A post-industrial revolution

Douglas McMaster’s ambitious zero-waste, pre-industrial restaurant was predicted to be compost within six months of opening. Four years on and Silo goes from strength to strength, foraging for likeminded partnerships and upcycling the attitudes of public and critics alike.

With a stack of worthy awards behind them, we take a look at how something with no preservatives, MSG or GMO’s can stay this fresh and tasty.

We’ve got to start with the biggie – Brighton gets the first ever zero waste restaurant that honours and respects all parts of the food and its source. And it tastes great! Always inventive, unexpected and looks beautiful.

When shabby chic became all the rage a whole bunch of places threw out their sleek decor and shop bought mismatched, sandpaper aged eclectica and started serving cocktails in jam jars that had never seen jam. Yes, in Silo you will sit on chipboard, drink out of ‘retired’ jam jars and eat off of plates made of recycled carrier bags, but it has style and integrity, because its not trying to be something its not.

Not to be confused with the biblical parable about helping injured big cats, Douglas became friends with Mr Lyan (Ryan Chetiyawardana) shortly after opening Silo. The alchemist-cum-mixologist and visionary chef forged a partnership based on a mutual ethos; so now you can sip cocktails made from local botanicals in Brighton and eat zero waste food in Mr Lyan’s Hoxton bar, Cub.

They’re the buzz word of the moment, and as well as probiotics, fermented foods contain a wealth of gut friendly bacteria and health benefits. As a pre-industrial outfit Silo has been producing their own pickles and fermented potions since they opened as a way of preserving and enhancing flavour naturally. So fad or no fad, if you’ve been a fan of Silo for a while you may also have to thank them for your longevity and rude health.

Photo credit: Silo Instagram

The closest thing to a bin you’ll find in Silo is the Aerobic Digester, capable of producing 60kg of compost every 24 hours. Silo invite the local community to bring their organic matter, that would otherwise end up in stasis in a landfill or being incinerated, to join all the restaurant scraps on their journey back to becoming life giving compost.

Silo have teamed up with FareShare Sussex, part of FareShare UK, who work to distribute perfectly good but otherwise waste food into charities and communities that need it the most. In addition to fundraising events you’ll find a discretionary £1 donation to FareShare Sussex on your bill, helping ensure that no good food should be wasted and no person should go hungry.

See the listing for Silo, By Douglas McMaster