Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Terra Madre at Centotre

January 4, 2012

We celebrated Slow Food’s Terra Madre.  A celebration of good, clean, fair food that took place all over the world.  Setting up a free tasting and demo stand on George Street, in the snow, on the busiest shopping day of the year and one of the restaurants busiest days of the year – most people would think we were mad.

But have a look at this little video and you’ll see all the fun we had along with our lovely team, Venessa, Veronica and Ryan, our dear Slow Food Friends and lots of new friends who took the time to find out about just a few of the things that get us excited.

Wynad Pepper

August 12, 2011

Very dear friends of ours, Colin and Kolquin live in India. Colin is in his 70’s and Kolquin in his 80’s. About 15 years ago they retired and chose the region of Kerala as their home. They bought a few acres of land and adopted the locals as their own. Para, Johnson and many others. They decided to start growing pepper as Kerala is the most famous growing area in the world for this incredible spice.

Victor and I were able to visit them in 2001. We found a community of three generations living in the most stunning countryside you could ever imagine. Grandparents, parents and children are working in this plantation. Thanks to the success of the pepper and all the support from Colin and Kolquin these families have running water, all the modern conveniences we enjoy, their children go to school and are clothed and fed. All of these basic needs that we take for granted didn’t exist for these families before the plantation was established.

We have bought the pepper for many years but we’re really sorry to say we hadn’t ordered any for over two years. We now have this back in stock. White for The Scottish Cafe an black for Centotre.

What makes this pepper so special is that it’s hand picked and it’s organic. Unlike commercial pepper that you buy each string of berries is picked from the pepper vines only when they are ripe. This makes the picking three to four times more labour intensive that commercial peppers. Once picked they are left in the sun to dry for a few days then they are pasteurised to prevent salmonella. Cases of salmonella is very high in pepper due to the elephant and cow dung that is used as fertiliser.

White pepper is black pepper with the skin removed which is also done by hand by Wynad. We buy direct therefore ensuing that all the money goes back to the plantation to support the families. While fair trade ensures a fair price, the growers don’t get the best price and sometimes there can be three or four tiers of middle men inflating the price to the end users but not ensuring the best price for the growers.

Wynad is a huge story. But the region has had great losses over recent years. There has been a lot of blight and many of the crops have failed. Leading to one of the highest suicide rates of any farming community in the world. Grandfathers and fathers have been lost due to
the devastating loss of income these communities has suffered. One less mouth to feed has been the sacrifice these men have made for
their families futures.

So when you’re putting that little bit of ‘gioventù’ as we say in Italy, youth, on your food, it’s really a much much bigger and very special story…

Visit Wynad’s website to find out more : www.paraspepper.com

Slow Food Week

June 20, 2011

Good Farming = Good Food = Good Eating!

The first ever National Slow Food Week starts today and we’re delighted to be taking part!

With the Royal Highland Show taking place at Ingliston between June 23 and June 26, Slow Food Edinburgh is encouraging restaurants that value their connections to Scottish farmers to celebrate those links while the show is on with special dinners, menus or tastings. Scotland’s largest agricultural event should be a great excuse to remind diners and visitors that shorter links from farm to plate helps inspire better farming and better food, more interesting menus and more memorable meals. Enjoy food that’s well connected.

 

At Centotre we’ve designed a special menu to celebrate and showcase some of our favourite Scottish produce. It’s available all week starting today

Slow Food = the resistance movement against fast food.  Let’s have food (and farming) that’s good, clean and fair.
Slow Food Edinburgh’s initiative to establish closer links between Scotland’s premier agricultural festival and local restaurants serving local food is part of Slow Food Week 2011 www.slowfoodedinburgh.co.uk

Great Italian Menu – Sunday 5th June!!

June 2, 2011

Today is Festa della Repubblica, celebrating 55 years since Italy became a republic. And, this year is particularly significant because 2011 marks 150 years of unification in Italy!!

So to celebrate we’re throwing a street party, this Sunday 5th June at centotre – we’re planning for sunshine, but if it’s a bit grey outside we’ll carry on the Festa inside!

Join us for a taste of our Great Italian Menu! Our Big Lunch is served from 12.30pm, A three course lunch including – Piatto del Nonna to share, Polpettone to enjoy, Tiramisu to finish and glass of Chianti to toast – all for just £25 per person! Salute Tutti!!

Book you table today!
Call : 0131 225 1550 or email : reservations@centotre.com

Loch Arthur Ricotta – Wow!

May 21, 2011

An authentic taste of Italy straight from the heart of Scotland!

A traditional Italian soft white cheese made from the heated whey after cheese-making. We source this delicious Ricotta direct from The Loch Arthur Community and serve it on our May menu with Italian courgettes stuffed in our homemade ravioli, with fresh cream, courgettes, chilli and Parmigiano Reggiano.

Loch Arthur cheeses are completely organic, and made with care by community member’s on site themselves. We’re delighted to be able to use this very special ingredient on our menu and proud to support local communities in doing so!

Loch Arthur is a rural Camphill community at Beeswing, Dumfriesshire, in south west Scotland, which includes men and women with learning disabilities. A total of about 70 people live there including 28 in supported tenancies. The community’s 650 acres are farmed according to biodynamic principles and the dairy herd provides 60 per cent of the milk used by the creamery. The remainder is bought from local organic farms. Cheese-making takes place on three days each week and the community members on the team have all been involved for some time.

How Many Eggs!

May 20, 2011

The figures are in and we’re blown away! In the last year we’ve gone through 45,360 free-range eggs!!!

We’d like to thank the healthy happy hens at Oxenrig Farm, Coldstream in the Scottish borders and Phantassie in East Lothian for their outstanding contribution to our menu! And of course their producers/farmers for keeping up with our high-demand for eggs.

We use their free-range eggs across all our menus! From full cooked breakfasts to simply prepared scrambled or poached eggs, homemade pancakes or our extra special Nonna Olivia’s Waffles. In our homemade fruit and cheese scones, baked fresh daily. In our homemade pastas, on our delicious Capricciosa pizza and even on our dessert menu! Where we use these fantastic and very versatile eggs in our homemade meringues,  famous Tiramisu, chocolate torte and lemon tart!

Come in and try some for yourself! Let’s see if we can raise next years total to 50,000!

Scottish Raspberry treat!

May 10, 2011

As the days get longer and evenings warmer we’re getting closer to prime raspberry time in Scotland!!

This week, in anticipation of the juicy red berries, we’re serving Raspberry Mojito’s as our cocktail special. Made with fresh Scottish raspberries and local mint, muddled with Bacardi rum, a little sugar, crushed ice, fresh lime and topped up with soda. Enjoy the extended daylight hours with a wee taste of the summer to come!

Join us from 3pm until 6pm every Sunday to Friday for our famous Aperitivo Hour and enjoy free chips and olives with your cocktail!

HitListed!

May 9, 2011

We were absolutely thrilled with the recent List Eating & Drinking Awards held on the 26th April!

Centotre was HitListed as a highly-recommended Edinburgh breakfast destination – open from 7.30 daily (10am on Sundays), Live music venue – with our Jazzmain Trio joining us again this summer for sophisticated Sunday sessions! And, for our dedication to local produce, direct trade and seasonal Scottish ingredients! Well done to all the team and thanks again to all our customers, friends, suppliers and extended Love Happy Food family for your continued support!

Read full review below…

We are also excited to celebrate our sister venue, The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant’s, HitListing as a highly-recommended Arts Venue eatery! Well done to the TSC team and a big thanks to all our wonderful customers, friends and suppliers for your support – we certainly couldn’t do it without you!

The Scottish Cafe was also highly-recommended for their top notch Breakfasts – open from 8am daily (10am on Sundays), their delicious coffee – served all day (with homemade cake if you fancy it) and the same dedicated philosophy of direct trade – sourcing fresh seasonal Scottish ingredients as locally as possible from a long list of artisan producers from all over Scotland.

CENTOTRE
103 George Street, New Town, EH2 3ES | 0131 225 1550 | www.centotre.com
Open : Monday to Thursday – 7.30am until 10pm. Friday and Saturday – 7.30am until 11pm. Sundays – 10am until 8pm (extended in the Festival). Bar open : Monday to Saturday – 7.30am until midnight. Sundays – 10am until 10pm.

Like sister establishment The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant, Centotre promises to serve ‘happy food’, their term for food made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. True to their word, Victor and Carina Contini work with a large band of Scottish businesses and an impressive list of suppliers can be found on their website.

The interior of their George Street restaurant is also striking, a former bank with high, ornate ceilings, tall pillars and pristine white tables. Perhaps to cater for surrounding businesses Centotre opens nice and early at 7.30am for breakfast servings of pastries , rolls and even waffle dishes. The evening a la carte menu features pastas, pizza, salads and main courses. A starter of silky gnocchi is surrounded by cream, sprigs of dill and smoked salmon. A main course of venison arrives with a tangy horseradish dressing and grilled vegetables. Desserts at Centotre are worth saving room for, particularly a delightfully crunchy meringue filled with berries and cream.

+ Admirable commitment to local businesses
– Generous cream in pasta dishes might not appeal

Codewe $2 a day challenge

March 21, 2011

Centotre employees Stephen and Miro recently completed a charity challenge in which they survived on just $2 (£1.23) each day for all their food and drink. The boys were raising money for Codewe – a Ugandan charity with which Stephen is heavily involved – to develop a tree nursery in a rural area of Uganda. Codewe has done a lot of work planting tree seedlings and educating people about the value of trees to the environment and agriculture. This project will allow them to grow their own seedlings from seed and therefore do far more with the money they have available.

They succeeded in raising £439 through Centotre and would like to thank the customers and staff who contributed for all their help.
You can find out more about this project and the organisation in general at www.codewe.org.
If you would still like to donate towards this project you can do so by visiting the website.

FISH FIGHT!

January 15, 2011

Our flavours are Italian, but our fish comes from Scotland. We’re proud to support Scottish fisheries and proud to be supporting Hugh! Around half of the fish caught by fishermen in the North Sea are unnecessarily thrown back into the ocean dead!!! The current quota system does not match our fish eating habits or the mixed fishery methods. It all needs to change to eliminate unnecessary waste and ensure our fish stocks stay healthy.

Please join us in supporting Hugh, we’ll do everything we can to help this cause! Visit www.fighfight.net for more information and to show your support.