Anthology Hoxton Press, our contemporary and stylish community of East London homes, sits in the buzzing heart of an area which has become known for its incredible food scene. One of the increasingly popular spots is Oliveira Kitchen in Shoreditch, just a 10-minute walk from Anthology Hoxton Press.
We caught up with husband and wife team, Magdalena and Emerson, to find out more about their delicious vegetarian food and what diners can expect when they visit.
Can you tell us about Oliveira Kitchen and how the idea for an organic vegetarian kitchen began?
That’s a long story and it all started with us not being able to find a good vegetarian restaurant for us to eat and my husband’s passion for sustainability.
Emerson was born and raised in the Amazon Forest and saw the human impact in that biosphere from up-close. The food industry needs to change. We, as a species, have to change. Truly, there’s little left to save. Over the past 30 years the Amazon Forest has lost an area the size of France of pure, virgin forest to give way to soy production and cattle which are the two main reasons for the deforestation in the Amazon basin
There’s a myth spreading among vegans that the reason for soy production is cattle feed, which is just not true. The main market for soy is its oil, protein and fibre, only the leftovers are used in animal feed. When we see a lot of vegans turning to soy instead of beef, they are just replacing one problem for another.
So here we are. We wanted to do vegetarian/vegan food and do it right, both from a sustainability point of view as well as a culinary one. Most vegetarian places are just serving junk food which is part of the problem as well as the industrialised processed food industry. All the plant-based meat alternatives are not
the way you should eat as it is not healthy or sustainable.
We are here to help demonstrate what can be done with produce from nature and have fun in the process.You can still enjoy life and develop your passion for food without the guilt of destroying the environment.
What does organic food mean to you?
It means the right thing to do. It’s easy to just not think about it, or to dismiss the subject but the way we produce food is just not sustainable.
We need new ideas on how to mass produce food within the environment we depend on to exist without destroying its ability to let us continue to exist. It’s a very simple calculation. All we must do is to make the right choice.
Where do you get the inspiration for the tasting menus?
One day you might see a botanical and inspiration hits that you could do this and that with it. You are not even looking for something, yet the idea just pops into your head.
Before we opened in Shoreditch, in our last place we created 52 main courses, 30 starters and 15 desserts in just 20 months, we changed the menu every month. As we work with what the seasons (and suppliers) can bring us we need to keep moving and our menu is ever changing.
How do you go about pairing the wines with the food?
This process starts way before the food. When we select our wines our first thought is: can this go well with vegetarian food? If yes, which? Despite the fact we are vegetarian, we cultivate a lot of umami flavours. I believe that surprises a lot of our customers, to find full flavours and a lot of umami in vegetarian or vegan dishes. We have a lot of dishes that go well with a full red. And plenty of lighter dishes that deserves a great
The process itself never stops. We are always on the lookout for new ideas and always contemplating what
wine goes with it.
What your most popular dish?
No one dish outsells the others which tells us how balanced the menu is. If I had to choose one dish to recommend to non-vegetarians when they are dragged through the door by friends or family then it would be the Trumpet Royale. It’s a brilliant, very meaty mushroom that used to go by the name French horn, or king oyster. We slice it and give it the same treatment the French give to a fillet steak: echalote, green peppercorn from Madagascar, our special secret 17-roots-3-days-to-make gravy and cream. This is then
served with cassava chips instead of potatoes and salad garnish. It’s always a winner. No one has ever left us unhappy after eating this dish and the pleasure to see a meat eater leaving a vegetarian restaurant satisfied is priceless.
Discover more about Anthology Hoxton Press and our one, two and three bedroom homes available in this vibrant culinary hotspot.
Call the team on 020 3308 8913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org