Bruno Loubet, the Michelin-starred French chef famed for his classical meat dishes, is banning beef from the menu at his restaurant Grain Store.
The large, bright 200-seat restaurant, which opened in King’s Cross, London, 18 months ago, has already garnered attention for making vegetables the main attraction while fish or meat take second billing. Grain Store, named London Restaurant of the Year last year at the Sustainable Restaurant Awards, uses free-range meat, sustainably sourced fish, and herbs as well as edible flowers from a community garden located next door.
But now Loubet is going one step further and plans to cut beef – which currently features in just one dish at Grain Store – from the restaurant’s spring menu.
Loubet believes that, given the damage that the beef industry does to the planet ( 10kg of grain is needed to produce 1kg of beef), by serving beef, he is undoing all the good done by having a sustainable restaurant. “If I didn’t I would be untrue to everything,” the 53-year-old said. “I have not eaten beef for three months. I do eat it if I am in the restaurant somewhere. I am not vegetarian or vegan but I eat much less meat.”
Although Loubet’s career trajectory may seem at odds with his current tastes, he is really returning to his roots. The chef “grew up eating vegetables”, one of seven children, in Bordeaux, where meat was an occasional treat and much of the family’s diet was made up of vegetables grown in the garden or foraged. Now, the only time he relaxes is when he is in his garden in Bedfordshire, and he feels “a strong connection to the land”. He had a dream of creating a restaurant like Grain Store 20 years ago, “but 20 years ago, it was a crazy idea, so I kept it to myself”.