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Practice What I Preach!

Carina to deliver keynote speech | Contini

As far as our business is concerned we make the best sustainable choices we can. First restaurant in Scotland to be zero waste to landfill, supporting 70 artisan suppliers and supporting the health and well-being of our team to name a few.

But at home, I feel utterly ashamed to admit my local Sainsbury has been the source of our family food supply. A weekly big shop and mid week top up has been our guilty habit since we’ve moved to Lasswade almost 8 years ago. The big shop supports my big Sunday cook off. Big pots of soup, stews, chilis etc that gets us through the week with homemade food. Other than a packet of sausages I refuse to buy processed food. But I’ve relied on the supermarkets too much and it need to stop.

Time for us has been the killer. I can count on one hand the number of days (other than our sacred Sundays and family holidays) that Victor and I have had off together. Well that’s going to change. We’ve made a pledge that we’re both going to take a day off mid week. You’ll hear self employed people often say they work 6 or 7 days a week and it’s sadly often true. Our team are brilliant. We’re trust them and they deliver a great job. So a 5 day a week, off season, for Victor and I isn’t too much to ask after all these years. Today is the day to start. So I find myself sharing our new story. Time allows you to do the jobs you want to do not chase the jobs you don’t want to do. We’re determined to practice what we preach and cut down on the supermarket shop, remove all that awful plastic packaging we find ourselves binning daily and we’re going to support local.


Milk, cream and eggs. MacQueen Dairy 03305 555588

I’ve just placed an order with our local milk man. Glass pint bottles are back. Twice weekly deliveries. Delivered between 11pm and 6am. So when we wake up in the morning our delivery will be at the front door waiting for us. The children will love this and I’m super excited.

Fruit and Vegetables. East Coast Organics 01875 3400227

Although we have a one acre Kitchen Garden at our house all the produce from here goes straight to the restaurants. We’ve always had loads of herbs to pick but nothing else. So our first fruit and vegetable box will be with us on Friday. Big pot of soup coming Victors way!

Fresh Meat. Grierson’s 01738 730201

Sasha and her husband Hugh have been supplying the restaurants with eggs for years. They also have an online delivery service or a collect from the Edinburgh Farmers Market pick up point. With Ballet and Hockey commitments the Farmers Market has always been a trip too far for us. (Although I will be at the Slow Food Stall at Castle Terrace on 1st of December doing a cookery demonstration so hope to see you there.) Our Sunday roast Chicken and some boiling beef will be with us on Friday. Sustainable biodiversity through and through with all of the Griersons products so we may eat less meat but what we eat will support a healthy food system that supports the planets wider needs.

Cheese. Ian Mellis Morningside 0131 447 8889

This cheesemonger is enroute home from work so we’ll be making an effort to pop in more than before. Victor’s Keto Diet can’t live without some cheese!

Italian Essentials Valvona & Crolla 0131 556 6066

At home we eat very little pasta but when you need the fix you need the real McCoy. For pasta, rice, Italian sausages and any other store cupboard Italian essential there is only one shop.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil I’Ciacca available from Contini George Street 0131 225 1550

I can’t live without olive oil. We use my families oil from our village in Picinisco in Lazio in all our venues and a bottle is on every table at George Street. A monthly order keeps us topped up.


November for me will be no more supermarkets and support the independents. I can see this may cost slightly more than our usual like for like shop but I’m confident that all those extra non essential trolley temptations will in the end save us in the long run a small fortune. And most importantly less plastic from all those vegetable and fruit packets from the supermarket and all those plastic litre bottles of milk will cost the planet far less damage for sure.

The independents need us. The planet needs us. I’m in all the way! If the children start to look malnourished you’ll know it’s all gone pear shaped. But I don’t think there will be much chance of that.

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