The essential idea of The Herb Lab is simple: Herbs are great.
The reason we garnish dishes with herbs goes back thousands of years ago when it was believed that the essential oils in herbs help the body to digest food by stimulating our digestive system, thereby preparing the body for the upcoming task. Herbs are beneficial to our health in a variety of complex ways. Plants have been used as medicine from prehistoric times. Modern medical researchers keep confirming the power of plant substances. Pharmacologists then turn the identified compounds into drugs – isolated and synthesized. Many herbs possess strong antibacterial qualities, in many instances being equal to or surpassing the quality of antibiotics. They have a complex chemical makeup, each compound being a drug of its own – enabling, enhancing and complementing each other’s effects in the human body. We think it's much nicer to enjoy them in their original complexity. It seems there's plenty of potential for herbs in cooking beyond garnish and spice.
We take inspiration from all over the globe to create food that makes most use of the medicinal properties of herbs.
We source 95% of our produce from local farmers who practice organic or biodynamic agriculture, and when needed we use Fairtrade Certified products that haven't travelled further than necessary. We hand out providence lists to the guests because we think it makes you enjoy your food even more knowing that it comes from a good place and knowing that the ingredients contain as much nutritional value as possible.
We create regional menus that incorporate the natural produce of the season. The goal is to work directly with local farmers, individual and community run growing initiatives to have bespoke produce that matches the Herb Lab ethos. We'd also love to cultivate interesting varieties of herbs that are not conventionally grown and sold, yet are delicious and healthy culinary additions.
Our cooking methods are informed by personal preferences which we believe are beneficial and healthy and which we therefore put to practice at The Herb Lab. Details count, so we prefer: no processed and refined ingredients / good quality salts with complex mineral content / good quality and fairly sourced sweeteners and sugars / very little wheat, meat and dairy/ predominantly wholemeal food / animal products exclusively from environmentally friendly farmers ensuring animal wellbeing / rich, nutritious fats and only enough to give great taste / nutrient-friendly preparation of food.
The future plan is to create a dedicated space that caters to all your senses using the manifold properties of herbs: scents, colours, flavours, textures… Here you can eat, drink, enjoy and buy herbs based on gusto and the health benefits of each herb, which we are happy to explain to you. Ideally this will happen in collaboration with herbalists, nutritionists and local growers. And at a later stage with biochemists who can help create products that expand the way our bodies can benefit from herbs and plants in general.
If you are a herbalist, grower or farmer – or have any related expertise – and do like the idea of The Herb Lab, let's talk and see how we can collaborate!
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