This summer we’re excited to invite you to dine in the garden oasis of the Native Courtyard. Hidden in the heart of Mayfair and residing in the Browns fashion store, we welcome you to dine al fresco from the new Garden Menu of small plates perfectly paired with our Sussex Sparkling wines.
Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 10.30pm
Browns, 39 Brook Street, London W1K 4JE
We couldn’t ask to collaborate with a better team than our friends at Native this summer who put sustainability at the heart of everything they do.
We met the team at last year’s National Restaurant Awards. As a sponsor, we had a bar at the ceremony so when they tried our wines they fell in love, immediately adding it to their drinks list in the restaurant. Since then, we spent quality time getting to know each other even more and recently enjoyed an immersive day on the Estate with a tour and tasting.
Native founders, Imogen and Ivan, champion British wild produce with a foraged-focused menu. The team are dedicated to maintaining and working towards a zero waste kitchen and work hard to cook using only sustainable meat and seafood with the daily changing menu dependent on seasonal availability. The synergy between Rathfinny and Native felt so natural, particularly in light of our recent B Corp certification.
We chatted to Ivan, Native Head Chef and Co-Founder, to find out all about their ethos and commitment to sustainability.
What’s your story?
Mine was not the traditional pathway into being a chef or restaurant owner. I studied business at university where I
decided that I wanted to work for myself after being made redundant as a recruitment consultant during the 2008 banking crises.
A born and bred Londoner, I fell in love with the countryside and the wild produce available which I knew very little about as a child. We started Native as a street food stall and a way of offering city folk like me the chance to eat wild produce that is native to the UK. I managed to secure work at The River Cottage in Devon, where I worked under some great chefs like Gelf Alderson, Andy Tyrell, Steve Lamb and Gill Mellor. I also worked at the world, renowned, Michelin-starred Blue Hill farm at Stones Barns in upstate New York under Dan Barber. This place was mind-blowing, and an absolute inspiration to my own restaurant.
Bar the experiences above, 99% of my career has been on the-job learning, but the beauty of this is that I have not been confined to traditional restaurant conventions. I have always been able to think outside of the box and create dishes, with nobody to tell me that’s wrong. Eight years down the line I think and I hope people are still enjoying my food.
How would you describe the ethos of Native?
At Native we let the land dictate to us what we serve. We are inspired by the fields, coasts, forests, and urban landscapes of the UK. For us, regenerative farming and foraged produce are always at the forefront but most importantly we are here to produce great food. From day one we have always set out to create a restaurant that we wanted to eat at ourselves.
What inspires your cooking?
We have a saying “What grows together goes together.” For example, rhubarb and rosemary are two of the first things we have available to us in the winter and they pair wonderfully. I often take inspiration from the diets of the animals we are serving or the ecosystems they live in. It is important for us not to put stress on the food chain and so a further source of inspiration can come from how we minimise the waste we produce from a product or how we incorporate parts of its farming process into our restaurant.
Can you explain a bit about your foraging and sourcing process?
When foraging we always abide by the rule of 3: pick a 3rd, leave a 3rd for the animals and leave a 3rd for next year.
With sourcing food and drink we believe in doing the right thing, not the easy thing. We have an in depth procurement policy available on our website but in general we look to choose suppliers who understand our industry’s impact on the Earth and who want to fix the food chain, like Rathfinny.
What ingredients do you look forward to cooking with this time of year?
Its a wonderful time of year to use some amazing blossoms and wild herbs. Obviously we have elderflowers popping out everywhere, but there are also some beautiful Woodruff flowers to be discovered as well as pineapple weed that grow in the cities as well as the fields.
Discover the Sussex Sparkling Summer Snack Menu at Native
Now on to the menu! There will be four small plates featuring locally produced and foraged British ingredients with an option to pair a glass or bottle with each of our 2018 vintage Rathfinny Sussex Sparkling wines. Even better, bottles of our 2017 Classic Cuvée and Rosé magnums will be available to get the drinks flowing on a glorious afternoon in London.
Read on to see Ivan’s highlights from the Garden Menu.
2018 Blanc de Blancs
Crafted from 100% Chardonnay grapes, the elegant 2018 Blanc de Blancs is a divine pair for salty sea flavours and will be matched with Cuttlefish Calamari, Confit Garlic & Alexander Chilli Oil. Just picture yourself sitting in the sun eating calamari and drinking Blanc de Blanc. Don’t think I need to say much more…
The 2018 Rosé stands up wonderfully to a bit of spice and so saw it as the perfect opportunity to pair with a dish I’ve been wanting to create for a while, a smoked Carrot Hotdog (a nod to summer BBQs and bottles of rosé) with Hay Ash Honey and Curry Mayo.
2018 Blanc de Noirs
With a wonderful blend of predominantly Pinot Noir with hints of Pinot Meunier, the biscuity, yeasty flavours of the 2018 Blanc de Noirs will evoke umami flavours within the Regenerative Steak Tartare, Smoked Egg Yolk, Wasabi Flower.
2018 Classic Cuvée
The Potato Waffle with Chicken Liver Parfait was a no brainer to partner with the 2018 Classic Cuvée. This dish has everything: salt, sweet, fat and acid, so I knew that such a perfectly balanced and well rounded sparkling wine would be able to handle such a broad flavour profile.
A Native experience of feeding from the land.
Ivan Tisdall-Downes, Native Co-founder