T.E.D, King’s Cross, is the restaurant everyone is talking about. Here Charlotte Veryard meets the man who is putting eco into the North London dining scene, Jamie Grainger-Smith
Past the constant rush of people and cars in London’s King’s Cross stands a brand new restaurant simply named T.E.D. The simple yet modern style of the restaurant draws you in from the busy London streets to enjoy a mellow and relaxing eating experience, before you realise Think.Eat.Drink is something different and is set to revolutionize how you think about eco-friendly restaurants.
The man behind T.E.D is Jamie Grainger-Smith who, in the past, has worked with the likes of Jamie Oliver and Alistair Little and is the culinary brains behind many restaurants around London, such as the award-winning Acorn House and Water House. Acorn House was the first eco-friendly restaurant and Jamie has incorporated his values throughout T.E.D’s core. ‘It is the future,’ he states. ‘We need to start using renewable sources. I didn’t want everything to be gas driven within the restaurant.’ when we met him three weeks after the successful opening of the restaurant.
Jamie wanted to keep the Victorian style throughout the building whilst using sustainably sourced salvage furniture. The walls are clad with white Victorian salvage doors and have been modernised with built-in mirrors. ‘It is all about enhancing light for me,’ adds Jamie. The striking lava top bar has reclaimed Victorian skirting boards along the bottom and is decorated with elegant green and blue reclaimed tiles. Every aspect of this restaurant has been well thought through to make sure that it is eco-friendly. The restaurant does not burn any natural gas, it uses iPads instead of tills as they are better for the environment, the light bulbs are all LED, even the napkins and the paint are eco-friendly.
T.E.D is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner serving seasonal and fully traceable British produce. Jamie explains the reason behind the use of his produce. ‘Using seasonal food is paramount and it makes sense to use what is on your doorstep.’ The menu, which is constantly changing, is full of a range of dishes such as Cornish crab, English lamb and courgette risotto. Even the drinks menu is eco-friendly with wines that are biodynamic and carbon neutral and cocktails that incorporate organic spirits and fresh fruit. The seasonal cocktail menu includes Rhubarb Fizz, a mix of gin and rhubarb, and Cally Shrub, which includes gin with blackberry and lemon sherbet.
Jamie has taken T.E.D further and has set up the accredited Think.Eat.Drink membership scheme, ensuring that all suppliers of the restaurant are in some way eco friendly too. ‘This scheme is so that I know at least they are thinking about where they are buying things and where they get their energy from,’ Jamie says. To become part of the scheme suppliers and operators must take a test answering a range of questions about how environmentally friendly their organisation is. They will then get a score of bronze, silver, gold or platinum and must pass a certain score to supply the restaurant. This concept is to ensure that every element of T.E.D is eco-friendly and to also make sure other organisations are thinking about the environment.
This huge project took just ten months from start to completion and Jamie wants to ensure every detail is perfect before setting up some sister restaurants. In September the downstairs area of T.E.D is due to open, with a romantic and intimate feel that will be the perfect setting for winter dining. Jamie is very proud of what he has achieved and hopes that the customers fully embrace T.E.D. ‘I want the customer to enjoy the experience and make sure they have a fantastic time.’ Who thought being eco could be so much fun?
47-51 Caledonian Road N1 9BU; 020 3763 2080; tedrestaurants.co.uk