Located at Hoxton Street in East London, Cub is a collaboration between the internationally acclaimed mixologists Ryan Chetiyawardana and the multi-award winning chef Douglas McMaster from Brighton’s zero-waste restaurant, Silo. The duo have come together to create a smart restaurant where food production goes beyond locality and seasonality, taking on entirely ‘closed-loop’ practices and upcycling ingredients normally discarded.
Cub is built on a simple premise of bringing people together through great food and drink. The team aims to use considered ingredients and sustainable methods to create delicious stuff that does good too.
Sustainable practices followed at CUB include:
A constant look out to improve practices in terms of material waste, waste reduction and using by-products
Exploring newer ways of urban farming – both to explore the possibilities from a flavour perspective, but to also act as inspiration to encourage, and legitimise urban farming
Collaboration with experts, including the reuse of glass besides working with UCL to look at alternative cooling
Growing experimental ingredients on site as part of a program to research the effects of environment on food growth and flavour e.g. manipulate the conditions a plant grows under to achieve a certain flavour, or to grow a plant in a terroir that it wouldn’t usually thrive in
Excellence, deliciousness and a luxury offering can still be pursued, but in a way that is not destructive
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The motivation behind the practices
Cub is not about zero waste or closed loop, but is a radical approach. It aims to modernise traditional practices – agriculture but with applied technology, fermentation but with spliced ingredients.
To demonstrate that real change needs to come in how people see and value food
Cub will show that the systems we accept and perpetuate are not the only option – by discovering new bridges, links and opportunities, newer chains and collaborations are created which in turn creates progression. For example, working with St Marys, CUB is showing that food can create positive social change, as well as provide inspiration for incredible offerings without damaging society or the planet.
At the basement of the restaurant is the cocktail bar, Super Lyan. Practices followed at Super Lyan include,
Use natural products from around the world with an understanding of their biology. For example, they use the acidity of rhubarb, then retain the fibres to make cocktail sticks.
Work with producers directly where possible
Use of bamboo straws in place of plastic – guests are charged 25p for the straw which is included in the price of the drink and its theirs to take away.
Image credit: Kim Lightbody