BRIGADE BAR + KITCHEN: WHAT IS IT?
Brigade Bar + Kitchen offers reliably delicious food at reasonable prices in a central location. Win, win, win. But this gastropub-y site is so much more than the sum of its parts. The good-looking, good-tasting restaurant is just the surface of an organisation that seeks to effect positive change at every turn. Not only is its Beyond Food Foundation (more on which later) a charitable enterprise helping the homeless back into work, but the produce is painstakingly sourced and cooked by a team of chefs that seriously care about what they do.
BRIGADE BAR + KITCHEN: WHAT TO ORDER?
Plates of bone marrow, pickled shallots with beef dripping focaccia and confit pork with charred salad set the scene. But make sure you save space for the main event. Head chef Pete Denhart deploys a wood fire and chargrill to utterly irresistible effect, with plates of wood-roasted hispi cabbage, Tenderstem broccoli, cauliflower, crispy kale and salsa verde. For meat eaters, there’s wood-roasted free-range Norfolk chicken, watercress and burnt lemon and much, much more.
And whether you’re slathering it on the housemade sourdough or daubing it onto roasted celeriac, don’t miss the butters. There’s everything from herby to chilli to a temptingly mysterious butter of the day.
BRIGADE BAR + KITCHEN: HOW SUSTAINABLE IS IT?
There’s so much to love about Brigade it’s hard to know where to start. Firstly, it was set up by chef Simon Boyle, who also founded Beyond Food. This is a foundation working to help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness back into work. Each January, the Freshlife programme welcomes applicants into the kitchen, teaching them how to cook. But it goes beyond that, helping them to find somewhere to live, and offering them additional support over the course of five weeks.
Once this initial programme is over, participants can decide to continue their journey with Beyond Food or find alternative employment. It’s a worthy cause, made all the more admirable because Brigade doesn’t shout about it, quietly serving food that’s excellent in its own right. What’s more, chef Denhart works with brilliant suppliers, too – meat comes from Philip Warren and veg comes from County Veg, so you know it’s going to be good.
139 Tooley St, London SE1 2HZ