Interview with René Mathieu, Champion of Vegetarian Cuisine
Mr Mathieu, working with Cactus, 2021 has been especially focussed on making the general public aware of the “local & seasonal” project. How do you think things have gone? For you, what has stood out most from this year?
This partnership with Cactus, which started in January 2021, has been extremely interesting on many levels and we’ve started to get the message across to consumers to buy more local and seasonal produce. However, we need to go further still because our young people expect more from us. We’ve really got to act. The ‘Changeons! Agissons!’ project has to become more active – with more changes and more action!
During the year what has stood out to me is the positive feedback from people everywhere and all around us who support this movement to develop awareness with these actions undertaken in partnership with Cactus. This gives us the confidence to make greater progress and go even further.
What are your resolutions and hopes for 2022?
Firstly, we’d like to wish you all the best for 2022, and I’d like us to think carefully and increase our awareness of our actions – we’ve already made some progress but we need to do much more. Let’s think about what we buy and what we really need: let’s buy better. The health of our planet depends on all of us and we’ve got to reduce our environmental footprint. Our first priority is to help and guide consumers and inform them about their food choices and lifestyle. Surely a well-informed customer is a happy customer?
Which foods would you encourage us to eat at the start of the year? And to ensure we get plenty of vitamins? Can you recommend any local super foods?
Winter really is the perfect season and the best time for recharging our batteries and taking care of ourselves. It’s the season for rest and a time when we can stop and take stock of where we’re at.
Obviously with each season our diet changes because nature thinks of everything and at all times provides us with what we most need. Fruit and vegetables such as cabbages (red, green, white, Brussels sprouts and kale), roots vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, beetroot (red or other colours), salsify, etc. all provide vitamins A, C, and K as well as other nutrients, and so on.
Then there are fruits such as citrus fruits which provide us with vitamin C and other goodness which we need to stay healthy throughout the winter. Our winter diet should also help stimulate our kidneys, so savoury foods, which is what our kidneys need, are predominant during winter, although at the same time we need to be moderate!
For many of us – January means a dry January. Are there healthy, eco-friendly alternatives available so that we can enjoy alcohol-free drinks with our friends? Do you have any tips for our readers?
Of course – in our restaurant in Bourglinster, as well as wine, we also serve plant and wild herb flavoured waters with our menus and they have become an increasingly popular choice among our customers.
I can suggest two drinks, one hot and one cold, both with zero waste in mind:
Carrot, Hogweed and Blood Orange Flavoured Water
And for cold days by the fireside, there’s:
Hot Mulled Cider