June 14, 2022
British fashion label Stella McCartney is making fungi a family affair in a new cooking series.
The new cooking series tracks some famous faces in the culinary world, including founder Stella McCartney’s sister, Mary, in crafting some fun dishes that highlight the brand’s environmentally friendly ethos. She is joined by other popular figures cooking up deliciousness, reflecting the label’s recent fashionable fungi efforts with the campaign theme “fungi are the future.”
"Stella McCartney remains a steward to sustainability by articulating and demonstrating the need for change in our lives by using, not abusing, the natural resources we have at our discretion," said Rebecca Miller, founder/CEO of ARTful Communication, New York. "And now, she has developed a cooking club series that draws her audiences in allowing them to learn about the joys of focusing on health, sustainability, and our limited resources."
Tonight’s menu: fungi
Other participants in the Cooking Club include chef patron of the Michelin-starred Belmond Le Manoir, Raymond Blanc; chef, writer and Emmy-nominated host Sophia Roe and vegan food creator Yoko Koike of Sunpedal.
In her film, Ms. Roe sports looks from the Stella McCartney summer 2022 collection.
Her effervescent attitude spotlights the main ingredient for the created dish, fungi. The menu aims to celebrate and label fungi as the future of both fashion and food, putting together a chipotle polenta with braised mushrooms and cilantro chutney, dubbed “A Mycelial Heatwave.”
Sophia Roe makes chipotle polenta while modeling looks from the new collection
Ms. Roe spotlights several looks from the summer 2022 collection while assembling the dish, including a lime-green oversized textured mesh sweater, a chili red cut knit out body suit and chili red tailored tweed jacket made with sustainable viscose.
Ms. McCartney excitedly begins the next vignette, explaining in self-shot footage that she is on her way to visit her sister Mary, who is cooking up something special for a “Stellabration.”
Food writer and environmental initiative Meat Free Monday ambassador Mary McCartney excitedly begins her vignette by explaining that she is hard at work on her most popular party appetizer, crispy coated mushrooms with her signature green dip.
As Mary meticulously makes the mushrooms and dip, she carefully reviews the ingredients and instructions step-by-step. She then welcomes her sister Stella into the room for a taste test, and Stella immediately identifies that the dish’s centerpiece is mushrooms, without being told.
The McCartney sisters enjoy some beloved crispy mushrooms
The designer’s passion for mushrooms and sustainable ingredients is palpable, clearly woven up into both her work and personal life. The series makes the versatility of these vegetarian ingredients and dishes not only enlightening, but also entertaining for consumers.
Mr. Blanc’s addition to the series is a mushroom-based dish which he has titled, “Still Life: An Expression of Spring.” He is filmed going into his own garden to observe mushrooms and vegetables he grew himself, reinforcing the brand’s thoughtful, careful devotion to the environment.
Once in the kitchen, Mr. Blanc assembles the dish, taking pride in every step, another reinforcement of the caring theme established throughout the Cooking Club series.
“Long live the magic of mushrooms, whether they are in the plates, in my cooking, or the woodlands across the world,” he says.
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Yoko Koike joins the Cooking Club
The recipes for the Cooking Club dishes are available on the Stella McCartney website, along with additional food photography and insights from the participants.
At its core
Stella McCartney’s environmental efforts have always been at the core of its brand ethos.
In 2021, designer Stella McCartney advocated for an outright fur ban at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26).
Expunging the use of fur has always been a cause dear to the designer’s heart, as the animal byproduct has never been used in her own luxury fashion label. Ms. McCartney, founder of her eponymous fashion label, has unveiled an exhibition in honor of the event (see story), showcasing materials she has been working with that she believes operate as ethical animal alternatives (see story).
The label continues to find entertaining ways to spotlight its reverence for environmentally-friendly alternatives.
In March, Stella McCartney ruminated on the wondrous capabilities of fungi in an inventive new campaign.
Two short films — including a spot with Merlin Sheldrake, a mycologist who specializes in the study of fungi — explored how powerful and versatile this group of spore-producing organisms can be. As Mr. Sheldrake praises the properties of fungi as remarkable, he also explains how the fashion industry at large could be headed in a fungus-laded direction (see story).
"Stella McCartney decided to take her personal ethos and apply it to fashion, making her a change agent who operates from a position of experience and integrity," Ms. Miller said. "She has implemented the same ethos to her approach to healthy consumption as she did to her fashion brand.
"She identified a critical need and built a reputation and a brand around responsible consumption; this series emulates her ethos of conscious sustainability."