Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery focuses not just on good food but also on sustainable and ethical practices in restaurants around the country.
The new book offers insight into the hero producers, farmers’ markets and social enterprises the restaurants support.
Editor of Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery, Jill Dupleix, says the project has given her a new-found admiration for many in the hospitality industry.
“The publishers, Blackwell & Ruth, came to me with the idea for a restaurant guide called Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery and I thought we needed to justify the title.
“We need to make it the world’s first guide to ethical and sustainable restaurants for people who are going beyond what we expect as a given – a beautiful dining experience and beautiful food – because that’s reflective of how we are all trying to deal with the changing environment and changing economy.
“I can’t see why we should try and recycle our own things, not use plastic, turn off the taps and lights, reduce our energy, share cars and then go out to dinner to someone who hasn’t thought of any of those things.”
Dupleix assembled an editorial team with people from each state, including South Australia’s Nigel Hopkins, and they put together a list of criteria and restaurants they wanted to consider, as well as an in-depth survey which was sent to the shortlisted businesses.
Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery features 208 restaurants listed by region, followed by major city, and is accompanied by inspiring photography.
Dupleix says the Adelaide businesses in the book – Africola, Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Level One and Peel Street – are doing a good job of “connecting things”.
“They’re sourcing locally and when you do inevitably it’s seasonal. They’re building connections with people and the community, and their money stays in the area,” she says.
“I love the concept behind Restaurant Orana because I can see that restaurant has a real mission and reason to be, it’s almost using food as an act of reconciliation, above and beyond the fact that it’s absolutely delicious food.
“I’m also taken with the hard yards of people like David and Sharon at Fino at Seppeltsfield.
“OK, it’s an idyllic spot but it’s their choice that 95 per cent of the produce is sourced locally and that’s their way of ensuring their money is kept in the community and supports local farmers.”
Dupleix says she is delighted by the profiles on Peter Rabbit Café, in Hindley St, where resident rabbit Mopsy eats the leftover greens, and Sarah’s Sister’s Sustainable Café, at Semaphore, which has the mantra “repair not replace” so the kitchen team is still using the original Kenwood and Magimix it started with in 1978.
Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery Australia is part of a series of four. There are also US and UK versions and a World Edition which draws on content from the other books but also has entries from Asia.
Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery: A guide to the truly good restaurants and food experiences of Australia, edited by Jill Dupleix (Blackwell & Ruth, $34.99), was released this week.