Chef Peter Gorton has put insects and worms on a new one-off tasting menu for his recently-opened restaurant, as part of a campaign to highlight how insects could help feed the world.
The chef, who heads up Gorton’s Restaurant in Tavistock, Devon among other restaurants and cafés in the surrounding area, created a new menu including mushroom and mealworm soup, braised beef brisket with crickets, and candied locusts with pannacotta and mango sorbet.
The unusual plates were served on Thursday 22 August in a one-off event, in association with entomologist Peter Smithers from Plymouth University, who has suggested that people in the West should make insects part of our daily diets. The menu comes soon after the United Nations published a report assessing the “huge potential” insects could have in feeding humans.
Insects as ingredients are fairly common in other countries – including parts of south-east Asia or Mexico, where maggots and deep-fried grasshoppers are well-known delicacies ‒ and Gorton himself took inspiration from living abroad.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, he defended the move saying that insects are high in protein and healthy fats, and likened people’s reaction as similar to that of eating raw fish 25 years ago.
He said: “It wasn’t long ago that with sushi people would think ‘I’m not eating [that]’”.
None of Gorton’s regular menus feature insects…yet.