It's OK To Say: Kilimanjaro climb inspires St Albans restaurant
PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 September 2019
Constantly seeking creative ways to engage the community in mental health awareness, It's OK To Say campaign founder Stacey Turner has teamed up with Nick Male, chef and owner of the Loft restaurant in St Albans.
To coincide with the launch of their new menu, Nick and staff have created Kilimanjaro dessert and cocktails inspired by Stacey's recent ascent.
Stacey explained: "The idea behind this is to inspire positive lifestyle changes while allowing indulgence and to encourage more conversation across the table surrounding mental health and overall wellbeing.
"When we're relaxed, we tend to feel more comfortable in talking about what's going on in our life and how we're feeling. Food fulfils us and promotes a sense of comfort, as it triggers most senses and stimulates openness across the table.
"It is also about being mindful of how food and drink play a large role in how we feel, building on family time and enjoying time socially, making memories and promoting overall wellbeing.
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"Food and mood are crucial to our everyday to improve mood, give you more energy and help you think more clearly. No matter what's going on your life, you can respond better if you feel good. I often think if people saw food and exercise as a lifestyle choice rather than a diet and chore, their perception will change and they will gain many benefits as a result."
Nick added: "It's OK To Say is a cause that resonates with me and I recognise how important it is and happy to help and highlight in any way I can. Stacey's achievements are nothing short of fantastic and we're here to support this local fantastic lady. "
The dessert is a crumble-based chocolate brownie meringue with whipped double cream, strawberries, fresh mint and edible flowers garnished with luscious chocolate curls.
Bar manager Rui Linares wanted to be able to create the cocktails according to individual taste, so each one can be adapted based on the customer's preference. Gin, vodka or rum is the base spirit, and the ingredients are lemon juice, sugar syrup, spirit, egg white, crème de mure finished off with meringue.
Stacey added: "Tasting the dessert and cocktails was such a delicious treat and so much fun. I had such a lovely time; the tasting went on for three hours!
"I am so grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the talented and amazing team at Loft.
You can also spot Nick and Stacey on the chef's stage at the upcoming St Albans Food and Drink Feastival, on Sunday September 29 from 4.25-5.05pm. They will be preparing food and chatting further about how food and mood is closely related and how making positive lifestyle changes promotes a happy and stress-free life.