We love Farmacy, local to our boutique, with its vegetable led menu and its eco- and health conscious agenda and we decided to meet with Heidi Knudsen, the operations and wine director, and see what inspires her to create the menu, the current food and wine scene and places she frequents in London. Heidi is not a stranger to the industry she has an impressive background as the former buyer for the Ottolenghi group ( We are fans! ) and former general manager of Nopi, one of our favourite restaurants.
— In the current climate working sustainably is one of the key factors for many businesses.
How do you apply this in Farmacy?
We look at the business from a holistic point of view, with the strong belief that everything is connected. Sustainability goes deeper than using biodegradable take away cups!
Our team is our most valuable asset and we make sure that we look after them so that they thrive with us and grow with us. We look at everything we get into the restaurant and try and find out as much as possible about the provenance of the product and the practices around how it’s produced.
Are all your ingredients organic and or local?
Most of our ingredients are Organic or Biodynamic and we buy local when we can. We are currently in the process of being certified by the Soil Association for the whole restaurant. We are lucky enough to have our own small farm in Kent which has just been certified by Demeter – we get vegetables and herbs delivered from there with our own electrical Farmacy van!
How far do you take the zero waste concept.?
We are very conscious about waste and we waste very little produce – because we only work with vegetables, all odd ends/ left overs can be used in sauces, soups, pestos etc. We are constantly monitoring our portion sizes to ensure they are just right to avoid cooked food wastage.
What is the biggest challenge to work with a vegetable led menu?
At times it can be a challenge to show people the value of vegetables and all the prep that goes into growing them and putting them onto the plate, but over all working with vegetables is a fun challenge!
The best thing is to see the positive reaction of guests who normally wouldn’t eat a plant-based meal but then find themselves loving our menu!
Current favourite on the menu?
I love our Kimchi Bowl – Soba noodles, Kimchi, Sautéed greens, Sautéed Mushrooms, Raw Carrot Ribbons, Raw Kohlrabi and the tastiest tamarind dressing
Where do you go to get inspired in London?
I live in East London and it is impossible to not get inspired when you are out and about! I live right next to Towpath – an amazing seasonal café right on the canal in the De Beauvoir – you always meet lovely people there. I also love Leila’s shop for vegetables and the flower market on Columbia Road on Sundays.
What are your favourite natural wine spots in London?
Again, I am so spoiled in East London – it’s Natural Wine Bar Heaven there! Brawn is my OG natural wine spot – but P Franco, Bright and Rubedo are also right at the top of my list. And 40 Maltby Street is perhaps the only place I’d cross the river for…. The most delicious food and a wine list full of beautiful wines.