Written by Lily, a guest at the Supper Club and ESG Executive at Chestnut
On the evening of Thursday 17th November, the conservatory of The Black Lion was adorned with fresh, natural foliage and welcomed in guests for our second Sapling Supper Club. The theme of the evening was centred on zero-waste cooking and sustainable spirits. Twenty-five guests sat comfortably around a large banquet-style table, surrounded by foraged greenery and the flicker of candlelit.
Ed Faulkner – founder of Sapling – introduced us to Sapling and his desire to spread the word - sustainability doesn’t have to always mean making sacrifices and cutting back! It is possible to make choices that benefit our planet, while enjoying a tipple and dinner with friends.
The Black Lion kitchen team set to work creating a zero-waste, five-course menu that could celebrate local ingredients and inspire our guests to cook creatively. Below you will find the delights we were treated to throughout the evening with notes on where the team minimised waste and focused on sustainability.
Canapés included Spiced Flat Iron skewers seasoned with a mix of herbs, smoked spices and used coffee grounds, Braised Beef Cheek donut and Baron Bigod and pickled walnut tartlet.
The used coffee grounds were from our coffee machine. The beef cheek showcased a lesser used part of the cow and the Baron Bigod Brie is sourced from Fen Farm Dairy, a small batch cheese company in Bungay using traditional methods by hand.
The chefs prepared a delicious Mushroom tart with toasted pumpkin seed pesto, raw mushroom salad and for the fish course, a crab tortellini with a roasted crab, langoustine and red pepper bisque. Unused Oyster, Chestnut and wild mushrooms are dehydrated and made into a powder used in the tart. The tortellini is freshly made with eggs from Rattlesden Farm, less than 14 miles from The Black Lion and the bisque is made from the brown crab meat and shells, reducing waste by utilising all parts of the seafood.
THE MAIN EVENT
Roast venison haunch, onion & potato rosti, crispy cavolo nero, roasted artichoke cream. A locally source dish that includes venison from The Black Lions local butcher.
Dessert was an oat panna cotta with quince, gingerbread, iced cider jelly. Quince is easily found at local markets this time of year and oat milk is the most sustainable of the dairy alternatives as the process does not require a large amount of water.
The finale to the evening was a zero-waste Espresso Martini, using Sapling vodka infused with the husks of cacao beans and a homemade coffee liqueur using waste coffee grounds, rum, Sapling vodka and sugar syrup.
Sapling is a truly sustainable brand that we are proud to have as our house pour. The vodka and gin are both climate positive, vegan, and delicious. The refillable system Sapling have created is one of the most effective I have seen in the drinks industry so far!
The passion exuded by Ed and his business partner, Elliot, was palpable throughout the evening as they talked guests through their Sapling cocktails. They even encouraged us to try the gin and vodka neat! This certainly took the chill out of a cold winter night.
All guests, including myself, left The Black Lion full of hearty food, warmed by sustainable spirits and safe in the knowledge that the evening didn’t cost the earth...
Lily, ESG Executive, Chestnut