FoodLover - Summer 2022 issue 78

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TURNING UP THE TASTE WITH A JUICY NEW CIDER FROM THATCHERS. If you’ve visited our Cider Shop recently or popped into The Railway Inn, you’ll have seen we’ve launched a brand new cider. Thatchers Blood Orange is a delicious, 4% cider crafted with naturally juicy, aromatic apples that we’ve chosen for their sweetness. It’s bursting with natural blood orange flavour, is vibrant, sparkling, and mouth-wateringly juicy. And for something a little different, we’ve asked our mixologists at The Railway Inn to create some extra special cocktails with our new cider, so why not give it a try?

Blood Orange Spritz Take 150ml Blood Orange Cider, 50ml Aperol and add to a stemmed glass filled with ice. Top with soda water, and garnish with a slice of blood orange.

We’ve been crafting premium cider at Myrtle Farm since 1904, and as cider makers creating new and exciting drinks is part of who we are. Making them sustainably is incredibly important to us, and we’ve been working hard to make sure Myrtle Farm plays its part in an environmentally friendly world. From our hundreds of acres of apple orchards that are havens for wildlife and biodiversity, to the green energy that’s produced from the apple waste left over from our cider making; from the recyclable cardboard carry packs that we use for our cans (replacing plastic rings), to the wildflowers that we’ve been planting in our new conservation area, we are family cider makers here for the next generation. To find out more about Thatchers, visit www.thatcherscider.co.uk.

You can buy Thatchers Blood Orange Cider online at www.thatcherscider.co.uk, at our cider shop at Myrtle Farm, and at selected retailers. As with all our ciders, Thatchers Blood Orange Cider is gluten free, and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.


EDITOR Emma Dance editor@foodlovermagazine.com ADVERTISING MANAGER Zoe Thorner zoe@foodlovermagazine.com

Welcome FOODLOVERS! Nothing tastes like summer quite like a British strawberry. There’s something about the flavour of the sweet, juicy berries that just conjures up memories of long sunny days, don’t you think? We’re celebrating the strawberry (p.31), along with some other sensational summer ingredients.

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Pamela Evans, Palm Design FRONT COVER IMAGE Strawberry Chiffon Cake (p.33). Photo & recipe: Love Fresh Berries PUBLISHED BY Ignyte Media

THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER® T: 01761409831 www.foodlovermagazine.com Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this publication FOODLOVER® shall not be made liable for any inaccuracies therein. The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the Editor.

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Another reason to love the summer is all the food festivals that take place. We’ve highlighted just a few of the ones going on across our region (p.7), Bristol’s Dean Edwards talks about why he thinks food festivals are fabulous and how much he’s looking forward to his demos at the Fantastic Food Festivals (p.38) and we’ve got a competition to win tickets to Valley Fest (p.42)! Also in this issue, we talk West Country wine (p.21), indulge in some afternoon tea (p.14), get growing with the wonderful Food Forest Project (p.28) and take a look at some simply stunning kitchen gardens (p.25). So enjoy the summer, enjoy the issue and enjoy all the fabulous food and drink the West Country has to offer!

Emma

Emma Dance, Editor

editor@foodlovermagazine.com

Contents

Cooking companion:

Love local:

Foodie news and events from across the West Country.

Celebrate American Independence Day with these classic dishes from across the Pond.

A closer look at some the region’s finest tipples.

08 editor’s picks

14 TIME FOR TEA

42 COMPETITIONS

Indulge in spot of afternoon tea with some decadent and delicious treats.

We find out more about the Food Forest Project, and pay a visit to some of the region’s finest kitchen gardens

40 COOKBOOK CORNER

38 MEET THE CHEF

04 news and what’s on 09 TASTE OF THE USA Emma’s favourite foodie finds for summer.

Fabulous foodie prizes up for grabs — tickets to ValleyFest and a fabulous Thatcher’s bundle.

In season:

31 Summer flavours Spotlight on seasonal ingredients.

New books to give you some culinary inspiration.

41 LITTLE COOKS

Sunny, summery dishes for you to try.

21 WEST COUNTRY WINES 25 GET GROWING

TV’s Dean Edwards talks food festivals, and why he loves the West Country food scene.


NEWS

NEWS&WHAT’SON

The latest foodie happenings from across the West Country

SOMERSET SIP BRISTOL

Best Burgers If you want a banging burger, then the West Country is where it’s at! Danny’s Burgers in Brislington, Bristol, won the award for the UK’s best burger at this year’s National Burger Awards for its signature creation — The Beef Chucky 2.0. The burger features a 50-day dry aged beef blend, dry aged ex-dairy chuck roll, Kerrymaid American cheese, a beer cheese sauce, Kühne sliced dill pickles, mustard, candied jalapeños and fresh white onions, encased in a seeded brioche bun. The burger, cooked by Danny Hawke — the Danny’s Burgers founder and winner of National Burger Chef of the Year at the 2021 event — saw off stiff competition from 15 of the UK’s most elite signature burgers. “I didn’t see it coming at all,” says Danny. “It’s unbelievable. I’m a little bit scared about how busy this is going to make us now. After coming second last year, I wasn’t aware of how much of an impact the National Burger Awards could have, but off the back of that it was crazy, so no doubt this will be the same. I think this will even give me a push to open a restaurant.” The National Burger Awards also crowned a Burger Chef of the Year, which went to Oz Harborth of Plymouth’s Zephyr Burgers. Oz took the title after building a delicious technical burger — the Double Patty Melt — from a selection of ingredients supplied by event sponsors.

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A new gin has been launched, inspired by the culture and heritage of Somerset. Sweet Track Somerset Dry Gin was created by friends, Rachel Jackson of Bristol-based Jackson Property and Camilla Wood Founder/MD of The Somerset Wine Company, who envisioned making a delicious locally-focused gin along with championing their home county of Somerset. Sweet Track Somerset Dry Gin has top notes of citrus, orange peel and Somerset cider apple with a classic base of juniper, coriander and angelica root, married with the earthy aromatics of woodruff, yarrow and sage. Camilla said: “The Sweet Track was a Neolithic timber walkway built to provide a dry path for our forebears across the watery Somerset Levels. Discovered in the 70s by a man named Ray Sweet, the track dates back to 3806BC — making it even older than Stonehenge — a real historic hidden gem. “It reminds us that Somerset is and always has been a land of pilgrimages, named as it is for the “summer people” who moved their livestock to the fertile wetlands each year. Today folks come for the live music, the orchards, the cheese and the cider and a life lived as our ancestors did, under wide and generous skies. “With its contemporary blueprint design, reflecting the original blueprint diagram of the Sweet Track, our brand celebrates this pilgrimage culture of Somerset with its zesty, lifted aromatics with earthy, woody notes to echo the marshy terroir origins and form of the Track.”

SOMERSET


NEWS

DEVON

CHOMP FOR CHARITY Devon’s crisp aficionados, Burts, have launched a limited edition prawn cocktail flavour in collaboration with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). The charity helped develop the bold packaging, which features an image of a lifeboat, and 5p from the sale of every pack will be donated to the RNLI. By partnering with the RNLI, Burts hopes to raise vital funds for the charity so they can continue ensuring people enjoy “our stunning Devon beaches safely”. With its Devonshire roots at the heart of the Burts brand, the new Prawn Cocktail flavour continues to champion the RNLI’s water safety message, which was first introduced on packaging last year with Burts’ Sea Salt and Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar flavours. The RNLI’s Float to Live messaging remains on pack to ensure Burts continues to champion coast safety. The packs are available online from Burts, and in cafés around Devon.

Championing sustainability A major new Devon-based award designed to celebrate and promote sustainability has been launched by Food Drink Devon, at the Met Office headquarters in Exeter. Food Drink Devon’s Sustainability Pioneer Award will shine a light on businesses that go the extra mile in their endeavours to be environmentally friendly. The organisation’s chair, Greg Parsons, said: “Underlying Food Drink Devon’s brand is the commitment to sustainability, provenance and quality, so this is central to everything we are about. Having the launch ceremony staged here at the Met Office gives us an obvious link with a world-class organisation, which really does put a stamp of approval on this award and its ambitions.” Greg added: “The South West is definitely leading the way when it comes to environmental sustainability and, as a county organisation, we are one of the first to put sustainability at the forefront of what we do.” The new initiative, which will become part of Food Drink Devon’s annual awards scheme, focuses on three main areas in which businesses are gearing up to become more sustainable. Board director Howard Davies, who is also the co-founder and director at Salcombe Distilling Co., explained: “We are launching

this additional award to recognise strong and effective sustainable activities being practised by Food Drink Devon members and by businesses elsewhere across the county. The new award looks for three key things: first, new initiatives and innovations which a business has put in place to achieve comprehensive benefits to the environment. We will be looking for cutting-edge ideas which are breaking new ground — ideas which can inspire others to follow. “Then there’s the underlying ethos within a company, reflecting levels of meaningful

sustainability throughout,” he added. “So, it’s not just about an initiative put in place by one person — but ideas which run throughout a business. “And lastly, we’ll be looking for really effective communication around these initiatives. This ties in with inspiring others. It’s where you are doing something fantastic, not only benefiting your own company, but also others within the food and drink industry and outside.” To find out more about the Pioneer Award, visit: www.fooddrinkdevon.co.uk/awards.

DEVON

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NEWS

SOMERSET

DEVON

Wookey Ale astounds judges at Europe’s most important beer competition — The European Beer Challenge 2022 Wookey Ale just shook up the highest level of the international Beer industry, at Europe’s most important beer competition. “European Beer Challenge Medals are extremely valuable to us, as they recognise the absolute top tier of Beer producers in the World,” reported Wookey Ale’s — Witch Way Home pale ale “Winning at European Beer Challenge is super competitive, and this Gold European Beer Challenge 2022 Medal is a huge asset to our brand! Beer is our passion, and we are appreciated by the people that know what they are talking about. European Beer Judges are extremely demanding. This bodes well for our brand expansion and evolution. We are ambitious and excited!” Wookey Ale now stocks craft beer in over 30 shops, deli’s, restaurants and tap rooms in Somerset, Bristol, London and Dorset. Treat yourself to 20% off our very own Craft Beer Box using code: FoodLover www.WookeyAle.co.uk

Taking stock Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has partnered with 9 Meals From Anarchy to develop a collection of five River Cottage Vegetable Stocks. Hugh said: “We’ve worked really hard for more than a year to get these amazing products just right, so they will add depth and richness to your cooking every time you use them.” There are five flavours; Ultimate Umami, Smoky Spicy, Garlic & Herbs, Tomato & Basil and Hugh’s Classic.

DEVON

STANNARY BREWING COMPANY Various dates throughout the summer

Every Friday and Saturday, from 3pm until 10pm, the Stannary Brewing Co. in Tavistock opens up its taproom, serving a selection of their own super fresh beers, plus Devon produced ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks with local food vendors dishing up tasty treats. Throughout the summer, there are also special live music events too. For full details, visit their website at stannarybrewing.shop

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NEWS

Valley Fest August 4-7

Valley Fest, which takes place in a stunning location alongside Chew Valley Lake near Bristol, has got a stunning line-up of both musicians and chefs! Josh and Holly Eggleton are at the helm of the food programme. They have curated a stellar menu, gathering the region’s hottest talent. From feasts, cooking demonstrations and Sunday sampling sessions, the Valley Fest menu has everything a food lover could want. Friday night sees a five-course feast headed up by Rob Howell of Root — a Bib Gourmand winner. Expect plant-based small plates with meat on the side. Saturday’s session will also have a five-courses headed

up by Josh Eggleton with guest chef Jude Kereama of Kota. And Sunday’s menu will be a three course regeneratively-raised roast prepared by Josh Eggleton, Toby Gritten of the Pump House and Hannah Catley of Lockdown Loaves. The cooking demonstration line-up is also smoking hot, with themes including home-cooking, low-waste, local and well-sourced produce. It includes Pete Sanchez: of Michelinstarred Casamia and Paco Tapas and Decimo London, who will be joining forces with George Livesey: from Bulrush, Henry Eldon, Elliot Lidstone: from Box-E, and BBQ Champion, Simon Dyer. www.valleyfest.co.uk

BATH & DORSET

SOMERSET

FANTASTIC FOOD FESTIVALS July 29-31 and August 27-29

Foodies are in for a treat this summer, as Fantastic Food Festivals descends on Royal Victoria Park in the historical city of Bath (Friday, July 29 – Sunday, July 31) and Upton Country Park in Dorset during the bank holiday weekend (Saturday, August 27 – Monday, August 29). Following the successful launch of the masterclasses last year, Fantastic Food Festivals guarantees an even wider range and emphasis on experiences in 2022, offering more interactive opportunities to learn and have fun! Visit www.fantasticfoodfestivals.co.uk to book tickets.

Taste East Devon

DEVON

September 3-18

Following the success of last year’s inaugural festival, Taste East Devon is returning for a 16-day foodie extravaganza. Award-winning venues, producers, chefs and restaurants across East Devon have joined forces again to celebrate the incredible food and drink on offer across the region. Founder Members include THE PIG-at Combe, Darts Farm, Otter Brewery, Deer Park Country House, River Cottage, East Devon AONB, Donkey Sanctuary, Mazzard Farm, Jack in the Green and Lympstone Manor. Find full details of all the events at www.tasteeastdevon.co.uk/events.

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LIFESTYLE

EDITOR’S Picks A few of my favourite foodie finds for summer

On the table I’m absolutely loving the new Hazy Days outdoor tableware range from Lakeland. The bright yellows and teals are just so vibrant — even if the weather isn’t always quite as good as one might hope, this range will bring a little ray of sunshine to the table! It’s super-practical too, as it’s virtually unbreakable and it’s dishwasher safe. Bring on a summer of eating al fresco! www.lakeland.co.uk

Feast from the Middle East I can’t wait to try the new FeastCircle pop-up restaurant that opened in Wells on June 10. Chef Tariq Nasir has been bringing his authentic Middle Eastern cooking to farmers’ markets in Somerset since the end of lockdown, but now he will be serving up plates from the Market Place Café on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the summer. Expect classic Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus, stuffed vine leaves, babaganoush, pastries and kebabs — as well as a few lesser known, but equally delicious, morsels. feastcircle.co.uk

Summer sipping

The new Blood Orange cider, from Thatchers, has fast become my go-to tipple on a warm sunny day. A fabulous balance between sweet and tart, and bursting with the zesty zing of blood oranges it’s wonderfully refreshing. This is the second flavoured cider that Somerset cider-makers Thatchers have created. They launched a Cloudy Lemon Cider in 2020, which was hugely popular, and the new brew looks set to get just as many fans. www.thatcherscider.co.uk

Behind the scenes I love finding out how some of my favourite food and drink is made, so I’m delighted that Salcombe Brewery have relaunched their brewery tours after a two year break due to Covid. The 90-minute tours start with a welcome drink in the taproom, followed by a tour of the taproom and a chance to grill the experts on any beer-related topics, and they end with a flight of Salcombe beers. www.salcombebrewery.com

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AMERICAN CLASSICS

Taste of the It’s American Independence Day on July 4. If you want to join in the celebrations with those across the pond, here are a few dishes inspired by some classic American fare.

Bacon & maple syrup PANCAKES Light, fluffy pancakes served with salty streaky bacon and sweet maple syrup are an American breakfast staple. SERVES 4

200g self-raising flour 1½ tsp baking powder 1 tbsp caster sugar 3 medium eggs 25g butter, melted 200ml semi skimmed milk 2 tbsp natural yoghurt Oil for frying 12 slices streaky bacon Maple syrup, to serve

1 Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Make a hollow in the centre and crack in the eggs and add the butter, milk and yoghurt. With a balloon whisk, mix until a smooth batter forms. 2 Heat a little oil in a large nonstick frying pan and add 3 large tablespoons of batter, fry for 1-2 minutes until bubbles form in

the batter, flip over and fry for 1-2 minutes until golden. Repeat to make 12 pancakes. 3 Meanwhile, place the bacon on a foil lined grill pan and place under a preheated grill for 6-7 minutes, turning once until crispy. 4 Serve the pancakes topped with bacon and drizzled with maple syrup. Recipe by Milk & More (milkandmore.co.uk)

COOK’S TIP

Try serving the pancakes with fresh fruit instead of the bacon and syrup or omit the sugar and serve with bacon and ketchup for a savoury alternative.

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AMERICAN CLASSICS

Gooey dark chocolate chip BROWNIES MAKES 16

185g organic unsalted butter 185g cooking dark chocolate 85g plain flour 40g cocoa powder 100g best 80% dark chocolate 3 Clarence Court Large Burford Brown eggs 275g golden caster sugar

1 Cut 185g unsalted butter into small cubes and tip into a medium sized bowl then break 185g cooking dark chocolate into small pieces and drop into the bowl. 2 Next, cover the bowl loosely with cling film and put in the microwave for 2 minutes on High. Leave the melted mixture to cool to room temperature.

Chocolate brownies are enjoyed all over the world, but the sweet treat was actually born in the USA. And although it might seem as if they have been around for ever, the recipe first appeared in print as late as the 20th century. There are stories about where the recipe originated — some say American culinary expert Fannie Farmer adapted her chocolate cookie recipe to a bar cookie baked in a rectangular pan in 1905, others say a chef accidentally added butter to batch of biscuits, while it’s also claimed that it came into being when a housewife in Bangor in Maine forgot to add baking powder to her chocolate cake. But however, it came into existence, one thing everyone can agree on is that brownies are absolutely delicious!

square of non-stick baking parchment to line the base. 5 Tip 85g plain flour and 40g cocoa powder into a sieve held over a medium bowl. Tap and shake the sieve so they run through together and you get rid of any lumps. 6 Chop 80% dark chocolate into chunks on a board. 7 Break 3 large eggs into a large bowl and tip in 275g golden caster sugar. With an electric mixer on maximum speed, whisk the eggs and sugar. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, then gently fold together with a rubber spatula.

3 While you wait for the chocolate to cool, position a shelf in the middle of your oven and turn the oven on to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4.

8 Hold the sieve over the bowl of eggy chocolate mixture and resift the cocoa and flour mixture, shaking the sieve from side to side, to cover the top evenly.

4 Using a shallow 20cm square tin, cut out a

9 Gently fold in this powder using a figure of

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eight action. The mixture will look dry and dusty at first, and a bit unpromising, but if you keep going very gently and patiently, it will end up looking fudgy. 10 Finally, stir in the 80% dark chocolate chunks until they’re dotted throughout. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and then gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin and paddle the spatula from side to side across the top to level it. 11 Put in the oven and cook 25 minutes. (May need slightly longer, keep in for another 5 minutes if unsure). 12 Leave the whole thing in the tin until completely cold, then, cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into four squares. Recipe by Alice Liveing for Clarence Court Eggs (www.clarencecourt.co.uk)


AMERICAN CLASSICS

Milk Stout Chipotle BBQ PULLED CHICKEN Chipotle is a seasoning frequently used in Tex-Mex cooking, and dishes in the South Western States of the USA. This recipe has been given a West Country flavour thanks to the inclusion of the Milk Stout Chipotle BBQ Sauce from Bristol’s Gingerbeard’s Preserves, and milk stout from Bristol Beer Factory.

SERVES 8

1 bottle of Milk Stout Chipotle BBQ Sauce 2kg chicken thighs ½ bottle of Bristol Beer Factory’s Milk Stout 1 medium onion, diced 1 medium carrot, diced 2 garlic cloves, finely diced TO SERVE Coleslaw 8 Buns Lettuce

1 Season the chicken and sear on all sides on a medium heat in a little oil. 2 Remove the chicken from the pan and add the onion, carrot and garlic. Saute gently until they start to colour then add the beer, bbq

sauce and return the chicken to the pan. 3 Transfer to a slow cooker or casserole pot and cook in the oven at about 150°C for 4–6 hours. 4 With a slotted spoon remove the chicken from the pan, leave to cool slightly then remove the bones and pull apart with two forks to the desired consistency. Meanwhile put the sauce back into the pan and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Pour the sauce over the pulled chicken and mix. 5 Serve in buns with the slaw and lettuce. Recipe by Gingerbeard’s Preserves (gingerbeardspreserves.co.uk)

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AMERICAN CLASSICS

Key lime PIE

Key Lime Pie is the official state pie of Florida — but the fabulous combination of sharp limes and sweet, creamy condensed milk has gained it a worldwide reputation for deliciousness!

SERVES 8

FOR THE BASE 250g digestive biscuits 50g walnuts 150g butter melted FOR THE FILLING 3 large egg yolks 397g can condensed milk Zest and juice of 4 limes, plus extra zest to garnish 100g walnuts chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 170˚C/Gas Mark 3. 2 Place the biscuits and walnuts in a food processor and blitz to give fine breadcrumbs, stir in the butter and press into the base and sides of a 23cm fluted flan tin. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool.

Maryland CRAB CAKES

3 Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks until pale and thick, then add the condensed milk, whisk for 2-3 minutes then add the lime zest and juice and whisk for a further 2-3 minutes. 4 Stir in ¾ of the walnuts. Pour into the biscuit base, sprinkle with remaining walnuts and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before chilling. 5 Serve with lime zest sprinkled on top and top with a little whipped cream, if liked. Recipe by California Walnuts (californiawalnuts.co.uk)

Maryland is famous for its crab cakes. They are usually made with blue crab, found in the Chesapeake Bay, but you can give them a West Country twist by using some of the delicious crab found on our shores. Get your hands on some of the best crab Dorset has to offer from Dorset Shellfish (www.dorset-shellfish.co.uk).

MAKES 6

450g crab meat 50g breadcrumbs 1 egg, beaten 5 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp mustard

Image: Maryland Office of Tourism

1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning (Cajun seasoning can be used instead — although it will be a bit spicier!)

1 Combine breadcrumbs, egg, mayonnaise, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and seasoning and mix well. 2 Pour mixture over crabmeat and fold in taking care not to break up the lumps. 3 Form into six cakes and pat until just firm, then deep fry at 180˚C for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Recipe by Visit Maryland (visitmaryland.org)

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COOKING COMPANION

Time for tea There’s no doubt that we Brits love our tea. A mug of milky builder’s brew is practically the official national drink, and it certainly feels as if the cuppa has been part of our culture for, like, ever. Not so, however. Because while the Chinese have been slurping the brown stuff since the third millennium BC, tea only really made it to these shores relatively recently. In the 17th century in fact, when Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza (queen to Charles II) introduced us to its wonders; she’s got a lot to answer for. At first, tea was a luxury that only the upper echelons of society could afford, but it was soon adopted by the middle classes, and by the 19th century, dedicated tea houses had begun to pop up all over. Char was soon being drunk all across the country, and across the classes too. It was about 200 years later, though — at around the 1840 mark — that the afternoon tea ceremony came into being. Back then it was the norm to eat only two meals a day (quelle horreur!) — breakfast, then dinner at around 8pm. You’ve got to have sympathy, then, for Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford (and Queen Victoria’s chum), who was said to complain of “having that sinking feeling” in the late afternoon, and started asking for a pot of tea, a tray of bread and butter, and a slice of cake brought to her boudoir at around that time. Finding it hit the spot really rather well, she started asking her mates around to share her cheeky little snack. It seemed that Anna was on to something, as word spread and, before long, ‘taking tea’ became de riguer, with upper class ladies donning their full finery for this new event between four and five.

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As its popularity grew, so the ritual evolved. In warmer weather, it moved outside and the gents decided to get in on the action too, and soon anyone who was anyone was nibbling on finger sandwiches at four o’clock, just before the fashionable promenade in Hyde Park. Somewhat confusingly, the upper classes called it ‘low tea’ while the lower classes invented their own version (taken slightly later, and involving a more substantial supper of a mug of tea, bread, veg, cheese and sometimes even meat), which was known as ‘high tea.’ (The high and low-ness of it all was to do with the height of the tables and chairs. Posh peeps would indulge while relaxing in their comfortable lounge chairs, while the less well-heeled would sit up at the family dinner table.) These days, afternoon tea is delicate affair, treated as a special ritual and usually seen as a bit of a treat, rather than a regular part of dayto-day life (sadly). A three-tiered cake stand is practically mandatory, loaded with cucumber, smoked salmon and egg and cress sandwiches (definitely sans crusts), sweet pastries and cakes and, more recently, scones with jam and cream. And, of course, a teapot or two. (If you’re doing it properly then a tea bag just won’t do — it’s got to be loose leaf all the way.) Another recent addition (and one that we are totally in favour of) is the addition of a glass of Champagne. It’s always fizz o’clock somewhere, right?

Tea time vector created by macrovector - www.freepik.com

With Afternoon Tea Week taking place from August 8-14, we take a closer look at the indulgent ritual, and round up some recipes for a slightly more unusual take on a traditional tea.


COOKING COMPANION

VICTORIA SPONGE SWISS ROLL SERVES 6

130g golden caster sugar, plus extra to dust 130g plain flour 3 large eggs Pinch of sea salt 300ml double cream 1 tbsp icing sugar Strawberry jam, for filling Fresh strawberries, for filling and garnish

1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4. 2 Grease a 33 x 23cm swiss roll tin with a little vegetable oil and then line the base with baking paper. Grease this again with some oil and then sprinkle some caster sugar into the tin and move it around to make sure it evenly covers the base and sides of the tin. Tap out any excess. 3 Place the sugar and eggs into a large bowl and use and electric whisk to beat for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture has volumised considerably and it is pale in colour. This is when you can test it has reached ‘ribbon stage’ — when the whisk is lifted out the mixture and you

run it across the top, it will leave a trail of mixture that sits on top, like a ribbon. 4 Carefully sift the flour into the mixture in stages, folding it in after each addition. Take time to do this as it is important to keep the mixture light, fluffy and aerated. 5 Once all the flour has been incorporated, pour it into the prepared tin and smooth over the top. Place the tin into the preheated oven for 10 –12 minutes until well risen, golden and baked throughout. 6 While the sponge is baking, place a piece of baking paper slightly larger than your swiss roll tin onto the kitchen surface. Sprinkle this liberally with some more caster sugar. 7 Once the sponge has baked, remove it from the oven. Run a knife carefully around the edges to make sure it isn’t stuck and then tip and invert it onto the sugar-coated baking paper. Using a knife, draw a small cut line roughly 1cm from the edge of one of the long sides. Then starting here, carefully roll the sponge, making sure to tuck the edge in tightly

to create a neat spiral. Once it is rolled, keep it like this with the paper surrounding it, until the sponge has cooled. 8 While the sponge is cooling, prepare the fillings. In a large bowl, add the double cream and icing sugar, then whisk until it forms soft peaks. In a separate bowl, add some strawberry jam, along with 1 tablespoon of water and mix so it is easier to spread. Finally, roughly chop some strawberries for the filling, leaving some whole for the top. 9 Once the sponge has cooled, carefully unroll it. Start by spreading a layer of the strawberry jam, then sprinkle across some of the chopped strawberries. Top this with a layer of the softly whipped cream. Make sure not to make the layers too thick as it will be difficult to roll again. Once all the layers are added, carefully re roll the sponge. 10 Using a sharp serrated knife, trim off the ends so you have a neat sponge. Decorate the top with some of the cream and fresh strawberries. Recipe by Maldon Sea Salt (maldonsalt.com)

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COOKING COMPANION

MINI CHICKEN NAANS This chicken naan flatbread would make a tasty alternative to the classic finger sandwich. SERVES 2

1 chicken breast 3 tbsp light salad dressing 2 naan breads

50g grated cheese Fresh parsley 1 red bell pepper

1 Preheat oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4. 2 Place the chicken breast on a baking tray, cover with foil and cook for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. 3 Once cooked, slice into pieces and toss with Mary Berry’s Light Salad Dressing. 4 Preheat the oven grill. 5 Scatter chicken pieces over the naan bread, add some sliced pepper, sprinkle over some cheese and finely chopped parsley. 6 Pop naans under the grill for 5 minutes until lightly golden.

A LUXURY FAMILY RUN FOODIE HIDEAWAY IN DEVON INFO@LEWTRENCHARD.CO.UK

01566 783 222

A cafe serving tasty French patisserie with an Asian twist! All of our patisserie is made on site, we brew tea from Taiwan, matcha and hojicha from Japan and have a selection of art and homeware, bringing what we love to Bath! 1 Grove St, Bath, BA2 6PJ

www.sugarcanestudio.co.uk

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7 Sprinkle with some parsley, drizzle with extra dressing if desired and serve with some green salad on the side, if liked. Recipe by Mary Berry’s Foods (maryberrysfoods.co.uk)


COOKING COMPANION

ORANGE AND PISTACHIO BATTENBERG CAKE SERVES 6

175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 175g caster sugar 3 large eggs 175g self-raising flour 50g ground almonds 50g ground pistachios, ground in a blender Orange food colouring Green food colouring 1 orange, zested 4 tbsp whole milk 400g marzipan 125g apricot jam Icing sugar, for dusting

1 Preheat the oven to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm square tin. 2 Cut a sheet of baking paper into a 40cm x 20cm rectangle, then fold this rectangle in half (short side to short side). Hold the fold in the middle of the tin and then press down each side so you create a divide across the middle of the tin. To make sure the divide is sturdy, you can use some foil along the fold also. Your tin now has two equal halves. 3 Using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl until it is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and whisk in. Add the self-raising flour and gently fold in. 4 Split this mixture into two equal parts and spoon the other half into a separate bowl. To this bowl, add the ground pistachios, green food colouring and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix together until it is smooth and has a good dropping

consistency (add a splash more milk if needed). 5 To the original bowl add the ground almonds, orange food colouring, orange zest and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix and check the consistency to match that of the other bowl. 6 Spoon each flavour mixture into each half of the cake tin and smooth over the top. Place into the preheated oven for 30 minutes until baked and a skewer comes out clean. Set the cake on a wire rack to cool completely. 7 Once cool, remove from the tin and use a serrated knife to trim off the tops and edges. Then slice both flavours in half lengthways so you have two long pieces of cake of each flavour. Check to make sure the pieces are the same size and trim any if necessary. 8 Dust your work surface with icing sugar and then roll out the marzipan until it is a large rectangle roughly 20 x 35cm in size. 9 Use the apricot jam to brush the edges of cake slices and then place them in the middle of the marzipan with a green piece next to an orange piece and then alternating on top. Brush the excess marzipan around the cake with apricot jam and then lift it up around the cake to tightly enclose it. Trim off any excess marzipan and then seal it together. Flip the cake so the seal is at the bottom. Trim off both ends of the cake neatly with the serrated knife and then serve in slices to your guests. Recipe by Maldon Sea Salt (maldonsalt.com)

THATCHERS HAZY DAIQUIRI Instead of a glass of bubbly, give your afternoon tea an elegant West Country twist with this refreshing cocktail made with Thatcher’s Haze Cider. SERVES 1

1 part white rum (40ml) 2 parts Thatchers Haze Cider (80ml) 15ml lemon juice

7ml simple sugar syrup Apple slices to garnish Ice cubes

Take a couple of scoops of ice in a cocktail shaker and then pour the rum, Thatchers Haze, lemon juice and sugar syrup over it. Screw the cap of the shaker and shake until it starts to frost outside (25-30 seconds). Open the cap and strain the mixed drink into a chilled martini glass. Slide an apple slice onto the rim of the glass as a garnish before serving. For more cider cocktail recipes, visit www.thatcherscider.co.uk/cocktails/

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 17


COOKING COMPANION

COFFEE MERINGUE KISSES MAKES 8

FOR THE MERINGUES 2 egg whites 150g golden caster sugar ½ tsp vanilla paste 2 tsp espresso powder 1 tsp boiling water FOR THE CREAM 150ml double cream 2 tbsp Drambuie honeyed liqueur, or to taste 2 tsp heather honey 1/8 tsp ground cardamom

1 Preheat the oven to 130˚C/Gas Mark ½. Line 2 large baking sheets with greaseproof paper. 2 Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until doubled in size. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, continuing to whisk, until thick and glossy and holding stiff peaks. Fold through the vanilla paste. Mix the espresso powder with the boiling water and stir into a paste. Fold through the meringue so it makes ripples.

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3 Using a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of the meringue onto the prepared baking trays, using the back of the spoon to form swirls. 4 Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the meringue bases come off the parchment clean. Turn off the oven and leave the meringues to cool down in the oven. Once cool remove from the oven. The meringues will now last for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. 5 To make the filling, whisk the cream until just thickened, being careful not to over whip it. Fold through the Drambuie, honey and ground cardamom. You could make this earlier in the day then use to fill the meringues when you are ready to serve. 6 Use a teaspoon to smooth the cream onto the bottom of half of the meringues, or pipe on for a neater finish, then sandwich together with the remaining meringues. Recipe by Drambuie (Drambuie.com)


COOKING COMPANION

FOODLOVER FAVEs The Francis Hotel, Bath

Sugarcane Studio, Bath

Lewtrenchard Manor, Okehampton, Devon

Maybe it’s because of all the Jane Austen links, but somehow Bath seems like the ultimate location in which to indulge in afternoon tea. The offering at The Francis Hotel on Queen’s Square (just a stone’s throw from the Jane Austen Museum, in fact) is full of delights. There’s finger sandwiches, the obligatory scones with jam and cream, and a wonderful selection of sweet treats — think vol au vents with Chantilly cream and berries, sticky toffee with Earl Grey-infused caramel sauce, mini pecan tart, Victoria sponge cake and vanilla and rum chocolate truffle — all served in charming bite-sized portions.

If you prefer to take tea at home, and you’re looking for something a little different to nibble on, then order some treats from Sugarcane Studio. Sugarcane Studio was founded by Taiwanese pastry chef, Fang-Yu Lin in 2018. After several years working in various hotels and patisseries in London and Taipei, Fang-Yu decided to branch out and focus on creating the styles and flavours she loves, with a distinctly Asian twist on traditional French patisserie.

Nestled in a secluded valley beneath Dartmoor’s wild tors, Lewtrenchard Manor is a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea. Here you can go all out with a full Devonshire afternoon tea (sandwiches, cakes and scones) — and add a glass of Champagne for an added touch of luxury — or if you want something a little lighter, then there’s a Ladies’ Afternoon Tea (cakes, scones and tea/coffee) or just a lovely Devonshire cream tea.

Fang-Yu specialises in macarons, but the choux buns, madeleines, tarts and bespoke cakes are simply divine too. And everything is just as beautiful as it is delicious!

Afternoon Tea at Lewtranchard Manor costs £10.50 for a cream tea, £16 for a Ladies’ Afternoon Tea, £25 for a full Devonshire Afternoon Tea, and £37 for a full tea with a glass of Champagne. www.lewtrenchard.co.uk

Afternoon Tea in Emily’s Bar at The Francis Hotel is served from 12pm-5pm and costs £21 or £26 with a glass of prosecco. www.francishotel.com

A mixed box of 12 macarons costs £16.80, a selection box for two people is £16.50 and bespoke cakes start from £23.50. For a full price list, visit sugarcanestudio.co.uk.

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 19


COOKING COMPANION

Scone revolution

Yes, jam and cream is utterly delicious on a scone. But how about trying something a bit more out of the ordinary? Cornwall’s Trewithen Dairy has come up with a few alternatives based around a sweet shop! www.trewithendairy.co.uk

THE RHUBARB & CUSTARD The slightly more traditional of the bunch, the classic favourite Bake your favourite scone recipe, being sure to add a teaspoon of sweet, aromatic vanilla extract (only the real McCoy will do) to the mix. Spread a layer of vanilla custard over one side, before spooning vibrant rhubarb compote over the top. Top with clotted cream and finish with a rhubarb and custard sweet.

THE FRUIT SALAD The funky, youthful one. More flamboyant with its tropical appearance. Loud and likes to party! Spoon a generous dollop of raspberry jam over the fluffy surface of a warm scone. Add a large spoonful of clotted cream on top of the jam, appreciating its golden crust. Adorn with a juicy chunk of pineapple and a Fruit Salad sweet before sprinkling with freeze dried raspberries.

THE BANANA MILK BOTTLE MASH-UP The super cool one, and it knows it! Would be wearing mirrored shades if it could … The celebrity of the line-up! Break a freshly baked scone in two with your hands and enjoy the heavenly aroma! Spread a thin layer of custard over the surface before adding three slices of banana to cover the entire top. Pull a luxuriously generous scoop of clotted cream and place on top. Complete with a Foam Banana, a Milk Bottle sweet and a drizzle of toffee sauce.

THE PARMA VIOLET The wildcard … This one is for the open minded, embraces diversity, likes to be different! In a small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of cream cheese with 1 tbsp sieved icing sugar. Combine the two together and leave it to chill out while you make your scones. Ever thrown blueberries into your scone mix? It’s a dreamy combination, the best of a blueberry muffin with the richness of a scone. Take a blueberry scone and smother it with your cream cheese frosting. Dollop over a spoonful of blueberry jam before adding a large helping of clotted cream. Adorn with blueberries and a Parma Violet sweet.

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WEST COUNTRY WINES

Grape ns o i t a t c expe We find out more about Wayford Vineyard near Crewkerne.

Nestled just outside Crewkerne, on the Somerset/Dorset border is Wayford Vineyard. It was founded almost 15 years ago, back in 2007, by a group of 10 neighbours who decided to try their hands at viticulture. That first year was a real labour of love, with the group painstakingly planting 4,000 Pinot Noir vines by hand. Over the years they carefully tended the vines as they grew — each member of the team caring for a section on the vineyard – pruning the vines, mowing the field, repairing posts and wire, killing weeds — trying to ensure that conditions were just right to produce the best possible grapes to be turned into the best possible sparkling wines, all the while dreaming of the first Wayford vintage. The time and effort paid off, and eventually they were able to create their first vintage — a 2014 sparkling wine. Since then, the wine has gone on to win bronze, silver and gold awards in the Wine-GB West Competition. One of the group, Clare Challis, said, “Pinot Noir is a notoriously difficult vine to grow, but it produces an exceptional sparkling wine – it is one of grapes used to make Champagne. “We now have a similar climate to the

Champagne region 10 years ago, but our soil is not the same as the chalky terroir of the Champagne region but a mix of clay and green sand with some underground springs that pop up in the vineyard. But still the vines thrive and it is these differences of soil type across the south west that give each vineyard its own distinct taste and aroma.” Wine making in the West Country comes with its own set of challenges. “The south west has a great reputation for making excellent still and sparkling wines, we have perfect weather conditions most years, though last year we lost our whole crop to a late frost in May,” said Clare. “But this is just the first worry in a growing season. But there has been no frost this year. “Rabbits, pheasants and the deer can also cause us problems as they find the new shoots a tasty breakfast though picturesque from the window. “As the vines grow, they put on lots of leaf growth almost in front of our eyes, an important job is to remove the lower leaves to allow the sun to ripen the grapes and to allow the air to circulate as if we have wet muggy air we can end up with downy mildew which will also affect the harvest. “We test the grapes to get a balance between the sugars and acids, this is how we know they are ready to pick — although a less scientific way is when the blackbirds start to eat them, we know they are ready!” Each Wayford vintage is subtley different. The variability in the weather each year creates a natural variability in the wine from vintage to vintage. Wayford wines are also stored and matured on the lees (a technique frequently used in sparkling wines which involves leaving the wine in contact with the yeast cells left over from the fermentation process) which provides

character, and even more subtle differences in complexity from vintage to vintage. “We are looking forward to the release of our 2018 vintage, as that was an exceptional year,” said Clare. “And we will have our first sparkling rosé available this summer too. “The summer of 2018 gave the perfect summer conditions for a bumper grape harvest, plenty of rain to swell the grapes early in the season and a long hot summer to ripen them. We have only tasted the 2018 ourselves with our wine maker and think it reflects the season and the growing maturity of our vines so we hope it will be well received when entered into the SWVA annual competition later in the year, we look forward to releasing this wine for sale around Christmas time and are enjoying our 2017 vintage at the moment which is drinking well according to our customers.” “We only ever use our own grapes to make our sparkling wine, and our wine is made using the traditional secondary fermentation method. “We are passionate about our vines and the wines they produce, and we think our wine has an aroma, character and flavour which makes it the very best!”

Find out more about Wayford Vineyard, and buy the wines, at wayfordvineyard.com.

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WEST COUNTRY WINES

Best OF THE West

Wine expert and owner of The Somerset Wine Company, Camilla Wood, gives her pick of some of the best West Country wines to sip this summer.

As the saying goes, “It’s best in the West” and as the sun starts to shine in earnest here and we reach to open a bottle of the good vinous stuff, there is no clearer example of this than in the wines of this beautiful part of the UK. Unlike the South East and central South of UK which is dominated by sizeable wine businesses and often corporate-owned wineries, the South West’s vineyards are largely small family-owned organisations. Following on from the slow food movement and ‘all good things come in small packages’ philosophy this means the South West can be proud of its premium quality wines which emanate from a healthy soil-led, small, handworked vineyard production, which results in minimum intervention winemaking. The best wines, as they say, are made in the vineyard, which translates as that made from healthy grapes where no fuss, interference or additions are needed to craft the wines. Cheers or in South West-speak, Gurt Lush to that!

So, if your usual tipple is a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or, if your budget allows, a fine subtly oaked Pouilly Fumé from the Loire Valley, try Dorset’s Furleigh Estate award-winning, Bacchus Fumé. Bacchus is the grape variety grown here which mostly closely resembles Sauvignon Blanc in its flavour profile: elderflower, citrus zesty notes, moving to tropical fruits with herbaceous, grassy tones combined with high acidity.

Staying in the county of Dorset, Langham Estate, near Bridport, has latterly garnered many awards for its stunning sparklings at international wine competitions. If you like French champagne and fancy a top-drawer glass of English sparkling then check out their Corallian and Culver blends (the former being more of a Chardonnay-centric Blanc de Blanc style) or for a delicious glass of sparkling rosé, summer pudding in a glass, then the Langham Rosé is my favourite.

22 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

If a lovely white from Macon in Burgundy is more your bag, then give the Furleigh Estate West Dorset Chardonnay a go. Usually, the famous Burgundian white grape Chardonnay is grown in the UK for blending with its grape collaborators, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to create their award-winning sparkling wines, but here in its still form it makes a delicious rounded, peachy style.

Moving to Somerset, the county closest to my heart and eponymously named business, the wines made here are some of the best small production offerings in the UK. Take for example ex-BBC journalist Max Cotton’s Glastonbury Vineyard Rosé with its lifeenhancing label of his seven silhouetted children. This is an unusual field blend of Regent, Orion and Souvignier Gris from his tiny one hectare plot. If you like Provence rosé with its ripe summer berry fruits balanced with a savoury note and mouth-watering acidity, then this is the wine for you. Only 500 bottles were made last year so it is a rare gem of a wine this season and one to grab whilst it’s still here!


WEST COUNTRY WINES

If you like the wonderfully aromatic famous grape variety Riesling, grown to such success in Germany and Alsace, try a glass of Oatley Vineyard Leonora’s 2020 vintage, made from the Kernling grape, a crossing of Riesling and Kerner. Crisp, dry, fresh, and elegant with an aromatic, fruity profile. English rose-garden scents combined with a lime and citrus backbone, this so beautifully pairs with Asian spicy dishes, seafood and salads. Grab the dog, a picnic rug and a friendly designated driver and head over towards Bridgwater for an afternoon wine-tasting at Jane and Iain Awty’s heavenly vineyard home. They fulfilled the Good Life dream and jacked in their corporate careers in the mid 1980s to plant a vineyard in Somerset.

If you are more a buyer of Cremant (the name used for any sparkling wine made outside the Champagne region in France) then do seek out Mowbarton Estate’s gorgeous Somerset Sparkling Brut. 800 years ago, the monks of Glastonbury made wine from grapes grown on the south-facing slopes of the Isle of Wedmore. Mowbarton Estate has revived that tradition with vines planted in view of Glastonbury Tor. Created from a blend of three of the seven grape varieties permitted to produce champagne — Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Meunier, it has an aromatic nose of almond and baking spices along with red apple notes. This comes from the use of Pinot Blanc and is more commonly seen used as the grape taking centre stage in the production of Cremant d’Alsace.

Wayford Vineyard is a small vineyard overlooking the Axe Valley. Perfectly sited in four acres of south facing slopes, sheltered on all sides by the rolling hills of Somerset and Dorset

'A pale lemon/green hue with tiny bubbles and persistent cordon quite ripe with peaches and cream flavours bolstered by lively acidity silky mousse texture well defined with good length'

Order online at

www.wayfordvineyard.com

UK wine production is focused mainly on sparkling wines, due to our cool Northerly climate, situated on the outer limits of suitability for grape ripening. Hence it is less of a problem to produce grapes which have not ripened fully for still wines and instead which present the classic high acidity necessary for sparkling wines. Down in the far South West in Cornwall where pockets of warmer micro-climates exist, the cold weather is moderated by proximity to river estuaries so grapes ripen nicely for both sparkling and still whites. Camel Valley is such a spot and produces some of the UK’s most famous sparkling wines, literally fit for Royalty. Camel Valley Rosé Brut and Cornwall Brut have been chosen for many a state occasion — so, if you like fine fizz, look no further than the Camel Valley Cornwall Brut, crafted from a blend of the very English grape Seyval Blanc with classic Champagne grapes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The Somerset Wine Company has a special offer for Foodlover readers. Show this article (either the magazine, or a screenshot) to get 10% off a case of English wine (minimum six bottles). All wines available at The Somerset Wine Company, Market Place, Castle Cary, BA7 7AL or online at www.somersetwinecompany.com.

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 23



GROW YOUR OWN

How does your grow?

garden

With an increasing demand for more sustainably-sourced, organically grown produce, more and more hotels and restaurants are providing guests with produce grown in their own kitchen gardens. And there’s something undoubtedly wonderful about eating food that you know was grown just metres away from your table. Here we find out more about a few of the fabulous kitchen gardens in the West Country.

The Ethicurean

Wrington, near Bristol The Ethicurean has garnered a national acclaim and numerous accolades for its ethical food philosophy. All of the vegetables on the menu are grown on the 7-acre site which includes orchards and the one-acre walled garden. The gardens are tended by head gardener Mark Cox with the help of just three or four part-time helpers.

What's on the menu?

BEETROOT DISH

Beetroot is never far from a seasonal British restaurant menu. Sweet, earthy and hardy enough for anything our climate can throw at it; the chefs at The Eth icurean love finding new ways to celebrate it. It’s the centrepiece of a recent starter with roa sted pieces dressed in blackcurrant wood oil, elderflower candied beets, and pickled beetro ot paired with crab apple leather, dusted in Ale xanders’ powder and finished with a smoke d buttermilk sauce.

SQUASH, ROSEMARY AND

WASTE MILK Some ingredients are sto red at times of abundance, never knowin g when they will make an appearance. Fer mented squash has an amazing tropical fruit flavour so when Mark the gardener brough t in the last of the year’s gourds there wa s always a plan to use them later. Fermente d squash purée sits on a rosemary sponge wit h sea buckthorn gel. Accompanied by wa ste milk ice cream, caramelised pumpkin see ds and a burnt sugar caramel. All topped off wit h a custard infused with a little more of the squ ash purée.

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GROW YOUR OWN

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

St Enodoc Hotel

Rock, Cornwall

Pentewan, near St Austell, Cornwall Thirty years ago, Heligan’s historic gardens were unknown and unseen; lost to the brambles of time since the outbreak of World War One. It was only the chance discovery of a door in the ruins that led to the restoration of this once great estate. Chef Nat Tallents (as seen on Great British Menu) heads up the estate restaurant, which has garnered a fabulous reputation in its own right. The Heligan Kitchen Garden is almost 200 years old and is on a plot of 1.8 acres. The Productive Gardens consisting of The Kitchen Garden, Melon Yard and Flower Garden have a combined plot of 3 acres. There are nine gardeners that tend to the Productive Gardens with the Head Gardener

Gardener's top tips

Grow what you would like to eat and don’t be intimidated. No matter how small the space, crop rotate to prevent diseases.

being Nicola Bradley who has been at Heligan Gardens for 15 years. More than 500 varieties of fruit, vegetables, and flowers are grown in the gardens at Heligan. Some favourites are: Peas ‘Veitch’s Western Express’ Early season and are very fresh and green. These are delicious right from the pod and are one of the many old varieties of produce at Heligan. They and can grow up to 6 feet tall. Runner Bean ‘Prizewinner’ Delicious and fresh. Peaches ‘Peregrine’ Best enjoyed fresh off the tree in midsummer. They have a white flesh, are very juicy and provide wonderful fresh fruity smells in the Peach House.

What's on the menu?

Ocra, leeks salsify, broad bean leaves and walnuts. Everyt hing within this dish, except wa lnuts, has been grown at Heliga n.

Try new things. Eg. Go to local seed swaps for variety and any gardening advice.

Pea and broad bean pizza base with ricotta topping.

For anyone which has limited space; use small pots for baby vegetables (Radishes work great as a quick harvest), small salad leaves that can be picked to add freshness to a dish, small pots of herbs as they can last all through the season.

Beetroot used for many different recipes eg. houmous, bee troot soup.

26 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

St Enodoc has a commitment to using local produce, and a lot of that is home grown. As well as a kitchen garden at the hotel, they also have a family farm — Made-Well — close by which not only supplies the kitchens but also supports people with learning disabilities. Head gardener Lynsey looks after the gardens at the hotel, growing micro veg for the fine dining restaurant, more than 12 different types of herbs, citrus trees and fruit cages with red gooseberries, currants, golden raspberries and a variety of strawberries. Owner James Strachan says, “We try and grow in different areas of the gardens which is probably over two acres. It has been very much a trial and error process which Guy Owen — our head chef has been heavily involved in to see whether certain things can be grown. If it works then we try to do it on a bigger scale at the farm. At the moment we are looking at a few more unusual things to grow from kaffir lime leaves to white strawberries.”

What's on the menu?

Head chef Guy Owen says, “In Karrek (our fine dining restaurant), we are doing chicken, asparagus and onion. The asparagus crowns went in two years ago in our grounds, so we are just seeing the first spears. We use spring onion, grown in our beds, which we are chargrilling, also we are growing chives for their flowers and using those as a raw product to garnish the dish. We also serve a stuffed chicken wing on the side, which we cook using lemon thyme and a herb called summer savoury, again both from the garden. We present the stuffed and roasted chicken wing on top of some lemon thyme and summer savoury that’s collected from our grounds.”


GROW YOUR OWN

Image: Jake Eastham

Homewood

The pig

What's on the menu?

Near Bath

Every PIG has a different menu, but you can expect dishes like Florence Fennel Soup with Bath Ha rvest Rapeseed Oil and Sourdo ugh Croutons, Garden Kohlr abi and Sweet Apple Brown Butter Sag e and Toasted Hazelnuts, Homemade Ric otta & Wild Garlic Gnocchi Wi nterbor Kale, Berry Hill Purple Sprout ing Broccoli Beetroot Pearl Barley & Roast Shallot or Pot Roast Celeriac Ga rden Kale & Diane Sauce.

He said: “We grow many different crops suited to our climate with a mix of different varieties within each crop. I try to source heritage seeds that produce fruit or vegetables with a focus on flavour rather than shelf life or disease resistance. Crops that are most popular with the kitchen are our new potatoes, salad leaves, heritage tomatoes, beetroots, micro salads, and strawberries. I’m also trialling cucamelons, lemongrass and sweet peppers for a first time this year.”

Using local, sustainable food has always been a key part of the ethos of The PIG restaurants with rooms, with their menus all based around food that can be sourced from within 25-miles of the kitchens. And every PIG has its own kitchen garden too and guests are encouraged to walk around them and see the produce growing before it lands on the plates. There are eight PIGs around the country, with four in the West Country — The PIG near Bath, The PIG at Combe, The PIG at Harlyn Bay and The PIG on the Beach.

Gardener's top tip

The kitchen gardens vary in size and every garden has three full-time kitchen gardeners, with group head gardener Ollie Hutson overseeing them all.

The stunning country house hotel just outside Bath has big, beautiful sprawling grounds — just perfect for growing fresh produce for the kitchen. Around one-third of an acre is currently dedicated to food production at Homewood, and there’s plenty of room for expansion. Head gardener is Stephen Hargreaves, but it’s chef-gardener Darren Stephens who does most of the ground work in the kitchen garden — sowing, harvesting and cooking everything himself.

I follow the No-dig method when creating Homewood’s kitchen garden beds. It’s an easy way to start a veg patch, especially on a small scale and if you continue with the method, it’s more beneficial for your soil than digging it up. When it comes to the growing, choose something you want to eat and read up about how much space you will need. Some varieties can dominate a small patch.

What's on the mmeennuu ?

ng domes “Our BBQ dini on es fresh in seas currently featur with cabbage baked pointed spring uce oked paprika sa dukkah and sm hich no-dig leaves w alongside their of nging selection are an ever-cha ut picked througho dressed leaves with menu also ends the year. Their own r mess with thei a sharing Eton ance st cked a short di strawberries pi guests dine.” from where the

He says: “We grow everything! Each garden might have 500 varieties of fruit, vegetables and herbs. We are always trying to find new and interesting varieties so that we keep the kitchen gardens interesting but all the classics are also grown throughout the year. Unusual veg and herbs include dazzling blue Cavallo nero, chioggia beetroot, Oyster plant, green ginger rosemary and hot and spicy oregano. Fruit-wise there are Japanese wineberries or Chilean guava. Every dish across every Pig has something from the kitchen garden. Even if it’s a flower garnish or small herb, something from the garden touches every plate that goes out.”

Gardener's top tip

“If you’re starting your own kitchen garden at home herbs are a great way to cut your teeth. You can grow them with very little space, in pots or growbags, and keep cutting and coming back all season. A good trick for planting seeds is to cut a loo roll tube into 5cm sections, place in a tray and fill each one with compost — instant modules. Many herbs can be sown in April and kept in a sheltered spot to protect from frost, or even inside the house. Plant out or pot up seedlings in May, either into a bed or large pot. Basil, rosemary, mint, coriander, lemon verbena, winter savoury — all pretty easy to grow and add great flavour to any dish.”

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 27


GROW YOUR OWN

seeds of

Sowing the self-sufficiency

The Food Forest Project is a grassroots organisation that aims to help communities grow their own food. Emma Dance finds out more.

P

erhaps it’s an increasing desire to live more sustainability, or the way that the lockdown highlighted the therapeutic effects of gardening, or the ever-rising cost of living, but more and more people are looking at ways of growing their own food.

Mallet, is on a mission to create community food forests across Somerset — using pockets of disused land to providing fresh, seasonal food to local people, as well as encouraging people to reconnect with nature, and boosting biodiversity by providing habitats for wildlife.

But for many people, it’s not possible or practical to cultivate much more than a few pots of herbs on a window sill, or perhaps dedicate a patch of flower bed to courgettes or carrots.

“We wanted to start an intersection where environmental and social issues converge,” said Tristan Faith — one of the founders of the Food Forest Project. “We knew that there were issues with food poverty in the area, we knew that there were issues with habitat and biodiversity, and we knew there were issues

But the Food Forest Project, based in Shepton

with social isolation. So we came up with the Food Forest Project.” They currently have two food forests in Shepton — including one in the Hillmead housing estate — and another in Wedmore, with more in the pipeline. There’s also a market garden at Rock Farm just outside Shepton, which is used to grow produce for food banks and will also help stock the Shepton Community Fridge when it is up and running. But what exactly is a ‘food forest’? “The best way to describe it is somewhere between an allotment and an orchard,” explains Tristan. “Allotments aren’t accessible to a lot of people — they can be expensive, and they are high maintenance — while orchards are not very diverse. The middle ground is a food forest, which is very low maintenance. “We start by planting three ‘layers’ — the canopy layer of berries etc, then a mid-layer of things like pears and apples, then the likes of chestnuts and hazels. Then the aim is that there will be another four layers planted by the community. “The food forests then produce food, which the community can harvest and eat. “We hope that there won’t be any surplus or wastage. Produce that doesn’t get harvested or used, we let it mulch into the ground. Our soil is in pretty bad health so part of what we are trying to do is to regenerate the soil. By letting an amount mulch down it feeds the microbes which helps create much healthier soil.” One worry, however, is that people won’t take the food because they don’t have the skills or knowledge to know how to prepare it — or even that, with the energy prices going sky high, they can’t afford to run the appliances to cook a meal from scratch.

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GROW YOUR OWN

The initiative has caught the eye of Coldplay’s sustainability team. “Coldplay donate a certain amount of money every year to big environmental charities,” explains Tristan. “This year they decided they wanted to give half of what they give to international charities to grass roots charities, like us. “We were put forward, and they loved what we are doing, so we will be getting a certain amount of funding from them for three years. “Coldplay have also just started their world tour in conjunction with the Coldplay app, and we are featured on that, which has really helped in terms of profile and donations. It’s incredible for us.” “It’s a concern,” admits Tristan. “We are worried that some people have been turning away fresh produce because they can’t afford to cook it. We want to help educate people on how to cook the food they are growing.

opens and the need for produce increases, we will need more people to help us produce more food, but helping with things like watering and weeding and germinating seeds.

“What we did in Wedmore was create a Close to Home cookbook with lots of simple recipes in it for food that can be foraged in your area.

“We also have a membership scheme which starts at just £3.50 a month. Members get invited to our events and get free tea and cakes.”

The extra cash will help fund more food forests, and also a ranger who helps to manage the team of volunteers who help to keep the projects running. “Our mission is to have a food forest in every village, town and city in Somerset,” said Tristan.” Find out more at www.thefoodforestproject.org

“We are hoping to work with Shepton Mallet Town Council on this to do a similar thing in Shepton, and to have education boards with information available too.” All of the plants in the food forests are native, British varieties, and populating the plots isn’t cheap. “It costs around £700 an acre,” says Tristan. “Although once they are up and running they are high yield. “On a two acre plot — if we are planting hedgerows, we will need around 900 trees. So far, we have planted around 400 trees. We are fortunate because we have been given trees by the Woodland Trust, and Conservation Volunteers, but it is still expensive to get started. But once it is up and running, a food forest is low cost, and we are starting to be able to take cuttings and germinate them ready for planting in another plot.” Plans for a food forest in Evercreech are underway, with a possibility of more in Bruton and/or Nettlebridge also being considered. But in order to keep expanding the FFP needs more volunteers and more funds. “We always thought the difficult thing would be getting plots,” said Tristan. “But actually it’s time, and it’s donations. At the moment we have about 6 or 7 volunteers, but as the community fridge

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 29



IN SEASON

y r r e b w Stra fields I

s there any food quite so synonymous with summer as the great British strawberry?

These days, you can get strawberries in the supermarket all year round, but the imported varieties — which can be rather watery and tasteless — don’t hold a candle to our homegrown berries with their intense juicy sweetness. The British strawberry season has arrived early with this year’s crop set to be even sweeter than last year. We have the spring’s bright weather to thank for the sweeter strawberries — with the UK bathing in approximately 166 hours of sunshine in April, 7% above average for the month. This has resulted in the strawberry crop enjoying an increased level of sunlight which has boosted their natural sugar content.

“Despite these challenges, British strawberries remain a true success story. The UK is totally self-sufficient in strawberries for the entire summer season which now runs from May to October as farms continue to advance growing techniques, such as large-scale glasshouse production for season extension. This allows us to offer shoppers locally grown fresh berries for longer.” Once you’ve got your berries, it’s best to eat them when they are as fresh as possible as strawberries don’t store brilliantly.

part vinegar) to help prevent mould, but other say it can dull the taste — it might be worth a try though if you want your berries to last that little bit longer. Strawberries and cream are a classic combination for a reason, but these beautiful summer berries also work well in desserts and cakes, or you could make a strawberry jam. For a slightly more unusual flavour combo try drizzling your strawberries with a little balsamic vinegar, a couple of grinds of black pepper or a few basil leaves.

If you’re not going to devour them straight away though, keep them in the fridge in an airtight container, and only wash them just before eating. Some chefs recommend washing your strawberries in a mixture of water and vinegar (two parts water to one

Nick Marston, Chairman of British Summer Fruits, the industry body that represents 95% of berries supplied to UK supermarkets said: “It looks to be another fantastic year for British strawberries. However, rising energy and labour costs are presenting real challenges for UK berry growers.

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 31


IN SEASON

STRAWBERRY CHIFFON CAKE A real girly pink, this American style whisked sponge cake is made with purèed strawberries and vegetable oil rather than butter so is light but still moist and moreish. You don’t need any fancy tins to make this, just 2, 20cm (8inch) springform tins that you can easily pick up from the supermarket. SERVES 10

175g strawberries, hulled 250g self-raising flour 1 tsp baking powder 6 large eggs, separated 125ml vegetable oil 1 lemon, grated rind only 225g caster sugar Little red paste food colouring FOR THE FILLING 150g strawberry jam 2 tbsp cold water 2 tsp powdered gelatine 400g strawberries, hulled 125ml double cream FOR THE FROSTING 250g (9oz) mascarpone cheese 1 lemon, finely grated lemon rind 2 tablespoons icing sugar 400ml (14 fl oz) double cream Little red paste food colouring TO DECORATE Few pink primula flowers and/or viola flowers Few small strawberries, if liked

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. To make the cake, grease and line the bases of 2 x 20 cm springform tins with circles of non-stick baking paper. Purèe the strawberries then press through a sieve and discard their seeds. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a second bowl. 2 Add the egg yolks, oil, lemon rind and 175g of the sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the strawberry purée and a little food colouring and whisk for about 5 minutes until very thick. 3 Wash and dry the whisk then beat the egg whites until stiff moist looking peaks then gradually whisk in the remaining 50g sugar a teaspoonful at a time until the mixture is smooth and glossy.

32 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

4 Sift the flour and baking powder over the top of the strawberry mix then gently mix in. Stir in a large spoonful of the egg whites to loosen the mixture then add the rest and very gently fold in so that you keep as much air in the mixture as possible. 5 Spoon the mixture evenly between the two tins, levelling out the mixture, then bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is set, very lightly browned and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the centre of each cake. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove the sides and leave to cool. Remove the base when cold. (The cake will sink slightly as it cools.) 6 When the cakes are cold, peel off the base paper. Cut each cake in half, then put two of the halves to one side. Keep the other two halves, still stacked then cut out a circle from the centre using a smaller 15cm baking tin as a template. (This centre circle can be given to the kids or eaten now with a cup of tea!) 7 Put one of the whole circles of cake on a serving plate, spread a band of jam around the outer edge about 2.5cm wide then place one of the ring cakes on top. Spread the top edge with jam, then add the second cake ring. 8 Add the cold water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle over the gelatine, making sure that all the dry powder is absorbed by the water. Set aside for 5 minutes. 9 Pick out the best strawberries and arrange over the inside of the cake, when you know you have enough, take them out and reserve on a plate. Puree 175g of the remaining strawberries then press through a sieve and discard the seeds. 10 Stand the bowl of gelatine in a saucepan of gently simmering water and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until it becomes a clear liquid. Whisk the cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks, add the strawberry purée and gradually


IN SEASON

mix in the gelatine until smooth. Spread a few spoonfuls in the base of the centre of the cake, arrange the whole strawberries on top then cover with the remaining strawberry cream. Stick the remaining cake half in place with jam around the edges as before. Chill for 4 hours.

11 About an hour or so before serving, whisk the mascarpone, lemon rind and icing sugar together in a bowl then gradually whisk in the cream until soft and spreadable, don’t be tempted to whisk too vigorously or the frosting will be too thick to spread. Take out one third of the frosting and divide between two small

bowls, colour one pale pink, the other a deeper pink. 12 Spread a very thin layer of the uncoloured frosting all over the cake to stick the crumbs in place then spread a thicker layer all over, being more generous on the top. Spread the sides smooth with a knife. Using a teaspoon and

round bladed knife, press small dots of dark pink frosting in a band around the base of the cake. Make a second paler pink band above it and a third plain band of uncoloured frosting then smooth the sides to merge the colours with a palette knife. Decorate the top of the cake with edible flowers and small strawberries, if liked.

Recipe by Love Fresh Berries (lovefreshberries.co.uk)

Cook's Tip

ON THE COVER

As this cake is quite involved, you might prefer to make the cake the day before then wrap in foil or make and fill the cake then chill overnight and just decorate with the frosting an hour or so before you want to serve it and keep it in the fridge. FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 33


IN SEASON

BALSAMIC BARBECUE STRAWBERRIES This seems like a crass way to treat such a delectable soft fruit, but it is all about the contrast of hot and cold, sharp and sweet. They only want a quick flip-flop across the grill, enough to warm them and caramelise some of the sugar. If you leave them on there for too long, they turn to jam! Use your judgement, if they look like they are turning mushy get them off the heat. SERVES 2

2 tbsp aged balsamic or sherry vinegar ½ tbsp light muscovado sugar 300g strawberries Some good quality vanilla ice cream

1 If you are using bamboo skewers, it is worth soaking them in water for at least 20 minutes first, so that they don’t burst into flames. Aim to have your BBQ down to glowing embers — a medium heat. 2 Mix the vinegar and sugar together in a bowl, remove the stalks from the strawberries. Keep the small ones whole and cut any large ones in

half. Add them to the bowl, mix well and leave

4 Fill two bowls with a few scoops of ice

to macerate for 10 minutes.

cream. Slide the strawberries off the skewers

3 Thread the strawberries onto skewers and place them directly on the BBQ bars. Griddle for about 2 minutes, turning once, until lightly marked.

and pile them into the bowls. Spoon any of the remaining balsamic marinade over the top. Eat immediately. Recipe by Riverford (www.riverford.co.uk)

STRAWBERRY, WATERMELON AND BASIL ICE LOLLIES Sweetness is dulled by coldness, it is why your white wine tastes cloyingly sweet if served warm, so you want the mix to be slightly sweeter than you’d think. Basil and sweet fruit go well together, you can use a sprig of mint instead if you can’t get any. MAKES 12

400g diced watermelon flesh, large seeds removed 400g strawberries 10 basil leaves 40g caster sugar, plus extra to tweak 2 tbsps lime juice, plus extra to tweak

1 Put everything into a blender and blitz it until smooth. 2 Pass it into a measuring jug through a fine sieve. Add a little water to make it up to 600ml, if there isn’t quite enough. 3 Tweak the sugar and lime to your liking. 4 Tip into the moulds and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. Recipe by Riverford (www.riverford.co.uk)

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IN SEASON

Magic beans B

road beans are easy to grow, but to enjoy them at their very best will take a bit of effort. But it’s worth it for the sweet, nutty flavour, not to mention all the nutrients packed inside.

BROAD BEAN FRITTERS These simple fritters make a good vegetarian main course but you could also serve smaller ones as starters or canapés for a summer party (they can be made in advance and gently warmed through in a low oven). Kids generally love them, particularly the dinky-sized ones. SERVES 4

300g podded broad beans (about 900g in their pods) 125g self-raising flour 2 large eggs 2 tbsp crème fraîche 125ml milk 200g soft, mild sheep’s or goat’s cheese, crumbled Small handful of mint leaves, chopped Small handful of chives, snipped or chopped A little sunflower or olive oil and a knob of butter, for frying Sweet chilli sauce, to serve (optional)

1 Cook the beans in a pan of boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water. Peel off the outer skins and discard, leaving the bright green inner bean. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, eggs, crème fraîche and milk until you have a smooth, thick batter. Crumble in the cheese. Stir in the broad beans, mint and chives and season with salt and pepper. 2 Melt a little oil and butter in a large frying pan. Add spoonfuls of the mixture (you’ll need to cook in two or three batches) and cook on a medium heat for 2–3 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom (you’ll see small bubbles appearing from underneath as they’re ready). Flip and cook for 2 minutes or so on the other side, until cooked through. Serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping, if you like. Recipe by Riverford (www.riverford.co.uk)

To prep, first you’ll need to remove the broad beans from their little green jackets. It’s a fairly simple task — just slit each pod and run your thumb along the inside to pop out the beans. The broad beans can be cooked and eaten from the pod, but in order to enjoy them at their best you really want to double pod them by removing the thin skin, but slighty tough, skin that covers each bean. To do this, first blanch the beans for 2 minutes, drain and run under cold water. Then, use your nail to slit the leathery skin and pop out the bright green bean. Keep the beans in the pods until you plan to use them, and when buying them look for pods that are firm and crisp. If you have a glut of beans, then once blanched they can be frozen and stored for up to three months. Broad beans pair beautifully with bright flavours such as mint and chilli, as well as salty cheeses. Try purèeing with feta or hummus for a delicious dip, or make a salad with chilli, mint and burrata.

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 35


IN SEASON

& d l o G s u o i c i del I

t’s easy to take sweetcorn for granted. It’s one of those things — like potatoes and peas — that can seem a bit too basic to get excited about. But the golden kernels deserve some attention.

At its best around mid-August to mid-September, sweetcorn is a real late summer treat. And at this time of year, the very simplest of preparations shows off sweetcorn’s wonderful natural flavours to their fullest. Pull back the outer leaves of the cob to reveal the rows of tightly packed golden kernels, strip off any of the silky threads clinging on to the cob, cut off the ends of the cob and then wash. To cook them either boil (don’t use any salt though as this will toughen them up) or roast or barbecue — making sure to turn them regularly. We think there’s no better way to serve than simply slathered in butter and seasoned. After all - there’s nothing quite like the glorious indignity that comes with gnawing on a freshly cooked corn-on-the-cob, butter dripping unceremoniously down the chin. A sprinkle of paprika or chilli also works well — the heat a tongue-tingling foil to the corn’s natural sweetness. If you like the kernels loose, rather than on the cob, strip back the leaves and threads as above, stand the cob stalk-end down on a chopping board, then carefully sweep a sharp knife down its length, slicing off the kernels as you go. Try to keep the blade as close to the core as you can, so that the kernels stay whole. When choosing your sweetcorn, you want it as fresh as possible. Kernels should be plump and tightly packed, and the husks green and unblemished. Keeping the sweetcorn in the husks will help it last a bit longer (although it’s best eaten within a day or two). If the husks are removed, then wrap it in damp kitchen paper and keep it in the fridge.

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SWEETCORN AND SWEET POTATO CHOWDER WITH CRISPY TORTILLAS SERVES 4

1 tbsp oil for frying e.g. sunflower 1 leek, finely sliced (or use an onion) 2 garlic cloves, crushed 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 1 tsp paprika 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves 2 bay leaves 1.2 litres veg stock 2 large cobs sweetcorn, kernels cut off 1 lime 8 soft corn tortillas 50g Cheddar or Double Gloucester, grated 1 tsp paprika or ground cumin Small handful fresh chives, chopped (optional) Salt and pepper

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the leek for 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. 2 Add the sweet potato, pepper, chilli, paprika, thyme, bay leaf and stir for 1 minute.

3 Pour in the stock. Season. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. 4 Add the sweetcorn and simmer for 5 more minutes, or until the potato and corn are tender. 5 Blitz in a food processor, then return to the pan and reheat gently if necessary. Add a good squeeze of lime juice and check the seasoning. 6 While the chowder is simmering, heat oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. 7 Cut the tortillas into quarters and lay on a baking sheet. Sprinkle over the cheese, a little sea salt and the paprika or cumin. 8 Bake for 6-8 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn, until crispy and golden. 9 Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly, then serve with the chowder, sprinkled with chives. Recipe by Riverford (www.riverford.co.uk)


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SWEETCORN DHANSAK This is a vegetarian version of a popular spicy Indian dish usually made with lamb, lentils and veg. Eat with a bowl of brown rice or naan bread. SERVES 2

100g red lentils 1 onion, peeled & finely diced 15g coriander, leaves removed & stalks chopped 150g black rice, rinsed in a sieve 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 3 chillies, deseeded and finely chopped (or leave the seeds in for more heat) 125g cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 dhansak spice mix (1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp garam masala) 1 tin coconut milk 1 sweetcorn cob (peeled and kernels removed) 15g chervil, roughly chopped 175ml yoghurt 60g mango chutney 150g baby spinach 1 lime

1 Put the lentils in a heatproof bowl or saucepan. Cover with boiled water and set aside. 2 Transfer the black rice to a medium saucepan, cover with boiling water & add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then then simmer

for approximately 25-30 minutes until tender. 3 Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onion & coriander stalks for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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4 Add the garlic, dhansak spice mix and some of the chilli (add to your taste) to the onion. Stir for 2 minutes. Add coconut milk. Drain the lentils into a sieve, rinse then add them too. Bring to a low boil then let it simmer for 10 minutes. 5 Stir the sweetcorn, tomatoes and chutney into the lentils. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, until the lentils are soft. 6 In handfuls, stir the spinach into the lentils until wilted. Drain the rice. Stir ¾ of the coriander leaves into the curry. Season and add lime juice, to taste. 7 Mix the chervil and yoghurt in a small bowl, adding a pinch of salt to taste. 8 Serve the curry with rice, yoghurt, remaining coriander & some extra chilli if you like. Recipe by Riverford (www.riverford.co.uk)

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 37


MEET THE CHEF

KEEPING IT SIMPLE Dean Edwards from Bristol, first started cooking his way into the hearts of the nation when he was a runner-up in MasterChef way back in 2006. In 2009, he made his debut on ITV’s This Morning where he featured in a weekly cookery slot and since 2010, he has been a firm favourite on ITV’s Lorraine. This summer, he will be demonstrating his cooking at the Fantastic Food Festivals in Bath and Poole. Here he talks about the fabulous foodie scene in the West Country, finding the positives from lockdown and why he loves food festivals.

Dean Edwards is no stranger to cooking for an audience. For more than 10 years he’s been showing his skills on live television. But he says there’s nothing quite like cooking in front of a crowd. “When you’re cooking on TV, of course you’re cooking to people — but you can’t see them,” says Dean. “To be able to have that interaction with people is quite special. “After the last couple of years when lots of food festivals got cancelled I’m really looking forward to getting back into it again. “I like to show how simple cooking can actually be. People really struggle with confidence when it comes to cooking, so I like to show some really nice, simple recipes that people can actually go away and do themselves. “But doing demos isn’t just about the food — it’s about entertaining as well. I like to give people a bit of an insight into what goes on behind the scenes at MasterChef and things as well.”

38 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER


COOKING COMPANION

And Dean is keen to stress that food festivals aren’t just for serious foodies. “You don’t have to be a foodie or a chef or a cook to enjoy a food festival,” he says. “There’s lots of things to do and they are normally in beautiful places — like Victoria Park in Bath or Upton Country Park in Poole. There’s often some great music too. They are really fun, and great for families. If you haven’t tried one before then definitely give it a go — you will be surprised at how much of a wicked day it is!” Dean was born and bred in Bristol, and is passionate about supporting the West Country food scene. “I’m absolutely buzzing to see what’s happening in the West Country,” he says. “For many years we were lagging behind the likes of London and Manchester in terms of being able to sustain food businesses, but that’s not the case any more. “We are very, very blessed in the South West to have so many fantastic suppliers and ingredients and products. We are very lucky — we are in a wicked part of the world!

Dean Edwards will be at the Fantastic Food Festivals at Royal Victoria Park in Bath on July 29-31 and Upton Country Park in Poole on August 27-29. For more information and to buy tickets, go to fantasticfoodfestivals.co.uk Follow Dean on Instagram at deanedwardschef.

“I love seeing local independent businesses doing well. The containers at Wapping Wharf are amazing — in terms of a foodie destination, you can’t go wrong with heading to Wapping Wharf.” Perhaps, one of the more positive sides of lockdown was that it made people look closer to home, and appreciate some of the great food right on their doorstep. “Lockdown wasn’t something that anyone wanted to happen, but with every bad situation there’s always something good that comes out of it,” says Dean. “We had to look on our doorsteps, and I think it made people discover things and places close to home that they had never tried before. We couldn’t go to Spain to have tapas, but maybe we could try the tapas restaurant round the corner … “I also think lockdown was an opportunity for a lot of people who have not necessarily cooked before to start cooking. And a lot of those people found that they actually enjoyed cooking, and that leads to more food lovers and more people who want to discover new flavours.”

It’s been almost 17 years since Dean made his first TV appearance on MasterChef. “I know what you’re thinking — I must have been 12 when I went on MasterChef,” he jokes. “It’s crazy that it was so long ago. But entering that show changed my life completely. “Over the years, my food style has changed and developed based on what’s happened to me in life. Like, when I had my family, I became obsessed with family food. “When I’m doing demos I could go up on stage and start showing off, but that’s not where my passion lies — I want to show people things that they might actually cook themselves.” Dean has written four recipe books focused on easy, accessible recipes, but now he is turning his attention to social media. “I decided I wanted to develop what I’m doing on social media and I’m finding myself doing a lot of cooking on Instagram and TikTok. I’ve got around 600,000 followers now which I don’t think is too bad!” So is opening his own restaurant in the pipeline for Dean? “I go through stages of thinking that I want to open my own place, but then I talk to my chef friends and they talk about all the staff shortages and the other problems they are facing at the moment. Right now, I’m really enjoying what I’m doing, but I am sure I will do something one day, and I think it would be along the lines of what they are doing in Wapping Wharf.”

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 39


COOKING COMPANION

Cookbook Corner HUNTER GATHER COOK HANDBOOK By Nick Weston £14.99, GMC Publications Nick Weston’s company, Hunter Gather Cook, is about the journey from field to fork. It’s an immersive cycle of the process and the personal relationship that we can have with what ends up on the plate from heading to the wild or not so wild places. The new book, the Hunter Gather Cook Handbook combines accessible and inspirational instruction for foraging, game and fire cookery with more than 40 recipes for the finest wild food. The recipes have developed over time and are very much a collection of the Hunter Gather Cook classics that Nick and his team have delivered over several years. Lovingly photographed by award-winning and internationally acclaimed photographer David Loftus, this is a beautiful book to behold. With Nick’s expertise and enthusiasm, you’ll take this aspirational cookbook and form a new connection between the wild and your food.

40 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER

FAST FEASTS: QUICK, EASY RECIPES WITH A MIDDLE EASTERN TWIST

THE PIG: 500 MILES OF FOOD, FRIENDS AND LOCAL LEGENDS

By John Gregory-Smith £20, OH Editions

By Robin Hutson £30, Home Grown Hotels

Cooking should be fun, and sharing a meal with friends or family is one of life’s simple pleasures. In Fast Feasts, you’ll discover that the secret to effortless culinary magic is a few punchy store-cupboard staples – a teaspoon of smoked paprika here, a drizzle of tahini there, and suddenly your Tuesday night traybake is transformed into a wicked meal. If you’re tired of toast, have a vibrant hummus bowl the next time you’re working from home. Or try John’s insanely good Lamb and halloumi burgers, perfect for Friday night dinner with friends. John also includes cheats on how to make simple meals sing, including ideas for jazzed up mayos, quick salad dressings and zingy spice mixes, as well as menu plans that make entertaining a cinch. Fast Feasts is a fresh and unintimidating take on Middle Eastern food, featuring ingredients that can be found at your local store, and recipes that are as easy to prepare as a meal subscription box. So, whether you’re after killer comfort food, a banging brunch or dinner in front of the TV, look no further.

This is the second book from THE PIG, the multi-award-winning hotel group that has become a byword for delicious, home-grown food and stylish, mismatched interiors. This book focuses even more on the home-grown and the local, celebrating the talented artisans, growers, farmers, foragers and fishermen who make each PIG hotel and its menu unique. Eight chapters, one per hotel, will take readers from coast to coast across southern England, featuring beautiful photography, anecdotes, tips, interviews and, of course, delicious, simple recipes that reflect each hotels region. Designed in Cornwall and printed in East Sussex on paper made at Aberdeen’s Stoneywood Mill using water from the River Don, the book’s provenance reflects THE PIG’s obsessive commitment to reducing its footprint, caring for and protecting the environment and supporting local communities.


y n n u S ks c a n S

LITTLE COOKS

The summer is here, and it won’t be long until the school holidays! Those weeks off school will give you plenty of time to practice your cooking skills. Here are a couple of recipes for you to try.

SUNNY EGG, TOMATO AND PEPPER PIZZAS SERVES 2

6 tbsp tomato pasta sauce 8 pitted green or black olives 6 cherry tomatoes 2 wholemeal tortilla wraps 50g grated Cheddar and mozzarella cheese 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into sticks

1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 6. Lightly oil a large baking tray big enough to hold two tortilla wraps. 2 Put the pasta sauce in a bowl. Roughly chop the olives, cut the tomatoes into quarters then stir both into the pasta sauce. 3 Spoon half the pasta sauce mixture over the two tortillas, then use a spoon to spread it to the edges leaving a 3cm clear border. Use a spoon to make a hollow in the centre of the sauce and crack in an egg. 4 Scatter half the cheese around the egg, covering the sauce, then lay pepper sticks around the egg. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until the egg has set. Leave to cool slightly before transferring to plates to eat. Recipe by British Lion Eggs (www.egginfo.co.uk/recipes)

SUMMER PICNIC WHIRLS MAKES 16

Plain flour, for dusting 2 x 220g balls frozen pizza dough, defrosted 3 tbsp tomato chutney

each rectangle of dough. Sprinkle with the Emmental and arrange the chargrilled peppers on top. Lay the slices of ham over the top and press down lightly to compact the filling.

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6; line a baking sheet with baking parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball of pizza dough to a rectangle (about 28cm x 18cm).

3 Starting at one of the longer edges, roll up one of the pizza dough rectangles into a log. Cut into 8 equal rolls and arrange on the parchment. Repeat with the other dough rectangle. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving, or leave to cool completely. Put in a cool bag with an ice block if taking on a picnic or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

2 Leaving a 2cm clear border along both of the longer edges, spread 1½ tbsp chutney over

Recipe by Waitrose and Partners (www.waitrose.com/recipes)

150g Président Emmental Grated 2 x 280g jars Cooks’ Ingredients Chargrilled Peppers 100g pack free-range sliced ham with rosemary and thyme

FOODLOVERMAGAZINE.COM | 41


PRIZES

WIN FOODIE PRIZES WIN AN OXO 5-PIECE POP CONTAINER SET WORTH OVER £50

WIN A PAIR OF ADULT WEEKEND TICKETS TO VALLEYFEST (WORTH £170 EACH)

OXO’s POP Containers are ideal for all manner of household ingredients. With a modular design that enables each container to be stacked together and signature push-button airtight seal, the collection is made to keep everyday staples fresh and close at hand. You have a chance to win an OXO 5-Piece POP Container Set which includes a variety of different sized containers: Slim Rectangle Mini 0.4L (x1), Small Square Short 1.0L (x2), Rectangle Short 1.6L (x1), Small Square Tall 2.1L (x1)

Valley Fest is the best-tasting music festival in the South West. The weekend is perfect for first-time festival goers as well as families of all ages. The event takes place from August 4-7, alongside the glittering Chew Valley Lake with the rolling Mendip hills in the background. It’s only 9 miles from Bristol and Bath. Showcasing Bristol’s live music scene as well as fine local food producers, you can expect everything from charcuterie to cider, street food to sit-down feasts — all with plenty of Somerset style and sizzle.

WIN MOUTH-WATERINGLY JUICY THATCHERS BLOOD ORANGE CIDER This spring saw the introduction of a brand new cider from Somerset cider maker Thatchers — the mouth-wateringly juicy Thatchers Blood Orange Cider. This delicious new 4% cider is crafted at Myrtle Farm with naturally juicy, aromatic apples chosen for their sweetness — Braeburn, Fuji and Gala. It bursts with natural blood orange flavour, and will go down a treat with your summer picnics and barbecues. All the ciders from the independent, family cider maker are made with the same deeprooted quality and responsibility that comes with 117 years of cider making in Somerset. Sustainability is hugely important for them, not only does Thatchers have over 500 acres of apple orchard in the West Country, it is currently creating its own conservation area right at the heart of its cider mill. As with all its ciders, Thatchers Blood Orange Cider is gluten free, and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Marking the launch, Thatchers has six packs of Blood Orange Cider goodies to give away, each containing a bottle opener, lanyard, and of course, the new cider.

TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE OF WINNING THESE FANTASTIC PRIZES, visit www.foodlovermagazine.com/competitions and enter your details by the 15th July 2022. GOOD LUCK! 42 | THE WEST COUNTRY FOODLOVER