Join us for a special supper By LA FROMAGERIE Head Chef Alessandro Grano exploring taste, tradition and terroir alongside the ever growing important issues of sustainability, climate change, animal welfare & biodiversity
Thursday 28 September 2023 7pm – 9.30pm
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LA FROMAGERIE on Sustainability
Words by Max Melvin, LA FROMAGERIE Senior Cheesemonger
La Fromagerie has always taken a holistic approach to sustainability. We try to demonstrate that dairy doesn’t need to be treated as a monolith and therefore dismissed wholesale in order to protect animals and the environment. It’s possible to produce cheese that cares for animal welfare, fosters biodiversity, protects tradition and culture, promotes health and wellbeing, and doesn’t stress the planet. We have also always stood in opposition to the all or nothing approach to sustainability, which conflates and reduces whilst punishing progress in dairy, when it happens, and erasing ancient and profound food traditions and cultures.
Our core philosophy is ‘taste and tradition’. Not so much a tagline as a set of uncompromising rules, it means choosing delicious things created in ways that honour and replicate artisan food and drink production before the industrial revolution. We choose meaningful and valuable products that transmit terroir and, of course, pleasure. This has always necessarily involved the best practices of animal husbandry, small scale production, craft and artisanship, the maintenance and growth of biodiversity, and a low impact on the environment – not to mention the promotion of the kind of microbial diversity that is becoming increasingly valuable to our health and dwindling connection to the land.
Sustainability also requires doing more with less – this is nothing new to the integrated farming systems that invented everything from Brie de Meaux to Comté. Delicious ingredients making use of every by-product and surplus of dairy production: true ricotta made from whey, buttermilk, whey butter, the meat of the male offspring of dairy animals and retired dairy cows, and so on. Each make do with less yet are as delicious, and often more, than those products made for their own sake.
The menu includes all of these wonderful ingredients interspersed with seasonal, wild and locally grown fruits and vegetables that sing with the flavour that only comes with growing that way. As a happy side consequence, they show how plants can be grown without standing in opposition to biodiversity and the task of stemming the tide of man-made climate change.