Indo-British woman wins gastro-pub award

May 5th, 2008 - 9:50 am ICT by admin  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, May 5 (IANS) An award-winning London pub owned by ethnic Indian restaurateur Geetie Singh has been named Britain’s best organic restaurant. The Duke of Cambridge, located in the smart north London neighbourhood of Islington, was named the recipient by the Soil Association, which is lays down industry standards for organic food in Britain.

Judges praised 38-year-old Singh’s gastronomic pub for its seasonal menu that changes twice daily and the fact that staff at the pub regularly visit the organic farmers and growers that supply them, directly where possible.

Singh, who was named Asian Woman of Achievement in 2001, said she has always loved the British pub culture but has sought to combine that with “fantastic family food.”

“I’m as much into Indian food as anyone else and we do serve Indian dishes - I have an aunt in Singapore who gave me lots of recipes,” Singh told IANS.

“It’s fantastic and fabulous to be recognised by someone like Soil Association,” said Singh, whose pub is located in an area that once was home to former prime minister Tony Blair.

The Duke of Cambridge not only serves tasty organic food, it purifies and carbonates water on the premises in order to eliminate ‘water miles’ and has a sustainable fishing policy in place.

“We have never transported a bottle of water. And all our fish are sourced from areas where stocks aren’t depleted. We source from small fishing boats in England,” said Singh, who has run the pub for 10 years.

Its fish buying policy made the restaurant the first to be approved by Britain’s Marine Conservation Society.

About 80 percent of the pub’s fresh produce is sourced from the English counties to keep food miles at a minimum.

The London pub has also been named second best bar by the Observe.

“I’ve always loved the pub culture,” said Singh. “It is family culture more than anything else, more socialising than drinking,” Singh said.

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