I would like if I may to take you on a journey. (No prizes for guessing which show I’m on). To a time when most of the food we eat wasn’t slowly poisoning us, to a time when our vegetables weren’t drenched in pesticides, to a time when we didn’t just eat the nice, neat, clean cuts of meat on trays in the supermarket, but respected the ultimate sacrifice an animal made for us by eating every last bit of it, to a time when we knew how bountiful the hedgerow was and made use of its treasures (ok I know I watch too much River Cottage), to a time when the bakery process didn’t strip the finished loaf of all its nutrients (the Chorleywood process). To a time when food was actually food.
If you’re working at the Theatre Royal in Brighton the journey won’t take long. Just head down the lanes to Upper Gardener Street and you’ll experience this ‘Pre-Industrial food system’ at Silo.
Brighton is full of fantastic, healthy places to eat, but after reading the below from Silo’s website I knew I’d be in there everyday for the rest of the week, and probably applying for a job. (Hopefully a lack of cooking ability won’t be a problem – perhaps I could be something like Deputy Forager).
‘Silo was conceived from a desire to innovate the food industry whilst demonstrating respect: respect for the environment, respect for the way our food is generated and respect for the nourishment given to our bodies. This means that we create everything from its whole form cutting out food miles and over-processing whilst preserving nutrients and the integrity of the ingredients in the process.
Our brewery, Old Tree creates fermented drinks using foraged and intercepted plants, herbs, vegetables and fruit. We have our own flour mill which turns ancient varieties of wheat into flour the original way, opposing over-processed industrialised bread making techniques. We churn our own butter, make our own almond milk, roll our own oats and support a nose to tail ideology, meaning that if an animal dies for food we will maximise the whole beast, respectfully.’
The breakfast of sourdough toast with Silo baked beans and slow cooked egg, plus mushrooms and blood pudding (I liked that they called it blood pudding, not shying away from what it is), was the best I’ve had in ages. I hadn’t eaten any meat in nearly a month, but I had no regrets about falling off the vegetarian wagon. The fact that they mill their own flour for the sourdough bread makes Silo even more impressive
And surely this must be the only place in the UK that sells brewed on site Nettle ale.
An extraordinary place well worth making a journey to.
39 Upper Gardner Street,
Brighton, BN1 4AN