Studio Australia Barcelona

Healthy Food Places in Barcelona #3

The Rooftop Smokehouse

This week’s FRIEND of Studio Australia Barcelona is Buster Turner.  Chef, food consultant and co-owner of The Rooftop Smokehouse. We speak to Buster about his passion for the concept of ‘nose to tail’ eating and his idea of ethically grown food.

Nowadays we repeatedly hear the importance of eating organic, buying from local farmers and eating sustainably produced food. As the movement towards ethically grown food spreads it’s difficult for the average person to really understand and consider all the factors including humane meat production, sustainable agriculture practices, locally-sourced products, the environmental impacts of farming, organically certified…. and the list goes on, as we stand in line to buy our meat or order a steak for dinner.

Few people can actually say they’ve seen exactly where the food on their plate has come from, but Buster, follows his food’s journey all the way from the farm to your plate.

We met with him (and his pig heads!) to discuss his views on sourcing and consuming food grown ethically, and what this process really entails.

•    What is your philosophy about using animals and produce that have been grown ethically?

For me it’s just really fun to seek out these places where I get my products. To meet the farmers directly, to see and choose where the food we offer to our customers is coming from. It is only if I have seen the whole process, from farm to slaughterhouse to butcher to plate, will I have peace of mind.

I also base my cooking on a “nose-to-tail” approach where I try to use every part of the animal. Fergus Henderson started this movement 30 years ago and I worked for him when first starting out. It’s a lost art form that he has brought back. It really made an imprint on me back then even though I was still a novice at the time.

It’s about the welfare of the animal, how it’s treated, the life it has on the farm and the respect of the meat once it has been killed.

•    Do you think the food culture in Barcelona is conscious about ethically grown food?

It’s hard to say…a lot of people are stuck in their ways. And it also has to do with money. People can be aware but maybe not willing or able to afford the luxury of eating food that is ethically grown.

In England, we are way ahead in properly sourced/grown food. Spain is still living quite a bit behind and suppliers for the most part are out of touch with the products they are actually carrying. In time, smaller suppliers have been taken over by the larger companies and the way the produce is grown has changed, but the label is still the same.

On the plus side, Spain is great at providing fresh seasonally grown products in comparison to many countries.    

  •    How can the average person know if he/she is buying a good quality product without having to go visit its source?

It can be quite difficult unless you dedicate yourself to a lot of research. The best thing to do is just ask. Ask questions when you buy. “Is this organic? How old is this chicken? Do you know where it comes from? Has it been taken care of properly?” The consumer has the power to make the demand and if we demand it, they will start producing it!

It takes time but for me, I’m proud of knowing every step that animal took before someone eats it.

Follow Buster and their upcoming events, workshops and festival dates around Barcelona via the Rooftop Smokehouse website or on Facebook.

They also do Catering and Special events!

C/ Consell de Cent, 159
Barcelona 08004

+34 639 310 671

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