At The Gate we’ve been trying to change people’s perception of vegetarian and vegan food for the last 28 years by creating inspirational vegetarian and vegan food. It can be healthy, filling and inventive and it’s not just vegans or vegetarians.
We believe in creative food made with fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local/regional suppliers – our target is to have as many locally sourced food and drink products as possible.
At The Gate we also believe that in order to grow you have to give. We have a huge passion for our environment, health, community and supporting charities. We work closely with Ambitious About Autism and we’ve been named the UK’s first autism-friendly restaurant.
We know it feels good to be part of the bigger picture and we want everyone to feel like they’re contributing by either working with us or visiting as a customer.
Nomination said: The Gate produces gourmet meat-free meals with an ethical model, and is the UK’s first autistic-friendly restaurant.
In conversation with The Gate’s founder Michael Daniel…
What do you think makes food ‘good’?
How it is grown, and transported is so important, the more local the better. Keeping it real. Simple, fresh ingredients. Not overdoing it. Not being over fussy. Knowing in the beginning what the end result is going to be.
Describe the philosophy of the restaurant in three words.
Love your customers
What are the three reasons people should vote for you?
- Inspirational vegetarian and vegan food.
- We believe in inspiring people; our customers through great food, our staff through growth – I believe in giving everyone the chance to improve, I tell all my staff I want them to be able to get a better job if they ever leave us, and trying to support the community at large.
- We’re trying to make a difference. We’re trying to change people’s perception of vegetarian and vegan food. It can be tasty, interesting and filling. And it’s not just for vegetarians and vegans. Last time we did a survey about 50% of our customers were not vegetarian.
What achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
We’re very proud of our relationship with Ambitious Against Autism and being the first restaurant to be accredited as Autism Friendly. We work with them on initiatives such as the Chocolate Project – we help autistic children and teenagers build a chocolate business. They design recipes, make chocolate and sell their product, the aim is to teach them skills they’ll find useful in their professional lives.
Smaller portions or doggy bags?
Meat or veg?
Veg of course.
Living Wage or bigger tips?
Who’s the most important member of your team and why?
Yossi Edri, our Head of Food, because he supports me unconditionally.
What’s the one ingredient you couldn’t do without?
Garlic or chilli
What is your signature dish?
Wild mushroom risotto cake
Describe what it would mean for your restaurant to be voted the People’s Favourite
I would be blown away that regular diners would vote for us and it would be a massive honour to win. The hardest thing is believing in what you do every day. We work very hard to really try and create a dining experience with a purpose. So when something like this happens it supports your belief system. Whereas we were ahead of the game, I feel like the world is steaming ahead now in a positive direction and that’s great to see.