be repurposed into something delicious, rather than going to waste.
50g stale breadcrumbs
200g Caster sugar
25 g ground nuts
75 g Semolina
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
200ml sunflower oil
Juice of 1 Orange
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
The base of the 'flour' is made from drying stale bread at a low temperature overnight. At Spring we use bread left over from the restaurant sitting the previous evening, but at home this could be the stale crusts and ends that build up overtime.
Once dried 'mill' the bread into fine breadcrumbs using a blender or Magimix. Whisk the oil and eggs together and add to dried ingredients and lemon zest.
Pour the mix into a 20cm (8in) lined greased and floured tin. Bake at 130 no fan for 30-45 minutes. Raise temperature to 160 for 10 minutes more. The cake should pull away from the sides of the tin when it is ready.
Meanwhile make the syrup. It should be sweet yet citrusy, add more or less sugar/ juice to taste. Alternatively we use left over fruit poaching liquid - anything like that to hand will work.
To serve, spoon a little of the syrup over the sponge until saturated and sticky. At Spring we create a thick yoghurt from left over milk used in making coffees. We serve the cake with a large dollop of this, topped with the spent coffee granules sprinkled on top.
Watch a live discussion between Skye Gyngell and Jane Scotter of Fern Verrow on biodynamic farming, how eating seasonally and locally can benefit us and the environment and the importance of asking where your food comes from during our Virtual Creative Residency. Find out more and purchase tickets here.