The story between the chef Emily Roux and Elysia started a few months ago when we met thanks to the Food++ programme of Echo. Emily decided to support the company and has created a colourful and hearty "tartine" for the aperitif menu!
Born in 1991, Emily has been training across France for the past few years and is now settling back in London. We asked a few questions to Emily to learn more about her and the quirky "tartine"... (Discover the tartine here)
1. Could you tell us a little bit about you? How did you fall into cooking?
I was nearly born in a kitchen. My whole family are either chefs or have worked in the catering industry, so I fell in love with food at an early age. At the age of 12 I would spend weekends in the kitchen helping my father at Le Gavroche and at 18 I started catering college.
2. How did you meet Sophie (the founder of Elysia)?
I met Sophie at an event created by Echo and Grub Club. They launched London’s first business accelerator programme specifically designed for food start-ups. She pitched her idea and talked passionately about Elysia. Being on the judging panel I instantly saw the potential of her project.
3. Why did you decide to get involved in Elysia catering?
I am a firm believer in recycling and reducing our carbon footprint. Sophie is tackling this problem head on with Elysia.
4 . Could you tell us a little bit more about the recipe you have created?
I have created a “tartine”, which is a French open-faced sandwich that is eaten as a light lunch or a quirky aperitif.This recipe makes use of several wonky vegetables, that have been pickled, roasted and turned into a delicious hummus. Served on a thick slice of toasted rye sourdough bread, accompanied with British cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
5. What makes a good meal for you? Do you have a favourite cuisine?
I always cook in season in order to get the best flavour out of each ingredient. Simple produce well-cooked can go a long way. I enjoy experimenting and cooking with ingredients from all over the world and love eating Asian, Indian and Japanese food.
6. What is your best cooking experience? And your worst one?
Best experience, cooking in the French embassy of Japan for some very important guest. Worst, having a power cut in the middle of service and being out of electricity for 20 minutes!
7. Did you experience any food waste difference in restaurants between Paris and London?
From my personal experience, little is done in Paris to make use of food waste in kitchen. Glass, plastic and cardboard are classically recycled but food waste was lost in the general waste.
Several restaurants in the UK separate their food waste from general waste in order to create fertilizer or biogas. Hopefully this will encourage more and more restaurants to dispose of food waste responsibly.
8. Where do you buy your produce from?
I tend to buy my fruits and vegetables at local food markets and try to go to the fishmongers and butcher as often as I can. However, I must admit I also buy a few things from my local supermarket keeping a wary eye on the provenance of each product.
9. From your experience, are second class produces or from surplus used in restaurants?
I haven’t worked in a restaurant that uses food surplus as such. Although I think many restaurant would be very happy to use misshaped fruits and vegetables. They would be easy to transform and cook into soups, purees, ice cream, sorbets etc.
10. What are your next plans Emily?
I have a cookbook coming out in September called “New French Table” which is really exciting. In the long run, I would love to open my own restaurant.
Thank you very much Emily!
More about Emily Roux: www.emilyroux.co.uk
Listen to the podcast of Emily Roux and Elysia on "Food is..." the documentary of Chris King about food waste initiatives.