Which came first, epicure or eco-warrior? For 23 years, Arthur Potts Dawson has worked alongside Britain's most respected chefs, including Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver. But his interest in food began during childhood, on a Dorset farm. "There was never much money around when I was growing up," he says. "We learned to turn lights off, put a jumper on instead of the heating."
This thrifty sensibility found expression in his acclaimed London restaurants Acorn House and Water House, opened in 2006. From rooftop gardens to low-energy refrigerators and wormeries that turn food waste into compost, these restaurants prove the profitability of an eco-friendly approach -- and serve as training grounds for the next generation of green chefs. Potts Dawson is now taking his crusade to kitchen tables, launching The People's Supermarket, a member-run cooperative supporting British farms, and cooking for Mrs Paisley's Lashings, a supper club whose profits fund urban gardens in London schools.