Lardo first opened their doors in 2012 and has been fuelled by Climpson & Sons coffee from the very start. Part of the fabric of our London Fields neighbourhood, they’ve been providing authentic food, cooked simply. A dining experience with a sense of place, Lardo represents the best of family hospitality and local community.
With hospitality businesses large and small closing their doors for the last month we’ve felt a dramatic shift in the way we shop and dine. Independents have taken this challenge in their stride, looking at ways to adapt to a new at-home life by providing takeaway options, delivery services as well as using their hospitality skills to provide quality, nourishing meals to those working in the hardest jobs.
We’re launching the Brunch at Home Series to bring your favourite restaurant’s menu to you, sourcing the best of East London local ingredients for weekly brunch boxes and recipes, paired with something boozy from the restaurants drinks list and a bag of Climpson’s coffee. Our first dish comes from Matthew Cranston, Head Chef at Lardo. We catch up to talk about how he’s been dishing up hearty meals for hard working NHS staff, how to support your local independent through lockdown and what might be next for the industry.
What’ve you been cooking at home?
A bit too much is the answer to that. I am not used to eating so much. I have been using Ben’s Fish from Mersea Island home delivery service, so eating some lovely fish. I had a whole wild sea bass the other day, the season has just started. I’m also trying to eat plenty of vegetables. British asparagus is good right now.
We saw you’ve been back in the kitchen prepping up meals for well deserving NHS staff. How did you put that together, and what have you been cooking?
This came about because I felt I needed to do something in this situation rather than just clapping and cheering at night. I really like feeding people and when people are on the front line they need a bit of help as well. Lardo was empty so it seemed logical to make some pasta. We did home made casarecce with beef ragu and sun-dried tomato, black olive and oregano for the veggies
What can customers do to support Lardo and other restaurants while they’re closed?
At lardo you can pre-buy dinner for when we re- open. If your local restaurant is offering takeaway use them. You could simply make a donation to help pay the staff. The government is helping, but will not recognise the service charge so all the staff are losing a lot of money they would normally get through tips.
What’s the first drink you’re going to order at the bar after lockdown?
A really nice coffee.
Couldn’t agree more. What do you think it will look like for the hospitality industry over the next few months?
Speaking personally, I think the restaurant business is going to find it hard to come back from this situation. We will see staff losing their jobs as the government cannot keep furlough going forever. Also when we do re-open the systems that will need to be in place to keep everyone safe will make it impossible to continue as we had been before this situation.
Matt’s put together the recipe for our first edition of Brunch at Home. He's chosen potato rostis with The Secret Smokehouse salmon and soft eggs - straight from the Lardo brunch menu and paired with their Danish bloody mary. You can find more about how to support Lardo while their doors are sadly closed here and book yourself a table in your own house for the very first edition of Brunch at Home this Friday here.