Where The Light Gets In wins Sustainability Award

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Chloe Frejaville
Image: Chloe Frejaville

Related tags Where The Light Gets In Sam Buckley Sustainable restaurant association Sustainability Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards

Where The Light Gets In in Stockport has won this year’s Sustainability Award at the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2022.

Sam Buckley’s trailblazing restaurant was selected from a shortlist of restaurants that also included Chantelle Nicholson’s recently opened Apricity in Mayfair, Field by Fornum’s, Kindle in Cardiff and The Free Company near Edinburgh.

The award was adjudicated by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), which conducted in-depth interviews with all of the shortlisted restaurants before selecting the winner.

Where The Light Gets In has been a standard bearer for sustainable practices since it launched in 2016 but following the lifting of the first lockdown in 2020 it has strived to have even greener credentials.

The restaurant not only works directly with farmers and fishermen, but sources produce from its own farm to ensure it has a true understanding of what it means to work with the land. Its produce, weather patterns and sea conditions dictate the menu, meaning there is no choice offered to diners, with the aim to offer guests a balanced menu ‘that both nourishes the body and sustains our eco-system’.

When the team couldn’t gain access to the farm during the 2020 lockdown, Buckley was undeterred and created a new one on the rooftop of a multistorey car park in Stockport town centre. Called The Landing, it is a collaborative community growing space designed and built in partnership with Manchester Urban Diggers, which provides produce for the restaurant and the local community as well as promotes food sovereignty, community engagement in local food systems and increased biodiversity. The space also means that the restaurant can now compost all the cardboard it receives.

Buckley’s sense of wellbeing naturally extends to his team, which does yoga once a week to lower inhibitions and heighten our awareness, he says. The yoga also helps straightens the team’s backs, which is important when you're hunched over a chopping board all week.

“For me sustainability means being able to keep something going long term,” says Buckley. “In that sense every business needs to be sustainable.”

Juliane Caillouette-Noble, managing director of the SRA, says: “Chef-patron Sam Buckley exemplifies the fantastic steps many restaurants are taking not only to source and serve the finest ingredients with minimal impact on the environment, but he is also going a big step further by bringing together farmers, their customers and the wider community to find solutions to some of the most serious issues in our food system.”

The SRA has, since 2010, been supporting restaurants to tackle the complex and urgent problems facing the food system and enabling diners to make more sustainable choices when eating out. Its aim is to accelerate change towards a sector that is socially progressive and environmentally restorative by connecting progressive people and businesses through its Food Made Good programme which includes a sustainability framework and global gold standard rating for measuring progress, as well as a global network of hospitality professionals.

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