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  • Writer's pictureSasha Huang

Turnips' Chef Tomas Lidakevicius On Saving Surplus Food with Fight the SYSTEM

INTERVIEW



The story of Turnips restaurant began as a chance conversation between Chef Tomas Lidakevicius and greengrocer Charlie Foster during the 2020 pandemic. Nestled amidst the vivacity of Borough Market, this culinary haven celebrates the epitome of quality ingredients. From the inviting greengrocer space to the cosy dining milieu and the open kitchen, every element of this establishment is meticulously crafted to foster an intimate and exclusive dining experience.


Chef Lidakevicius pays homage to his grandmother, who imparted to him the art of pickling, preserving, and adorning ingredients during his formative years in Lithuania. At Turnips, he seamlessly combines his ardor for haute cuisine with an unwavering commitment to sustainability, thereby perpetually exalting the bounties of nature. Here, he shares with us his cooking values and the success of his recent project Fight THE SYSTEM.



Photo: Susan Punn

1. What do you love the most about being a chef?


What I love the most has a lot to do with the feelings: the pressure, the creativity and seeing people eating my dishes and smiling.


Photo: Susan Punn

2. What does ‘quality food’ mean to you?


I think what's really important about "quality food" is that it's made with great care. It doesn't matter the restaurant: it could be a pub, a three-Michelin-starred place or even a takeaway. How much attention goes into it it's what makes it "quality food".

Photo: Susan Punn

3. What is the inspiration behind Fight THE SYSTEM and what are you hoping to achieve through this project?


Our inspiration for Fight The System was to show and prove to people that you can stop wasting food and enjoy a great meal. Loads can be done with surplus produce and it actually tastes even better.

Photo: Susan Punn

4. Can you share with us a memorable moment since the launch of the project?


Every day was a memorable moment: people were almost crying when coming to chat with us after the meal. It was pretty heart-touching and some of the most precious moments, without a doubt.

Roscoff onion waffle_PC_ Susan Punn
Photo: Susan Punn

5. What do you hope to bring to the busy scene of Borough Market, and at large, the dynamic dining scene of London?


Borough Market is already a massive pinpoint on London's tourism and food map. With our restaurant, we want to make that pin even bigger and unmissable. We want people to come to this special place and enjoy the experience of being here and tasting incredible food, and meet a fantastic community.


Photo: Susan Punn

6. Can you describe the dining scene at Turnips?


How could I describe the atmosphere here? It's really something you need to come down and experience in person, with all the market vibes and the setting.


It's super relaxed, and perfect for eating fresh and seasonal food. Our cuisine is not too heavy, easy-going, and taken course by course.

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Address: 43, Borough Market, London SE1 9AH, United Kingdom | Website: restaurant.turnipsboroughmarket.com | Phone: +44 20 7357 8356 | Email: restaurant@turnipsboroughmarket.co.uk | Instagram: @TurnipsBorough | Twitter: @turnipsborough

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