21 Jan 2010 12:08:00.000
English green gazpacho, slow cooked rare breed pork belly and homemade ricotta with raspberries are not commonly found in research carried out by students studying architecture. But they will be on the menu when a team from the Department of the Built Environment at The University of Nottingham test drive the solar powered house they have designed and built.
In their bid to win the very first Solar Decathlon Europe the students, who will be representing Britain at this international event, have won the wholehearted support of Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire"€™s only Michelin Star Chef.
Sat is working with the Nottingham H.O.U.S.E team to devise and produce a sustainable dinner party menu which they will cook and serve to their neighbours when all 20 houses in the competition are exhibited in Madrid in June.
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Energy saving and sustainable food production are part of Sat’s personal and professional ethos. He is so passionate about reducing the amount of energy that goes to waste he has refurbished his restaurant kitchen with the latest low energy technology and has developed techniques to produce dishes that require no energy source whatsoever.
Sat, who was recently voted Chef’s Chef of the Year and whose restaurant achieved the ultimate five AA Rosettes — ¬the only restaurant in the 2009/2010 awards to have achieved this —
will be helping the students sharpen their culinary skills by running a cookery workshop to ensure their dinner party wins the approval of fellow Solar Decathlon competitors.
A winner of the prestigious Roux scholarship in 1999, Sat Bains opened Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms with his wife Amanda in 2002. The following year they won Nottinghamshire’s only Michelin Star. Since then a string of national and international awards and accolades followed. Most recently the restaurant was recognised as the fourth best restaurant in the UK at the Restaurant Magazines National Restaurant Awards 2009.
Sat said: “Since setting up Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in 2002, my wife Amanda and I have made consistent efforts on a year on year basis to reduce our carbon footprint. The sustainability of our industry both from a food production and energy consumption point of view relies on us all doing what we can.
“Transfer what we are endeavouring to do here to every domestic home and kitchen in the country and the benefits would be tremendous. Sustainability needn’t be expensive and the Solar Decathlon project proves that the advancements in technology are becoming more economically viable. What is being learnt with this Solar Decathlon house represents on a small scale how the use of these advancements on a practical daily basis would have positive environmental impact for years to come.”
The students not only had to design the house, which is currently under construction at the University’s King’s Meadow Campus, but when it goes on display in Madrid on June 18 they will also have to live in it for the duration of the 10 day competition.
Every house has to be designed so it only use as much energy as it produces. The low energy menu based on the style of Spanish tapas, will use low energy applications, such as pickling and slow-cooking, to keep in tune with the whole concept.
Organised and supported by the Ministry of Housing of the Spanish Government together with the US Department of Energy The Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 is judged on 10 separate areas of expertise.
• The architectural merit of their home
• Industrialisation and market viability
• Engineering and construction
• Solar systems
• Electrical energy balance
• Comfort conditions
• Communication and social awareness
• Household functionality
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