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Real dilemmas; real solutions. From our real-life super-heroes. This issue: Skye Gyngell, of Spring Restaurant, votes to take her brother-in-law Jeremy on a life raft and safeguards the fish in the ocean

Q What makes you feel wild?
A Balmy nights, exotic smells… I find the combination of the two alluring and mesmerising. On the other hand, being completely over-tired makes me feel crazy but often in a good way – I feel wild in the sense that I am completely disarmed.

Q What are you doing to make the planet greener?
A Never enough! For the last four years we have worked solely with one biodynamic farm, Fern Verrow, Their produce is beautiful and it feels good to help sustain 16 hectares of good, clean soil.
We try to address food waste by running something that we call the Scratch menu – which is a menu that we create solely from food waste. This year we have also made a pledge to go single-use plastic-free at the restaurant by the end of 2018. I’m really conscious though that there is so much more that needs to be done.

Q Where does your soul reside most happily? City, countryside, or both?
A I grew up close to the water – and I always feel happiest when it is close by.

Q Who is the hero or heroine you’d be tongue-tied to find yourself sitting next to at a dinner party?
A I would be completely tongue-tied and in awe if I sat next to Michael Pollan – his book The Omnivores Dilemma is one of the most important books on food ever written.

Q What would be your message to your younger self?
A To not be so fearful and to believe that most things work out not necessarily as I’d planned but almost always for the best.

Q Which world conflict would you like to see resolved first, and how would you do it?
A I would really like to tackle the issue of the environment through firstly, food waste (40 per cent of food grown is discarded before it reaches a ship); secondly, the use of plastic (by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean); and thirdly, a return to more traditional farming methods where we grow much more diversely, using less pesticides. I believe so much of the planet’s health and future happiness depends on us growing and eating more wisely.

A dish from the ‘Scratch Menu’ at Spring, which is created solely from food waste


Q You’re on a raft adrift in the ocean with two others, (real or imagined); the sharks are circling. Who is your companion to get you to shore safely; and who would you feed to the sharks?
A My brother-in-law Jeremy would definitely be the person I would want to be on a life raft with me – he is the most practical and capable person I know. As for feeding someone to the sharks – I wouldn’t wish that kind of gruesome death on anyone!

Q What do you look for in a deputy/second in command?
A I look for someone who is all the things I’m not! So practical, even-tempered, calm in a crisis and methodical.

Q And what’s the key requirement for a lifetime partner of the let’s say, romantic kind?
A I wish I knew the answer! I’m hopeless with romantic relationships!

Q What’s your favourite lazy-at-home dish to cook?
A Roast chicken – It’s only ever really good when cooked at home – it’s the easiest thing in the world – it really only requires that the chicken has the best provenance- a little salt, garlic and lemon and you’re done! I find it so comforting.

Q Career advice for the Skye-wannabes?
A Be true to yourself! Be authentic! Give 100 percent.

Q What do you wish you had said to someone who has departed this earth?
A I’d like to tell my father that I missed him. I’d like him to know that it turned out ok.

We try to address food waste by running something that we call the Scratch menu – which is a menu that we create solely from food waste.

Skye Gyngell

Q The last time you prayed, what was the occasion, to whom did you pray, and were your prayers answered?
A I pray every night – I don’t say much just “Thank you for the day”. I don’t know who or what I’m praying to but I think gratitude is important – it helps put everything in perspective.

Q Who do you currently have a crush on?
A I admire and am in awe of so many people but I’m not one for crushes. It’s just not in my nature for some reason. I’m slow to warm to people and let them in.

Q What would your Tinder profile say?
A I completely accept that dating apps have become part of how we live now but I would rather die than go on one. Even thinking about what I would write in a profile makes me feel sick with nerves.

Q Where do you get your therapy from? (therapist/hairdresser/best friend/Uber driver etc?)
A Friends who know me well and give honest feedback.

Q Your book at bedtime?
A I’m a big reader – it’s how I decompress at night. Anything by Rose Tremain, Tim Winton, or Paul Auster.

Q Your epitaph?
A She gave it her best shot.

Q What did you learn from the toughest time in your life?
A ‘This too shall pass’

Q And from the happiest?
A ‘This too shall pass’ – I’ve learnt that everything changes – I actually find it a huge comfort – the acceptance that life is ever-changing and fluid and it’s just life – on life’s terms!

Q You’re blowing out the candles on a cake. What do you wish for?
A I always pray for the health and happiness of my two girls.

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