Green Living Champions - Rob, Mont Albert North

We talk with local residents who have embraced environmentally friendly lifestyles and practices, and invited them to give their tips on how you can do the same!

Rob, Sustainable food advocate and Michelin Award Winning Chef 

Rob from Mont Albert North moved to Melbourne in 2015 and has been heavily involved in the food industry for more than 25 years. He’s been an award-winning Michelin Chef in the UK and is currently the CEO at the non-profit Cultivating Community. He has been involved in purpose driven activities - non-profit organisations, social enterprises or influencing government policies during his career. 

Cultivating Community is using the garden beds on the top of Burwood Brickworks to grow vegetables for people in need while teaching communities to be more resilient and connected by growing food produce together.

Rob grew up in London’s East End with a mum and grandmother who both loved cooking and this started his interest in good food and sustainability, which extended into his career as a chef.

“Running the award winning restaurant in the UK called The Country Elephant gave me access to wonderful quality fresh produce across the South West of England and in the late nineteen nighties I was lucky enough to take part in cooking demonstrations at Stroud Farmers Market giving me an even deeper insight into the local food sector right on my own doorstep”. Many of his restaurant menus and family meals would use ingredients with a minimal food miles and celebrated the individuality of the area as simply and as tastefully as possible.

“In the last 25 years, the choice to live more sustainably has become an easier one to make thanks to improved messaging and support from councils, the rise of Social Enterprise, the arrival of the Sustainable Development Goals, better education in schools and generations that accept sticking to the old ways is not viable anymore for a thriving environment for us to be proud of”.

“We can be the sum of all parts when it comes to sustainability. If every one of us made a single adjustment and it became the norm in our lives then the contribution would start to add up. That said we need medium and large organisations around the globe to do better when it comes to ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) agendas and supporting the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The role of Government and Councils is to enable business and communities to be able to make those better choices”.   

Rob’s top tips for people wanting to live more sustainably in the kitchen: 

  1. Buy food as seasonal as possible – it’s better price wise, nutrition wise and taste wise.
  2. Increase your vegetable consumption - combining great seasonal veggies with pulses and grains. 
  3. Consider a Bokashi system for your food waste – it’s a versatile option for raw and cooked items.

Whitehorse residents are invited to take advantage of a Council subsidised Bokashi or compost systems

Shop at the Whitehorse Farmer’s Market to help keep your food miles low.