Shannon Bennett's approach to a sustainable restaurant

For Shannon Bennett, produce must have a positive impact on its surroundings — or no impact at all. Here, the chef explains his decision to run a sustainable kitchen at Vue de monde and shares how he practices what he preaches.

His name is a byword for fine dining in Australia but Shannon Bennett knows that serving up unsustainable produce, no matter how delicious, is a no-go. "Chefs have a responsibility," says the Vue de monde chef and founder.

"If chefs don't buy a particular product that does harm to the environment, then that practice will stop. So chefs have to wake up and realise their responsibilities," he says.

To say that Bennett is passionate about provenance is an understatement. It's clear that, to him, the subject of sustainability is simple: "If you nurture something, then it should be around in 10 years' time". 

Hit play on the video above to hear more of Bennett's thoughts on sustainability and why trusting your gut has always worked for him.

Shannon Bennett, Creative Director Vue de monde

His advice for chefs keen to adopt a more sustainable kitchen?  

"I think that if they start talking to partners like Nespresso, they'll learn a hell of a lot," he says. Bennett, who uses a Nespresso Professional machine at Vue de monde, is referring to Nespresso's sustainable farming relationships. The company reduced the carbon footprint of a Nespresso cup of coffee by 20 percent between 2009 and 2013 and has a strategy in place to source 100 percent of its coffee sustainably through the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program, use 100 percent responsibly sourced aluminium (through the Aluminium Standard Initiative) and have 100 percent carbon efficient operations by 2020.

"I think Nespresso are ahead of their time and they were talking about land management back then. When I visited the farms [that Nespresso works with in Brazil] a number of years ago, it was pretty amazing to see no sprays - everything was natural. Yields and weather patterns were talked about. They have studied the conditions and climate. 

Bennett at a coffee farm in Brazil that is part of the AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program

For Bennett, sustainability is all about finding the right produce and asking his suppliers questions. "I have learnt from my suppliers about sustainability and I tried
 to transfer a lot of those principles back into the restaurant."

Shannon Bennett's approach to a greener plate:

  • Narrative: Impressed by how ingredients in Japan all have a complete "narrative", Bennett replicates 
the philosophy in his kitchens - for instance, baking bread in house with organic flour.
  • Sourcing: Bennett makes a commitment in his kitchen to use - wherever possible - natural produce grown without chemicals.
  • Seafood: He uses Sydney rock oysters and angasi oysters that are native to Australia and therefore adapted to the environment rather than Pacific oysters, which are from Asia.
  • Nespresso Coffee: One of the reasons Bennett chooses Nespresso for Vue
 de monde is because of its sustainable management of coffee farms and use of recyclable aluminium.

Nespresso affogato at Vue de monde

 

This article is sponsored by Nespresso


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