Words by Jessica Peace
We had a natter with Keeley from Plates ...
WHO AND WHAT IS ‘PLATES’?
There’s three of us. Kirk Haworth, executive chef, who leads the food development and kitchen team. Jack Dobbie, General Manager / sommelier, and myself, Creative Director and MD. The ethos is about stripping back to nature and cooking with only plants, vegetables, and fruits. We don’t cook with refined sugar, meat, fish or dairy.
Kirk has created a new style of cooking that is influenced from his years working in the best restaurants around the world, but inspired and created off the back of his very personal journey in food, which has led him to a plant based diet.
Kirk (who’s also my brother) and I had been planning on doing this all our lives, we just didn’t know exactly which way. When Kirk’s health took a turn for the worse it changed everything. He is now dealing with chronic Lyme disease, a debilitating illness that first destroys the immune system. So we had to figure out a way in which we could fulfil our dreams but also develop a new business model where Kirk could have significant rest days / time for his health. That’s when we started to create Plates; a business of 2 parts, living in a dual purpose space. The restaurant is open on Saturdays (reservation only) and we run the food studio during the week.
We care a lot about the planet and what we are doing is very sustainable. We also don’t ever preach to people what diet they should be eating, but try and encourage people to try and see what we do with plants and how it’s different. What is made possible with fruits and vegetables alone at Plates shocks a lot of people, even the sceptics of plant-based food / cooking!
YOU’RE USING ART AND NATURE TO MAKE YOUR GRUB. FOOD, ART OR NATURE? WHO WINS?
All three! Good for the mind, body and soul in different ways.
...AND WHAT HAPPENS IN A FOOD STUDIO!?
It’s a creative studio rooted in food and drink, it’s a space for experimentation and collaboration.
We run private events out of the studio too, and execute everything from menu development to ideation of creative brand campaigns rooted in food and nature. We also create food & drink based content, film and photography.
It’s a forward thinking space, and merges the worlds of food and design.
IT’S TOUGH TO FIND THE SPACE IN LONDON, ARE YOU GROWING YOUR OWN?
We do grow some herbs and vegetables at home, yes, but we don’t have a garden near our Hoxton Plates home unfortunately. We also forage for wild herbs and fruits, and are 80% organic in the produce we use throughout the business.
PETAL, PALM OR POTATO?
We salute the glorious potato. We make delicious canapés from it, main courses and snacks alike.
It has to be Kirk! He’s created something incredible with plants. It’s a totally new style of cooking, it’s utterly delicious, fulfilling and very impressive under the restrictions of ingredients, and I couldn’t be more proud of what he’s accomplished and shares with others, especially over a very difficult time with his health.
FAVE FLORAL SPACE?
It’s so beautiful, and my two favourite times to see the park at its best are in the spring time for the blossoms, and right now, as all the colours have changed to the most gorgeous autumnal shades.
I used to take high quality oregano oil in a veg capsule after dinner if I feel like I’m coming down with something, or around that period near Christmas where everyone has the flu and I want to avoid it!
FINISH THE SENTENCE: ‘PLANTS ARE…’
the most incredible things, and have the power to heal, feed and delight us in so many ways!
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