Pop-up restaurant in Wales to serve edible insects

insects, restaurant, Wales
Andy Holcroft and Dr Sarah Beynon
16/05/2018 - 09:18
The Celtic Manor Resort in Newbridge on Usk, Wales is launching a pop-up restaurant serving edible insects to celebrate the Royal Entomological Society’s National Insect Week.

The limited edition lunch and dinner experience, running from June 21 to June 23, will include delicacies such as curried cricket pakora, bug burger bites, and toasted cumin and mealworm houmous.

There will also a grub garden tartlet, combining red pepper and garlic chapuline grasshoppers, termites and mealworms with spinach, pine nuts, artichoke, griddled asparagus and saffron pumpkin seed.

Desserts such as caramelised cricket panna cotta, toasted mealworm crepes and cricket ice cream will also be available. 

The pop-up is presented in partnership with Bug Farm Foods and Grub Kitchen in Pembrokeshire, the UK’s first dedicated insect restaurant which opened in 2015.

The concept was devised by chef Andy Holcroft and entomologist (insect scientist) Dr Sarah Beynon, who were the subject of BBC documentary ‘The Bug Grub Couple’.

Their aim is to turn bug-munching from novelty to normalcy, introducing palates to the many delicious and nutritious edible insects that are part of everyday diets in many parts of the world.

Head chef Holcroft said: “Insects have served as a food source for people for tens of thousands of years, all over the planet. Today insect eating is rare in the western world, but insects remain a popular food in many places like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Africa, Mexico, Columbia and New Guinea to name just a few.

“Many species are rich in protein and contain omega-3’s so people eat insects for nutritional value as well as for taste. There are an estimated 1,462 species of recorded edible insects and arachnids. Some of the most popular species for eating include crickets, grasshoppers, ants, as well as beetle larvae and caterpillars, that are also referred to as worms, such as the mealworm, mopani worm, silkworm and waxworm."

For less adventurous diners and those who may not want the full three-course bug experience, the pop-up menu will also feature traditional Newbridge favourites such as west coast brown crab and ham hock terrine starters while main courses include steaks, duck, fish and vegan dishes.

Celtic Manor culinary director Peter Fuchs said: “We are always looking to explore new dining options here at Celtic Manor and this is certainly one of the most unusual things we have put on the menu.

“People are looking more and more for healthy and nutritional foods and Grub Kitchen certainly seems to fit in with that trend. We’re really looking forward to opening this pop-up restaurant and I’m sure we will have of lot of curious diners wanting to take advantage of this rare opportunity to try something completely different.”

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