Blending an open-fire approach with an emphasis on reducing food waste, a strong community focus and a commitment to sustainable sourcing, Lowe has turned into one of Dubai’s truly outstanding restaurants. Opened in 2019 by Australian chef couple Jesse Blake and Kate Christou, the Dubai eatery is ripping up the rulebook of what it means to make food that tastes good and does good too.
Although sustainability was a foundation stone of the restaurant, it really came to the fore with the launch of the ‘Waste Not’ dinner series a few months after Lowe’s launch. Everything on the 10-course offering – all dishes, beverages and even the menus themselves – was crafted from products that would have otherwise gone to waste: mushroom stalks, chicken skins, coffee grinds and carrot peels. The success of the series spoke volumes of Blake and Christou’s skill at turning food scraps into gourmet meals loved by Dubai’s most discerning diners.
Sustainability takes a lot of shapes at Lowe: the restaurant has set a 20% annual reduction target for non-food waste and has already eliminated single-use plastics such as straws, while encouraging its takeaway clients to drop off platters and containers to be reused. Rather than being thrown away, glass water bottles are reclaimed in-house to store the eatery’s freshly made juices and kombucha, which are flavoured with vegetable skins and peels.
Sourcing is of the utmost importance for Blake and Christou, with the couple using a local organic grower for their vegetables even in winter. A nose-to-tail approach is exemplified in unusual cuts on the menu, such as lamb neck, while even watermelon pulp is diverted on its journey the bin and pickled to go into Lowe’s salads. The restaurant’s popular burnt sourdough ice cream was first created to save burnt toast from going to waste.
Lowe is serious about engaging with its local community of Koa Canvas club members and Al Barari residents. It has hosted cooking classes to teach the public how to reuse and repurpose common waste products at home, and it also produced a cooking show to spread these learnings to new audiences.
From whipped taramasalata with raw tuna and wasabi oil, to roasted fish head with yellow scrap curry, all the way to the signature wagyu triple cheeseburger, Lowe marries comfort food flavours with a commitment to sustainability that runs deep. As the first-ever winner of the Sustainable Restaurant Award for Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022, it is setting the standard for the region’s best restaurants to follow.
Learn more about the team behind Lowe by reading the interview with Kate Christou
The Sustainable Restaurant Award is given to the restaurant that achieves the highest environmental and social responsibility rating as determined by 50 Best’s audit partner, the Sustainable Restaurant Association. All restaurants on the Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants list were invited to enter the award via self-nomination and each entry was assessed across three main pillars: sourcing, society and environment.