MasterChef judge drops in on Edinburgh zero-waste food store to cook up a winning dish
Masterchef winner Steven Wallis took time out of a trip to Edinburgh this week to visit the Capital's newest plastic free and eco-friendly food store, Beautiful Planet.
Wallis joined the store's proprietor Pawel Ferguson to film a number of cooking videos, highlighting the positives of cooking with fresh, local produce, from sustainable sources.
The food guru who also runs The Urban Foodie blogspot and is a returning judge for each new season of MasterChef where he helps discover the UK’s emerging culinary talents, says, “It was a delight to visit Pawel at Beautiful Planet and cook some dishes from his excellent range of produce. Cooking in such an environmentally friendly way lies at the heart of all great cooking. If you have not yet been I highly recommend a visit.”
The former fashion strategist, who won the third series of MasterChef in 2007 and has since traveled the world having culinary adventures to become a well respected food writer, private chef and flavour consultant, created a number of dishes during his visit including a risotto and a curry, the details of which are being kept under wraps until the release of the videos on Beautiful Planet’s social media channels this weekend. The aim of the videos is to illustrate the benefits of cooking with fresh ingredients for health and well-being.
Passionate about the environment from a young age, store owner Mr Ferguson says, "We were thrilled to have Steven Wallis join us at Beautiful Planet. We have such an amazing range of produce both fresh and dry and to have a MasterChef winner come along and cook up some amazing food was fantastic. He filled the room with the great smell of aromatic spices and demonstrated his artistry through his very creative use of some essential ingredients in simple vegan dishes.
"Steven did a great job showcasing our produce allowing us a wonderful opportunity to prepare for Sustainable Gastronomy Day on Friday. Simple and mostly locally sourced ingredients can create brilliant dishes."
Mr Ferguson’s zero waste store experience, which opened earlier this year, offers an ethical approach to shopping by stocking a large range of foods that can be weighed and packed in the customer’s own containers, alongside a selection of eco-friendly drinks, oils and infused oils, detergents, laundry products and dog products that are not readily available elsewhere.He adds, "The days of buying from the supermarket should be a thing of the past, using single-use plastics should be too. We have not reinvented the wheel here, we just offer our own approach and style on the supply of zero waste shopping.”
Beautiful Planet is based in the Biscuit Factory on Anderson Place, Leith. The building, which was originally built in 1947 by Crawfords Biscuits, is now home to 32 creative businesses. Beautiful Planet also have a regular stall on Sundays at Leith Community Croft on St John’s Place and the business has plans to extend their in store range of fresh produce further and to introduce cooking demonstrations in the future.