Cafe St Honoré is one of Edinburgh’s best-kept secrets. Hidden down a cobbled lane in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, just two minutes from Princes Street, Cafe serves the very best Scottish produce in an authentically Parisian-style bistro interior. Chef Director, Neil Forbes, and his kitchen team pride themselves on producing everything in-house using ingredients sourced from local producers and suppliers thus supporting the local economy and reducing food miles in line with their ‘Slow Food’ philosophy. The à la carte menu changes daily, reflecting the seasons and is supported by their Cafe Classics and Express Lunch menus, as well as separate gluten-free and dairy-free menus. Members of the Sustainable Restaurant Association since 2009, Cafe St Honoré were awarded the highest accolade of 3-star champion status in August 2012. In February 2013 SRA President Raymond Blanc presented them with the national award for ‘Society’ at the annual awards ceremony in London. The SRA judges were impressed with the holistic way the Cafe St Honoré approaches its role in society. The many laudable initiatives include a profit share scheme for staff, external placements for chefs and work placements for local school children in the kitchen. The restaurant was awarded ‘Sustainable Restaurant of the Year’ at the 2014 Catering in Scotland Awards. Cafe also undertakes regular community engagement activities, supporting both local and national charities, and are local ambassadors for the Slow Food movement and local produce. Neil Forbes gives talks at local schools about food provenance and runs an allotment at a local university to teach students about horticulture and food production. Neil is one of Scotland’s most passionate chefs who describes cooking as an “emotional experience that uses all the senses”. Born into a family of chefs, it was his granny’s soup that first inspired a young Neil to get behind the stove, and inspires him still. Like the soup, the menus at Cafe St Honoré make the most of good, honest ingredients cooked simply. Neil is joined in the kitchen by a team of equally passionate chefs who can’t wait to see what will be delivered each day, and what they can create from it. Neil is Catering in Scotland’s ‘Chef of the Year’ 2014, was Scottish Restaurant Awards ‘Chef of the Year’ in 2011, he is a member of the Slow Food UK Chef Alliance and the restaurant holds Sustainable Restaurant Association 3-star champion status. He regularly demonstrates his skills at a broad range of events across the UK as well as co-presenting BBC Radio Scotland’s Kitchen Cafe. He also writes a monthly recipe column for the Scotsman magazine.
To continue to work with quality local producers, as well as sourcing new organic and Fair-trade products. To shout the sustainability message from the rooftops to encourage others to help us on this very important journey.
I’ve said it for years, mussels are the perfect fast food. They don’t take long to cook, are tasty and healthy, and are a great base to add different flavours to. Here I’ve opted for the classic garlic, shallots wine and cream combo, but have chosen tarragon as the finishing herb. I love it in this dish. Try this using the Shetland blue shell mussels – they work a treat as they’re big, fat and so sweet.View this Recipe