Wahaca goes Carbon Neutral

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Wahaca goes Carbon Neutral

We are delighted to to be the first restaurant group in the UK to be certified as a CarbonNeutral company – here’s how:

Since opening our very first restaurant in Covent Garden in 2007, we have sought to be a climate leader in the industry, challenging ourselves to ensure that each site has as low an environmental impact as possible. Our group, which currently has 23 locations, has reduced the average total energy consumption of newer sites (those established after 2013) by 36%. Further to this, we have regularly assessed the efficiency of older locations, and by upgrading systems and appliances have decreased the average energy consumption of older sites by 15%. For example, adjusting a heater battery at the Bluewater Wahaca led to a 76% reduction in gas use. In 2016, through offsetting the remaining unavoidable energy usage by investing in far-reaching energy-saving initiatives, Wahaca has been certified as having a net zero carbon footprint.

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Wahaca bringing children's literature to the table

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Wahaca bringing children’s literature to the table

We are very excited to partner up with Flying Eye Books to encourage children to embark on a lifetime love of reading.

To begin with, 6 of  our most family visited restaurants are now home to a ‘Flying Eye Books Little Library’ featuring a host of beautifully designed award-winning books for all ages for children to enjoy with their families as part of their Wahaca dining experience. The children will be encouraged to borrow and read a book while their family finishes their meal. Children will also be the opportunity to get creative with Flying Eye character branded menu placemats and get their own collectors book mark to take home with them. tumblr_miimpm1O1h1rm3ezmo1_1280 About Flying Eye Books: Flying Eye Books (FEB, for short) is the children’s imprint of award-winning visual publishing house Nobrow. Established in early 2013, FEB sought to retain the same attention to detail in design and excellence in illustrated content as its parent publisher, but with a focus on the craft of children’s storytelling and non-fiction. Since then, an array of stunning and innovative titles have populated the list, including the award-winning Hildafolk series by Luke Pearson, the highly acclaimed Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space from Ben Newman and Dr. Dominic Walliman and exquisite picture books and enchanting illustrated biographies from breakaway young talents like Emily Hughes (Wild) and William Grill (Shackleton’s Journey, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2014 and winner of the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal).

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We send Jo to Mexico!

Last year’s Wahaca Scholarship was won by Jo, our assistant manager in White City and so she packed her bags and off she went to Mexico! Here’s her report on her trip, the sites she saw and the things she ate. It’s enough to make the rest of us very jealous. Over to Jo…

When I won the Wahaca scholarship and was rewarded with a trip to Mexico I knew there would be a lot to discover, but what I saw totally exceeded my expectations.

Places, people, smells everything was new for me and so exciting.

We started our journey in Cancun where we met our Mexican/ Mayan tour guide Victor. Victor has grown up in the Yucatan Peninsula so we were assured he would show us the real Mexico. A few hours later as I was sitting in my hotel room, margarita in hand, it seemed like a good chance for a rest, but Victor had different plans.

Our hotel was situated in a very small village next to Chichen Itza so Victor decide to give us a tour around Maya-land.
That day he introduced us to a whole population of Iguanas and explained how they would become our friends as they can be found in pretty much all of the archaeological sites we’d be visiting over the following 7 days. After a little bit of a safety talk, we felt much more at ease around them. In fact, later that night we discovered they were also living in our building… I have never heard Kate screaming so loud before!

Our week of touring would take us throughout the cultural sites in our region, listening to Victor talk about Mayan history. I felt like I was in a totally magical world.

From standing in front of the third biggest pyramid in the world CHICHEN ITZA, (one of the seven modern wonders of the world and such a beautiful way of showing the Mayan calendar), to EK BALAM a huge Mayan city which overwhelmed us with its immense size and spectacular views. We were totally moved by the archaeology that we were shown and will never forget the sites that we visited.

After a whole week, thousands of pictures and even more stories my mind and my heart has been infected with one thought: will we ever be able to truly appreciate the true depths of Mexico’s heritage? Victor, in his 35 years of experience has seen more and more of his culture, restored every year. Even in this region there is so much yet to be uncovered, and I’m sure it’s just a question of time and money until the 8th wonder of the world is revealed!

After each long day there was time for food and drinks – something that working for Wahaca has made me really passionate about. I was desperate to try as much Mexican food as I could and compare it to the different tastes in Wahaca.

My aim was to find as many dishes we selling in Wahaca as possible, so that I could then tell our customers what taste better, worse or just different.

At first I struggled with the menu as it was all was in Spanish, but after a while familiar words started to appear, one in particular that I knew I had to try in Yucatan Pibil!

Yucatan is a heart of pibil country and we proudly sell lots of pork pibil in Wahaca so I was very excited when I tried my tender, juicy pork taco and absolutely couldn’t tell a difference! They looked, smelled and tasted the same as ours!
Thoughout the trip I tried some amazing food. I had Guacamole every day, chicken tinga tacos, lots of frijoles, quesadillas, sopa de lima (which I think we should add to the menu, it was so tasty!) and all of it tasted just like the dishes I had got to know at home.

And even though every night we ate in different restaurants, for pudding we always had the same – Flan! And trust me when I say it was heaven.

After that trip I knew Mexico would be one of the places I would always want to come back to. There’s so much more to learn and so many more dishes to try! I hope it’s not too long until I can return to continue my Mexican adventure.

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Football and how it all started!

It all started at our Christmas party last year.  Wahaca hired one of the rooms in Soho house, after a few drinks the guys started to arrive from the two sites.  Mark started to talk about football saying that he used to organize a league and had a football team.  After a few drinks the guys started to get excited about the idea of the two restaurants playing each other – Bring it on!

I remember our first practice, was in Green Park after work in early weeks in January, when it used to get dark very early. We end up playing in the dark, rain and mud, but nevertheless we played. We all got really dirty and ended up in a tie-only pub in Mayfair, it was hilarious with everyone there looking at us, was such a great fun.

Two months from there, we were all ready for our first match in Hyde park between Covent Garden and White City.  I remember Mark arriving with a full box of white wine for the cheerleaders in the middle of the match …after 10 min they were cheering and making up songs. A great effort from Marco from the White City restaurant who get all their cheerleaders in uniform!

Every match has got its own story but there’s always an injury at the end of the match, the last was Marcel, one of our head bartenders.  Gavin said that he was only defending himself!! Was he having a laugh…?! We had to wait for the ambulance for about an hour. Always, always  happy endings …Marcel 3 hours later joined us for a drink. Which made up for the fact that he’s off work for a week and a half.

Ambulance

We are very exited for our new kit and the match next week, we love going out together like a big family and have a great fun whatever happens, keep tuned for more from pitch side – Oaxaca style!