The Diamond Club at Emirates Stadium has become the first sports stadium restaurant to be awarded Three Stars by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The exclusive, luxury restaurant led by Raymond Blanc OBE, achieved the highest Food Made Good rating by demonstrating outstanding levels of sustainability across the operation, from the ethically sourced meat and fish it serves through to its recently introduced food redistribution initiative.
Raymond Blanc, President of the SRA and Chef Director of the Diamond Club said: “I am so proud of Tommy Fairhall, Executive Head Chef of the Diamond Club.
“Tommy has led his team so well and instilled in them the importance of provenance, seasonality, and purity of produce. He has also done so much to improve the management of waste and energy. Tommy is a true gift to us all. Tommy, his Second Chef, Taalib, and his Head Patissier, Tony, have not only brought these important values to the kitchen, they also go on to provide wonderful food experiences to each of our guests... and the players too!”
Befitting a Premier League stadium restaurant with the best seats in the house, the Diamond Club serves its members a menu made with 75 per cent locally sourced ingredients including free-range chicken, beef and lamb. Healthy options make up as many as half of the menu items. Conscious of the potential for food waste, the Delaware North team, who are responsible for the provision of food and beverage services in the Diamond Club and all other premium and General Admission areas at Emirates Stadium, together with the club, have introduced a number of measures to keep waste to a minimum.
These include partnering with redistribution charity Plan Zheroes to divert leftovers from matchdays and other events in the stadium to a network of small local charities feeding people in need. To date they have helped seven charities feed more than 1,500 people and there are plans to help extend this to all football grounds around the UK. This commitment to keep waste to a minimum can also be seen in the policy recently introduced by Delaware North for functions for less than 50 guests where no bottled water or disposable cups are used.
Tom McCann, Arsenal Head of Premium Sales and Service Operations, said: “We are very proud to become the first sports stadium restaurant in the world to be awarded three stars by the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
“This rating is deserved recognition for the hard work and commitment to sustainable practices by Tommy Fairhall and the Diamond Club team, under the guidance of Chef Director, Raymond Blanc.”
Football stadia and transport operators are among the diverse range of foodservice businesses also including high street chains, neighbourhood favourites, Michelin Star restaurants and contract caterers, to boast the SRA accreditation.
Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive of the SRA, said: “Luxury, football and sustainability are three words you don’t always associate together. But the team at the Diamond Club have married them together, matching their passion for serving ethically sourced ingredients with a commitment to ensure those ingredients help provide meals for people who need them rather than ending up in the bin. A winning combination.”
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