Back in 2005 much travelled Kent girl Emma Bricknell put the names of several cities into a hat. Whichever one she pulled out would be her next place of residence. It could have been Barcelona, Sydney, Manchester or Cornwall but the name on the paper was Belfast. And that, in a sense, was the origin of one of Belfast’s most popular and idiosyncratic restaurants, Made In Belfast, which opened in April 2008.
The Company’s main priority has been and always will be the food, which had to be high quality, locally sourced where possible and ethically and environmentally sourced. We were inspired by restaurants like Hawksmoor, Medcalf and St John’s where the standards of animal husbandry are very high. We are looking primarily for producers who we can be sure really look after their animals.
The Company ethos is that the money goes into the food so the design concept they wanted was suited to scouring skips and second hand shops with a little bit of Ikea here and there. It’s constantly changing too, they have sheds full of antiques like old saucepans and pottery jars. In fact the anarchic but very beguiling decor of Made In Belfast’s original Wellington Street outlet has become part of its attraction, giving it a real stand out identity.
The approach to food reflects the owner’s own preferences. It’s back to basic, rustic peasant food but with influences from all over the world, Aussie burgers, Russian salads and Scandi Smushis – anything goes.
These pigs are born outside, in fields where they are kept until weaning. Breeding sow are kept outside in fields for their productive lives. Where soil types and climate are a constraint, producers can apply for a derogation to keep gestating sows in barns, in groups on deep straw bedding for a maximum of seven weeks at the start of each production cycle. The pigs are provided with food, water and shelter with generous minimum space allowance. Pork and pork products labelled as Outdoor Bred will also contain a statement about how the pigs are subsequently farmed. Where possible this will be in the same field of vision on the label as Outdoor Bred. Retailers and foodservice businesses are encouraged to make further information available about the method of finishing to consumers through literature or websites.
Free Range eggs are what we imagine in our minds; chickens, free to roam the great outdoors, spread their wings, eat grass and lay their eggs where they darn well feel like it. Free Run eggs are a modified version of this. They are raised in large barns where they have the freedom to roam about, are given access to the outside for an allotted period every day, and provided with nesting boxes in which to lay their treasure. By this definition, it seems, most hobby farmers with a few laying chickens produce Free Run eggs. Understandably, Free Range eggs are much more expensive to product because spoilage is higher and more effort is needed to collect the eggs which are likely less uniform in size. Free Run eggs are slightly cheaper as the chickens are more tightly controlled. Chickens in battery farms are tightly packed in with very little room to move; their eggs, once laid, are funnelled down a conveyor belt to be processed in a big factory. This is the cheapest method; less manual labour, more automation, higher yields, more uniformity.
Our oceans are suffering from depleted stocks of fish as a result of destructive over-fishing and commercial fishing methods – at least 70% of the world’s fish stocks are over-fished, and some stocks are at such low levels that they are in danger of collapse. In the North Sea alone, many once plentiful species such as cod, common skates, Bluefin tuna and plaice are now over-fished, or in some cases, virtually extinct. A staggering one third of all fish caught globally is thrown overboard. The use of massive trawlers nets, which catch everything in their patch, are extremely damaging to marine habitats and species, such as dolphins and seals..
Our beef is born, raised and reared in Ireland and is mainly grass fed. It is always matured for a minimum of 12 week. We use farmers that are passionate about what they do and they rear their animals under high welfare conditions – We’ve seen it with our own eyes these animal recieve more TLC than Paris Hilton!!
The Definition of Sustainability
Sustainability is an attempt to merge ecology and economy into one system. Sustainability means living a life of dignity in harmony with nature. Sustainability means renewing resources at a rate equal to or greater than the rate at which they are consumed.
Sustainability means living within the resources of the planet without damaging the environment now or in the future. Sustainability means creating an economic system that provides for quality of life while renewing the environment and its resources.
A sustainable community is one that resembles a living system where all of the resources (human, natural and economic) are renewed and in balance for perpetuity. Sustainability is creating a world where everyone can have fulfilling lives and enjoy a rich level of well-being within the limits of what nature can provide.
Sustainability means taking the long-term view of how our actions effect future generations and making sure we don’t deplete resources, or cause pollution at rates faster than the earth is able to renew them.