Olivier Blanc on his latest venture for sustainable eating
We catch up with Olivier Blanc, son of Raymond, at the launch of the StreetCube, a zero waste, plastic-free, organic, sustainable street-food initiative, which has just launched in Wandsworth
What is your involvement with StreetCube?
Pascal Gerrard (StreetCube’s founder) and I met at Sustainable Restaurant Association event and it was a meeting of like minds. As well as sharing our French lineage we also have this passion for food. For the past five years I’ve been working on my [healthy eating] app, ‘Henri le Worm’ which connects children to food with interactive recipe stories and this project is just a continuation of my work. I jumped on board and have been helping him for the last eight months.
What is the aim of StreetCube?
It’s a beacon for the future of food, addressing critical global issues while tackling the problems with our industrial food system. We want our chefs to connect with communities and offer delicious and nutritious food.
What have you been doing to support the initiative?
I have been hunting London high and low, looking for budding chefs for our zero plastic, zero waste, organic street food kitchens. But also you always need a second person to evaluate what you’re thinking, so I’ve been there for Pascal with that sanity check!
Which is your favourite market you visited?
I like Maltby market – there is a high level of standard among the stalls. I like Petticoat Lane Market too because it was just like discovering a hidden gem. Then the more modern ones like Spitalfields are quite interesting. There is something called Dinerama in Shoreditch too – it’s been a fun job!
How do you encourage ethical food consumption when fast food is low cost?
Food is a primal urge and when someone is hungry it’s hard to make them care about sustainability. Consumers do want that taste and they want it fast. That’s the kind of model you’re competing with. The difference is that we’re making something that isn’t just sustenance, it’s delicious and affordable. Head to our Wandsworth StreetCube and try out one of the Amrutha Buddha Boxes – it’s vibrant, it’s colourful, it’s healthy, and it makes you feel great. It comes with positive baggage of sustainable, organic and locally supplied. Our chefs also reflect regional product and regional techniques.
And the sense of community?
Exactly – yesterday we had kids coming up and there is just this direct communication between the chef and the customer. We’re also linking up with the local growing scheme and these initiatives will grow. We’re hoping to be linking up with schools and local catering colleges where we can host demonstrations and be part of an education.
You live in Kingston, favourite restaurant?
I love the spots along the river – the food at the French Table [in Surbiton] is also great. I would love to see StreetCube rolled out in Kingston – anywhere where there is this footfall to tap into.