Would you like a side of locust to go with your cricket?
Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. Chef Andy Holcroft’s insect restaurant Grub Kitchen, opens its 18th century doors in Wales this week. The restaurant is located on a farm inside a renovated calf shed in Pembrokeshire, South Wales.
The restaurant has an insect-focused menu and is a bid to ‘make people think about their food’. The restaurant is being pioneered by award winning-chef Andy Helcroft who says, “I’ve always been really interested in trying to do something different with food,”. He has always been a keen advocate of entomophagy (eating insects) and is confident that the restaurant is a step to ‘normalising’ the practice.
Holcroft is upbeat about the insect idea which should definitely capture the imagination of children. “Kids love the edible insects – they don’t have that fear factor,” he said. Insects on the menu include crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, sago worms and locusts worked into a number of dishes.
Grub Kitchen’s signature burger is made with toasted crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, spinach and sundried tomatoes.
Here’s what else is on the menu:
- Insect tasting board featuring a selection of plain and seasoned insect treats
- Chilli cricket cocktail with bloody Mary salsa and lemon chapuline salt
- Caerfai cheddar, tomato, Grub farmhouse pickle, fresh leaves and herb salsa
- Grub garden salad of local organic leaves, tomatoes and herbs with crunchy insect granola, goat’s cheese and balsamic jelly
- Cricket falafels with tatziki, olives, lettuce and Caerfai cheddar
- Bug blinis with wild garlic humus and toasted cumin mealworms
- Bug burritos; lemon and coriander bulgar wheat, spicy beans and chilli-con crickets with chilli chapuline and tomato salsa, sour cream and sago worm guacamole
- Sago, and bamboo worm pad Thai curry
So where do the insects come from?
Well, most of the ‘meat’ is sourced from labs around Europe, but Holcroft is confident that he will be able to start his own farm soon. Holcroft’s partner is fortunately an insect enthusiast and they have existing space and expertise to make it happen.
What is it like to eat insects?
Mealworms have a pleasantly “branny” texture, while crickets could be compared to puffed rice Holfcroft eplained. Whilst insects look sure to capture peoples imaginations they are perhaps not for all “I wouldn’t expect everyone to like them, in the same way I wouldn’t expect everyone to like fish or mushrooms or pork” Holfcroft goes on to say.