Deliveroo have emerged as perhaps one of the least likely champions of entomophagy — the practice of eating insects — with the news that they will be launching a trial pop-up in Shoreditch next week in conjunction with Eat Grub.
Founders Shami Radia and Neil Whippey set up Eat Grub with an aim to “bring tasty insect dishes to the British palate”, while championing the nutritional and environmental benefits of eating insects. According to Radia, Eat Grub’s aim is “to normalise entomophagy. We explain the benefits of this food but focus on making sure it tastes amazing.” Head chef Seb Holmes (Farang, Smoking Goat, Begging Bowl) has delivered on the flavour part of that mission statement with a range of dishes for next week’s Deliveroo popup in his signature style.
From 6-10 November, Shoreditch diners will be able to order from a menu featuring insect miang, soy crickets and pandanus leaf, and Holmes’ Som Tam salad of salted crickets and smoked tomato. Shoreditch workers are no strangers to fleeting food fads, and Joe Groves at Deliveroo is confident they’ll be responsive: “we’ve seen growing interest (in) entomophagy, so we wanted to get ahead and explore this idea with our customers… we’re confident they’ll love this innovative menu.”
Entomophagy has long been hailed as a game changer in addressing sustainability and accessibility concerns of food production worldwide, and with big names like Deliveroo stepping into the market, Radia is hopeful the project will have (at least six) legs: “Having a major brand like Deliveroo step into this arena and support us is a huge step forward, and we’re very excited to be working with them.” Following on from Editions, Deliveroo’s approach to innovation shows no signs of slowing down.