Daylesford Organic is one of the UK's leading suppliers of gourmet organic goods, with a cafe and farm shop in Gloucestershire, another in London, and its own swanky department in several leading stores including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Planet Organic.
It is nothing if not 'traditional' in the fare it offers, so I have not linked to the website as I assume that readers of this blog will not be interested in the sausages, breads, cheeses, marmalades and chutneys on sale, nor in the recipe section which reads like the menu of the Savoy Grill.
But to their credit, the choices at Daylesford's Gloucestershire cafe are not only coded to help diners easily identify dishes which are vegetarian, vegan and wheat free, but also to denote a series of all-raw options! When we saw a recent menu, the raw vegan choices included a Raw Beetroot, Ginger and Honey Soup, a Quinoa Tabbouleh with Flax Seed Crackers, a Thai Cabbage Salad, and a Seasonal Fruit Plate with Honey and Ginger Syrup and Quince Sorbet. We can't vouch for the quality of the food as we have yet to try it, but we hear it is well worth stopping off at if you are ever nearby.
Could this be the start of a trend towards all "good" restaurants (i.e. those that at least prepare their dishes from scratch using fresh ingredients) starting to offer a raw option or four? As exciting as it is to see the growth of all-raw restaurants, what will really change the world is healthy, sustainable choices moving beyond these narrow confines into mainstream establishments everywhere.
As someone who dines out a lot in "normal" restaurants, I for one will rejoice when it is possible to stay raw while enjoying something more exciting than an uninspired house salad. And when these choices are available not only to those of us who already know how brill raw food is, but to all the people who don't yet. Not so long ago it was difficult to get a vegetarian meal in many restaurants, but offering this option is now a must. How long will it be before it is no longer acceptable not to offer a raw choice?
The more people who approach restaurant owners letting them know there is a demand for delicious, pure, life-force filled food, the sooner that day will come. Why not get involved in Shazzie's Make Raw Food Mainstream campaign, which was set up to address this very issue - or start your own!
Daylesford Organic, Daylesford, Near Kingham, Gloucestershire GL56 0YG. Tel: 01608 731 700.