Bug burgers, mealworm tarka dahl and cricket cookies are all on the menu as BBC Focusmagazine visits Grub Kitchen, the UK’s first insect restaurant.
Where is it?
Grub Kitchen sits alongside Dr Beynon’s Bug Farm, in the countryside of St David’s, Pembrokeshire.
What’s on the menu?
While other pop-ups and restaurants have dipped their toes (or should that be claws?) into the world of entomophagy, Grub Kitchen is the first one with a menu that is dedicated to edible insects, with dishes such as bug burgers, mealworm tarka dahl and cricket cookies.
What’s the most popular dish?
While the bug burgers go down a treat, it’s the toasted mealworm hummus that visitors beg to take home with them. Focus tried out the bug burgers, which tasted deliciously nutty and falafel-like, while the cricket cookies were nutty and chocolatey (and quickly got polished off).
Whose bug-brained idea is it?
The attraction is the brainchild of Dr Sarah Beynon, an entomologist, and her partner, Andrew Holcroft, who is an experienced chef. While Andrew cooks in the kitchen, Sarah runs workshops at the Bug Farm and hopes to help develop the UK as a research centre for edible insects.
“What we’re trying to promote here is the larger picture of the future of food,” Sarah tells Focus.
“To produce 10kg of beef takes 9kg of feed, but to produce 10kg of insect meat you need 1kg of feed,” Andrew adds. “But it’s about water too. To get 150g of beef, about the same as two little burgers, that takes 3,250 litres of water. But the same amount of insect protein takes about a pint.”
Where do the bugs come from?
While the UK government debates its stance on farming insects for human consumption, Grub Kitchen sources its leggy ingredients from Canada and the Netherlands, where there are already guidelines in place.
“What Grub Kitchen has shown me is that the general public are ready for eating insects,” says Sarah. In fact, 90 per cent of people who visit the Bug Farm for a day out will select an insect-based dish off the menu, even though there are other options.
“The thing is, we’re eating 150-300 insects a year through our food anyway, through cereals and chocolates,” laughs Andrew. “We’re already doing it!”