F E TH
E US RE HO
GASTRO T H E M A G A Z I N E F R O M T H E A WA R D W I N N I N G P U B A N D R E S TA U R A N T G R O U P
T H E M A G A Z I N E F R O M T H E A W A R D W I N N I N G P U B A N D R E S TA U R A N T G R O U P
FEAST OF EASTBOURNE
Culinary delights from The Watering Hole of the South
Discover where the wild things are in East Sussex PAGE 55
LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS
Why thereâ€™s more than meatballs in Scandinavia PAGE 60
Some of the best ways to put those extras to work PAGE 64
Expert hints and tips on how to splash your cash PAGE 69
ISSUE 12 SPRING 2016 W&H_Iss12_Spring16_Cover.indd 1
TOM AIKENS We chat exclusively to the man with the Michelin touch
What’ll it be, then?
pring has to be one of my favourite times of the year, although with such a mild winter, it feels like it has come early! The daffodils are already out, so now I just need the lambs and sunshine. We have another exciting issue of Gastro for you, featuring an exclusive interview with celebrity chef Tom Aikens, who shares a similar ethos to me. Tom likes to use the best seasonal produce, locally sourced wherever he can, while we like to use farmers who are as passionate about growing food as us chefs are about cooking it. On that note, we also speak to some of our local farmers in this edition and get an expert opinion on foraging. Elsewhere, we list our top 10 food trends to look out for in 2016, and give an update on the ninth W&H site, The Rose & Crown at Green Street Green in Kent. We’re actually doing all the building work ourselves on the project, so it’s taking up a lot of time. By the time our next Gastro comes out, it should all be finished and ready for you to come and have a pint – it’s got a stunning garden! Our executive chef James Palmer-Rosser talks about his five favourite seasonal ingredients and how he likes to cook with them. Plus, you’ll also be introduced to some more of the W&H team, who work behind the scenes, but are just as important as the faces you see out front. I never keep my own bottles of wine long enough, but we have a great feature on wine investments, and speak to some experts about the market’s current trends and what to lay down or invest in for the future. Since it’s time for Easter and Shrove Tuesday, we thought we’d profile one of our top desserts, the triple chocolate brownie, just in time for the feasting festivities. You also won’t want to miss our other fun foodie facts about Easter. It continues to be a busy few months for the team and I, but exciting times for 2016! I can’t wait for you to read this edition and hear all your thoughts! I’m off to the pub! Cheers, Brian Keeley Whiting MD
P.S. Don’t forget to book for Mother’s Day, which falls on Sunday March 6 – it’s the busiest day of the year in the pub world, so get in early!
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55 09 FRONT OF HOUSE Catch up on all the latest updates and news stories
27 MEET THE CHEFS Say hello to five of the W&H commis cooking up a storm
46 MY FAVOURITE DISH Try your hand at this top pick from the W&H menu
10 DISCOVER W&H Introducing our award winning pub restaurants
34 ROSE & CROWN Where we are with the most recent W&H site
49 TOP OF THE HOPS Prepping pints at the Old Dairy Brewery in Tenterden
14 FOOD FOR THOUGHT The season’s best culinary products and experiences
37 TIME AT THE BAR Tales, rumours and legends from Whiting & Hammond
53 FOODIE FACTSHEET Tantalising trivia to see you all the way through Easter
17 W&H EVENTS Key dates to remember over the coming months
38 SOCIAL SNAPSHOTS Stanmer House celebrates 2016 in Moulin Rouge style
55 FORAGING FANCIES Why the fashionable foodie trend has made a comeback
20 TOM AIKENS Our exclusive chat with the Michelin-starred celeb chef
41 FEAST OF EASTBOURNE Take a seaside trip to The Watering Hole of the South
60 SAVOUR SCANDINAVIA There’s more to New Nordic Cuisine than just meatballs
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The Gastro team Editor Frederick Latty ﬂatty@markerstudy.com
Publishing Design Manager Xela Ruy email@example.com Production Co-ordinator Natalia Bedwell firstname.lastname@example.org Account Manager Anna Hawkins email@example.com Editorial Director Richard Moore firstname.lastname@example.org Commercial Director Nick Moore email@example.com
Contributors: Phil Glover Craig Matthews Sam Yardley David Griﬀen Graham Huntley Jamie Melville Jonas Ingman Carl O’Connell
ONE MEDIA AND CREATIVE UK LTD 16 Lonsdale Gardens, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1NU 01892 779 650 www.one-media.co Whiting & Hammond Gastro Magazine is owned by Whiting & Hammond Ltd and published/distributed by One Media and Creative UK Ltd. All rights reserved. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the owner or publisher. All prices are correct at the time of going to print. Neither the publisher nor the owner can accept responsibility for any errors or omissions relating to advertising or editorial. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent from the publisher. No responsibility is taken for unsolicited materials or the return of these materials whilst in transit.
64 W&H LEFTOVERS GUIDE Handy hints and tips on how to reduce food waste
83 FARMERS’ MARKETS We explore the delights of some top stalls in Tonbridge
67 KEY INGREDIENTS Fresh tips and produce for you to enjoy this season
84 A FARMER’S LIFE Meet the men behind our menus at Penshurst Beef
69 WINE INVESTMENTS Expert advice for splashing your cash on the top bottles
87 FOOD TRENDS 2016 Predictions and forecasts for what will be big this year
74 GASTRO AT HOME Here’s a chocolate treat to make for Easter weekend
93 SPRING INTO STANMER Make all your dreams come true at our Brighton venue
97 APPY EATERS Essential gastronomic apps to help you cook like a pro
77 BEST OF KENT How Produced in Kent has put the county on the map
94 GOURMET GIFT GUIDE Epicurean ideas to delight your nearest and dearest
98 CONTACT DETAILS All the names and numbers you’ll need to get in touch
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OUR ROUNDUP OF THE LATEST HAPPENINGS FROM THE WORLD OF
FOOD OF LOVE
Treat your nearest and MO TH ER ’S DA Y dearest to a slap-up meal at any of our award-winning pubs and restaurants over the coming months. On Sunday February 14, you can wine and dine your beloved with one of our famous Sunday roasts for Valentine’s Day, while on Sunday March 6, you won’t want to forget to spoil the most important woman in your life by taking your mum out for a traditional British meal on Mother’s Day. For more information on how to reserve a table, visit your nearest W&H local, or head to our website for further details. www.whitingandhammond.co.uk/events nu
To raise money for senior citizens in Rotherﬁeld, Whiting & Hammond teamed up with Rotherﬁeld Bonﬁre Society to host a charitable lunch, which generated £400. Run by volunteers, the lunch was cooked by W&H executive chef James Palmer-Rosser, as well as development chef Colin Gilbert, and included food donated by local suppliers. The bonﬁre society, which can be traced back to the late 1890s, has raised almost £20,000 for local charities and causes since being resurrected 14 years ago. Other annual events include a village carnival, Easter egg hunt for children, and festive lights and a carol concert at Christmas time.
JEWEL IN THE CROWN
We’re now ready to talk about our ninth site, The Rose & Crown in Green Street Green, which will be open and ready for visitors in March. We’ve really gone to town and transformed this old pub into yet another Whiting & Hammond gem. The garden is stunning and certainly one for a pint and a bite to eat from the barbecue, while the kids play this summer. MD Brian Whiting says: “I’m very excited about this site and think it will be our busiest one yet!” Head to page 34 for the full story. www.the-roseandcrown.co.uk
Whiting & Hammond has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award. The Blue Ball in Walton-on-the-Hill was nominated for Best Designed Casual Dining Pub in the Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards, while the group is up for Multiple Casual Dining Pub Brand. The ceremony will take place on the evening of Wednesday February 24 at The Grange St. Paul’s Hotel in London, following the ﬁrst day of the Casual Dining Show. Forming an important highlight of this year’s event, the awards aim to become the leading celebration of the growing multi-billion pound casual dining sector. www.cdawards.co.uk
On Sunday April 24, our executive chef James Palmer-Rosser will be raising money for sick children in the UK by running the 2016 Virgin London Marathon for WellChild. James is hoping to raise £1,600 for the national charity, which provides essential and practical support to seriously ill children and young people in the UK. James says: “By running this year in aid of WellChild, I hope to help the charity to improve the lives of as many sick children as possible.” If you would like to support James, ring 07854 434 601, email executivechef@ whitingandhammond.co.uk or visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/ JamesRosser www.wellchild.org.uk
To keep up to date with the latest W&H news, visit www.whitingandhammond.co.uk, www.facebook. like us on Facebook at com/whitingandhammond or follow us on @Whiting_Hammond Twitter
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GASTRO GRUB GUIDE
Thought FOOD FOR
SIX OF THE BEST CULINARY PRODUCTS AND EXPERIENCES TO LOOK FORWARD TO OVER THE COMING MONTHS
The Festival Head to New Road in Brighton on March 25 and 26 for the free Big Sussex Easter Market. Growers, producers and restaurateurs will showcase the county’s best food and drink, including delicious homemade jams, chutneys, wines and apple juices, as well as ciders, beers and Sussex artisan spirits. If you fancy a bite, there are plenty of cuisines on offer, from Italian, Thai, Indian and Greek, to pies, sausage rolls and hot dogs. www.brightonfoodfestival.com
The Kit This vintage-style apron is perfect for playing hostess with the mostest! The retro outfit features a pretty white daisy design on an olive green background, has a little pocket and ties simply around the neck and waist. Made from 100% cotton, the quality garb is machine washable and a fair-trade product too. A matching children’s apron is also available, or you can buy the adult version for £19.99 from The Oak Room. www.oakroomshop.co.uk
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GASTRO FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Bring a little ambience to your next cuppa with the simple and sophisticated Tee Stövchen, which brews tea using a candle and a fine-brushed stainless steel spiral. A cylinder of heat-resistant glass shields the candle from drafts, providing the necessary heat and achieving the perfect brew in a warm, romantic light. Available in clear and matte, the cylinder will add a new dynamic to your next afternoon tea party for just £43.55. www.opossum-design.com
Discover a world of culinary adventure with Inntravel. New for 2016 are three foodie breaks: Flavours of Piedmont, a gastronomic rail route visiting Bra, the home of the Slow Food movement; Etruscans, Towers & the Isle of Elba, a quintessential Tuscan journey that includes gourmet highlights such as truffle hunting and wine tasting; and Sweden’s West Coast, a self-drive tour featuring the gastronomic ‘mecca’ of Gothenburg. Prices start at £755 per person. www.inntravel.co.uk
The Book Celebrate the pleasure of cooking delicious food that’s easy to make with Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley’s Good + Simple. The sisters have created 140 nutritious and exciting recipes, such as reworked classics, energising breakfasts and fast suppers. Plenty of practical tips and down-to-Earth advice will help you gain confidence in the kitchen, plan for the coming week and cook for you and your family with ease. Available from February 25, priced £17. www.amazon.co.uk
The Course Whether you’re a novice cook learning the basics, or a seasoned pro branching out with more specialised skills, Elizabeth Caton in Brighton, Hove and Sussex can help. Baking and cooking classes for up to four people are held in Elizabeth’s very own kitchen, or larger parties can be catered for at their homes or alternative venues. Try your hand at bread making, fish cooking, knife skills and more from £40 per person. www.elizabethcaton.com
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STANMER HOUSE Brighton, East Sussex
THE KINGS HEAD Bessels Green, Kent
THE BLUE BALL Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey
O O O
THE CRICKETERS INN Meopham, Kent
THE LITTLE BROWN JUG Chiddingstone Causeway, Kent
THE FARM @ FRIDAY STREET Eastbourne, East Sussex
VALENTINE’S DAY February 14 STANMER HOUSE @ HILTON WEDDING FAIR February 21 FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT February 29 to March 13
O O O
THE MARK CROSS INN Mark Cross, East Sussex
YORKSHIRE PUDDING DAY February 7 PANCAKE DAY February 9
THE CHASER INN Shipbourne, Kent
All the dates you’ll need on your W&H calendar
O O O O
O O O O
O O O
ST DAVID’S DAY March 1 MOTHER’S DAY March 6 BRITISH PIE WEEK March 7 to March 13 NATIONAL BUTCHER’S WEEK March 14 to March 20
O O O
O O O
WEDDING OPEN EVENING March 15 ST PATRICK’S DAY March 17 EASTER WEEKEND March 25 to March 27
UK COFFEE WEEK April 11 to April 17
O O O
ST GEORGE’S DAY April 23 GREAT BRITISH BEEF WEEK April 23 to May 2
O O O
For more information on how to book any of our events, check with your local venue or visit www.whitingandhammond.co.uk You can also keep up to date with what’s happening by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/whitingandhammond or by following us on Twitter @Whiting_Hammond SPRING’16 | 17 W&H_Iss12_Spring16_Events_2.indd 17
THE MAN WITH THE MICHELIN TOUCH Photography by David Griffen
Like many great cooks before him, he’s been controversial, divisive and has certainly had his fair share of highs and lows. But say what you will about Tom Aikens – there’s no denying he’s still one of Britain’s ﬁnest culinary talents. We chat exclusively with the Michelin-starred celebrity chef
here comes a time in every cook’s career when they’re able to well and truly make their mark on the gastronomic map. For celebrity chef and restaurateur Tom Aikens, this deﬁning moment came at the age of 26, when he was named the youngest British chef to be awarded two Michelin stars for his eﬀorts at London’s Pied à Terre restaurant; an accolade that would distinguish him as one of the UK’s most acclaimed and inspirational foodie personalities. “Gaining a Michelin star at the age of 26 was a momentous time for me and a great honour. It certainly made me more determined to have my own restaurants and work hard with my team to gain recognition.” Indeed, it was this same determination that got the 45-year-old Tom where he is today. In addition to running a total of ﬁve restaurants under his eponymous ‘Tom’s Kitchen’ banner, the highly decorated cook is no stranger to the media spotlight, appearing in popular TV programmes like BBC Two’s Great British Menu, Channel 4’s Iron Chef UK and Good Food Channel’s Market Kitchen. His success is hardly surprising, as he’s spent a lifetime surrounded by food and drink. Hailing from Norfolk and spending childhood summer holidays in France’s Auvergne region, the young Tom grew up with easy access to fresh fruit and vegetables from his family’s own back garden, which taught him about the importance of seasonality and how to grow and cook great produce. Both his father and grandfather were in the wine trade, exposing him to food and travel adventures aplenty – complete with an abundance of French dishes, wine and markets – which in turn inspired him to become a chef. “For as long as I can remember – probably the age of eight or so – my twin brother and I helped out in the kitchen with my mother. She would involve us in making cakes and home baking, or just weighing things out, but we were always on hand to help lick out the occasional sticky, raw cake mix that was left in the bottom of the bowl. I have a great memory of her making milk bread; the smell was so incredible.” Other mentors have included the likes of Pierre Koﬀmann and Joël
Robuchon, with whom he worked respectively at La Tante Claire in London and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon à Paris. Naturally, the opportunity to cook under two of the world’s biggest names was too good to resist; under their tutelage, he acquired the discipline, solidarity and techniques he needed to make his own way in the food and drink industry. “I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside some of the world’s best chefs, and many of them were French, such as Joël Robuchon and Pierre Koﬀmann. They’ve both been real inspirations to my cooking and have certainly inﬂuenced my style. I also admire chefs like Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse and the Roux brothers; not only have they revolutionised the industry with their cooking, but they’re also great businessmen.” Business is something Tom knows a thing or two about himself, as his talent and ambition has led to the creation of his very own restaurant empire. Tom’s Kitchen can be found in Chelsea, Somerset House, Canary Wharf and St Katharine Docks in London, as well as further aﬁeld in Istanbul. Like many of his gourmet peers, he has become just as much a savvy restaurateur as a celebrated, award-winning chef. Of course, such entrepreneurship hasn’t been without its challenges. In 2008 Tom opened the ill-fated Tom’s Place, which closed six months later, creating ﬁnancial problems for his restaurant group and leaving many suppliers out of pocket, leading to an investigation by the Fair Trading Commission. A ﬁery temper has previously gotten him in hot water too, most notably when he was reportedly dismissed from Pied à Terre for branding a trainee employee with a hot palate knife. But in spite of his setbacks, Tom remains just as optimistic as ever about the prospect of expanding and launching additional eateries. “I love to open new restaurants, as it’s always a diﬀerent adventure and a great challenge. Expanding abroad is also a lot of fun, as I get to discover a new environment, new produce and new tastes, which are all very good inputs to my cooking style. However, it’s also very time-consuming, and I want the quality of all my restaurants to remain at the top level, so of course there needs to be a limit to this growth.”
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GASTRO TOM AIKENS
FACT FILE Born: 1970, Norfolk, East Anglia Restaurants: 5 Michelin stars: 2 Cookbooks: 3 Marriages: 2 Children: 2 Favourite dish: Charred steak,
medium-rare, with bĂŠarnaise sauce and triplecooked chips Guilty pleasure: Vanilla ice cream Cooking style: Seasonal traditional British and French classics with creative twists
Gaining a Michelin star at the age of 26 was a momentous time for me and a great honour
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GASTRO TOM AIKENS
Described as ‘a modern British brasserie serving comfort food favourites in a relaxed and informal environment’, all ﬁve Tom’s Kitchen restaurants showcase high-quality, ethicallysourced ingredients. The ethos is a simple one: use the very best seasonal and locally-sourced produce wherever possible, working with British suppliers and supporting British farmers to serve dishes that are as fresh as they are sustainable. “I do believe that people are more and more concerned about eating healthy food, produced in a sustainable way. The farm-to-table restaurant concepts are thus getting increasingly popular. However, there are still too many people eating ready meals. We’re all so busy that a very basic skill of feeding oneself almost becomes the last priority in life, which is a real shame. “It’s important to me that my family and customers always eat healthy, fresh and seasonal food. Cooking from scratch can be just as quick and easy to make than buying a microwave meal, and it tastes a lot better.” And as if he didn’t have enough on his plate already – what with running Michelin-starred restaurants and championing UK produce – Tom still ﬁnds time to support and work closely with a variety of charities. From the Environmental Justice Foundation, which raises awareness of illegal ‘pirate’ ﬁshing and diminishing ﬁsh stocks, to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Campaign and School Food Matters, where he teaches young children basic cooking skills, his philanthropic eﬀorts remain close to his heart. “I think this goes in pair with the idea of eating and living in a sustainable way, which I try to always promote the best way I can, as solidarity is a very important part of it. As I love doing sports, I always try to run or cycle for a good cause. Seeing my two young daughters every day also made me want to help children who don’t have as much of a chance as they do.” As viewers of Great British Menu will know, there’s never been a better time for aspiring cooks to get their name out and be given chances of their own. Alongside fellow celebrity chefs like Tom Kerridge and Marcus Wareing, Tom has appeared both as a contestant and a judge on the popular programme, winning the South East and London heats in 2008 and assisting Kerridge as a mentor on the ﬁsh course in 2015; an experience that allowed him to witness up-and-coming chefs at their hungriest. So, what words of wisdom does he have for Britain’s future rising stars?
“They must be passionate, caring, hardworking, dedicated and, most importantly, they must have the ability to look, watch, listen carefully and follow orders. You’d be surprised at how diﬃcult listening is for some. Always dress smartly and work cleanly and in an organised environment, as you’ll then create top-quality results. “It takes a lot of determination, hard work and self-belief. You have to have a game plan and set goals for the future. Be patient and persevere – sometimes working as a chef involves taking steps backwards and forwards to get to where you want to be.” Having opened two new restaurants in 2015 – sharing concept Pots, Pans and Boards in Dubai in September, as well as pork-themed concept The Fat Pig in Hong Kong in November – the future is most deﬁnitely looking bright for the Michelin-starred maestro. Spring 2016 is set to mark the launch of London ﬂagship restaurant The Botanicals, which will focus on ‘British tapas’, cocktails and growing ingredients on-site; a ﬁtting tribute to his upbringing and one that will return him full circle to where he ﬁrst began – as a boy in his vegetable patch, foraging in the back garden for the produce he loves. Tom’s Kitchen restaurants are located in Chelsea, Canary Wharf, St Katharine Docks and Somerset House. To ﬁnd out more, visit www.tomskitchen.co.uk Read on to ﬁnd out how to make one of Tom’s recipes from the comfort of your own kitchen…
I love to open new restaurants, as it’s always a different adventure and a great challenge
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GASTRO TOM AIKENS
SEVEN-HOUR BRAISED SHOULDER OF LAMB WITH ONIONS, THYME AND BALSAMIC Serves 4
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GASTRO TOM AIKENS
INGREDIENTS • BRAISED SHOULDER OF LAMB
1 shoulder of lamb, around 2.5kg in weight 150ml olive oil
20g fresh thyme
2 garlic bulbs, peeled cloves Sea salt and black pepper 8 medium onions, peeled 350ml balsamic vinegar • MASHED POTATO 2l water 12g salt
200g butter 150ml milk
600g peeled potato, cut in quarters 12 turns of milled black pepper
DIRECTIONS • Place a large casserole pot onto a medium gas, adding the oil
• Season the lamb and place the shoulder
into the pot once the oil is hot (be careful
• Add the onions and colour for four to ﬁve minutes, still on a medium heat, stirring
now and again. Add the garlic and thyme, then place the lamb back on top
• Place into the oven at 110°C and cover
with a lid, cooking for two to two and a
half hours, then take out the onions once they are soft. Carry on cooking the lamb
for another two and a half to three hours • Add the vinegar and carry on cooking
without the lid, so the vinegar reduces as the
lamb cooks, basting the lamb every 30 minutes,
being careful not to reduce it too much
• Cook for a total of six to seven hours until the lamb is nice and tender, then add the onions and garlic back at the end and reduce the vinegar to a nice thick consistency
• Place the cut potato into the cold water
with 10g salt in a pan, place onto the heat
and bring to a simmer, turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes, then tip the
potatoes into a colander to drain really well
adding the lamb as it could spit). Colour
• Place the potato back in the pan and dry
nicely caramelised, and then remove the
the butter, salt, pepper and warm milk
for three to four minutes each side until lamb and put to one side
out on a low heat for one minute, then add while you mash the potato
This hearty lamb shoulder recipe, with its creamy mashed potato pairing, makes a wonderful and rustic lamb dinner. Slowly braising the lamb in a rich sauce ensures that the meat’s full, immense ﬂavour is drawn out. You can either slice or shred the meat from the bone to serve
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GASTRO MEET THE TEAM
Master Chefs IN T HE MAK ING
When you think of a professional kitchen, the head chef is probably the first person who comes to mind. But they’re only as good as the team behind them, not least of which are the commis chefs. We hear from five junior cooks about what goes on in a Whiting & Hammond pub
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GASTRO MEET THE TEAM
t could be argued that the life of a commis chef is one learning by watching and doing. Also known as a ‘range chef’, a commis works under and reports to the chef de partie (otherwise referred to as a ‘station chef’ or ‘line cook’), who is in charge of a particular area of production.
These ambitious cooks will often start their careers as kitchen porters, assisting with basic food preparation tasks until they’ve learned the ropes and earned their stripes. Once promoted, they’re given an invaluable opportunity to shine, taking on more complex dishes and being entrusted with additional responsibilities in their day-to-day roles.
This is certainly the case at Whiting & Hammond, where our commis are given all the support and guidance they need to progress. For an insight into the world of this entry-level position, we speak to a handful of W&H chefs to find out what makes them tick, both in and out of the kitchen…
Stanmer House, Brighton, East Sussex Tell us your background I always used to enjoy cooking at home in my spare time and took an interest in it when I left school, so I searched and searched for apprenticeships as a chef, then I got the job at Stanmer! Who or what inspired you to cook? My granddad! He was an incredible chef, so I suppose I just wanted to be like him. Gordon Ramsay inspires me a lot also. What’s your favourite dish to make? Spaghetti bolognaise. It’s a simple,
easy dish, I know, but I enjoy the preparation of it and creating different ﬂavours to add, but I also enjoy making a beef stroganoff! And the most rewarding part of your job? I would say it would be getting praise for my work and people noticing me and telling me what I’ve done well. Where would you like to see your career go in the future? I would like to go around travelling the world as chef in a lot of different countries, learning different types of dishes. Every country needs food!
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GASTRO COMMIS CHEFS
The Mark Cross Inn, Mark Cross, East Sussex How did you get involved with Whiting & Hammond? I ﬁrst became a chef when I left school, working at The Royal Wells in Tunbridge Wells for a few years as an apprentice chef. I only came back to the kitchen in 2013, after 18 years doing other things. That’s when I started working for The Mark Cross Inn as a commis and rediscovered my passion for cooking. Has anyone in particular had a big inﬂuence on your cooking? In my teen years, I looked up to chefs like Brian Turner, Antony Worrall Thompson and Rick Stein, but these days I don’t really have a favourite; I
cook because I enjoy it and I want to better myself and my food. Do you have a signature dish? My eyes have been opened enormously to new, fresh ideas, ﬂavours and techniques while at W&H. I think at this point I’m still learning and discovering who I am as a chef. At home, I’m currently going through a phase of experimenting with chillies in my dishes. What’s the best thing about your role? I ﬁnd the whole job rewarding. I love working hard to get through
the day-to-day challenges, but I also love learning and becoming a better chef over the long term too. Any plans for the future? I’m taking things step by step. Right now, I’m concentrating on deepening my overall knowledge of food and recipes, and I’d like to progress up to chef de partie soon.
The Little Brown Jug, Chiddingstone Causeway, Kent What’s your background? I got involved with Whiting & Hammond through a friend who already worked at The Little Brown Jug. I started as a kitchen porter before going on the apprentice scheme, which helped me a lot. Who’s your biggest inﬂuence? I would probably say Gordon
Ramsay in the last two years, because of his passion and attitude towards what he loves. Probably my mum as well, if I’m honest; she’s had to manage making me food, as well as look after herself and the house, plus work, so seeing her playing with ﬂavours, even when she’s struggling and could have resorted to going to Iceland, is really inspiring. And your favourite dish to cook? I would probably say my pigeon dish. I love the contrast of ﬂavours, and the port and thyme reduction is such a pleasant ﬂavour to go with the meat. My favourite dish to eat is an 8oz medium-rare steak.
Which part of your job gets you up in the morning? Personally, I think the most rewarding thing about being a chef is getting compliments from customers, and getting respect from chefs around you, plus the responsibilities of a section too. Where’s it all heading from here? I’d like to branch out and maybe go into London, or somewhere local and make a step up into ﬁne dining, and then maybe be a general manager before setting up my own business. I can only dream at the moment!
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GASTRO MEET THE TEAM
The Chaser Inn, Shipbourne, Kent
Any key inﬂuences? The two biggest inﬂuences on me are my head chef and sous chef; they’ve always believed in me and pushed me to do better, shown me a lot of what I know, and always
made time for me. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now. How about your favourite dishes to make? I don’t have a signature dish, if I’m honest; I just try to make every dish the best I can possibly make it by putting care into it.
What are your plans for the future? I’d like to do more on the ﬁne dining side of cooking to increase my knowledge. I’d like to reach the stage of becoming a head chef, or even owning my own pub or restaurant, but that’s a long way away.
Where did it all begin for you? I started as a kitchen porter at The Chaser in March 2013, after doing one shift a week. I did this for just over a year, then started to take an interest in food and was given an amazing opportunity to become an apprentice chef there. I then went on to ﬁnish my apprenticeship in April 2015.
And your personal highlights in the role? The most rewarding part of being a chef at The Chaser is being part of a team at a busy pub. I’m never short of prep to do, and I can now be put anywhere in the kitchen and be trusted to do it well.
The Blue Ball, Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey Talk us through your background In the summer of 2013, I got a job as a commis chef in The Jolly Farmers in Reigate, where I met my current head chef Mark Prout. After being made redundant, I transferred with Mark to The Blue Ball, which is where I discovered Whiting & Hammond. Who are your cooking idols? The biggest inﬂuences in my life who have pushed me to cook are the males in my family. My granddad owned his own café and is always proposing new recipes of his own to me, and my uncle, who has been head chef at Rosette restaurants, has always done well.
Any favourite meals to make? My favourite dish, which I’ve always enjoyed cooking, is trufﬂed mushrooms on bruschetta with hazelnut and blue cheese crumbs. It’s simple, but I like the taste and colour contrast of it; the ﬂavours in this dish are all strong and go so well together.
How about the future of your career? I’d like to progress through the chef rankings into a kitchen manager, so I can save and one day open my own traditional English café. Before this, I plan to stay at Whiting & Hammond and learn for a long while.
And the best bit about coming to work? The most rewarding part is knowing I’ve managed to come into a new kitchen and a whole new aspect of food, and impress my bosses enough to be promoted to in such a short time.
We’re always on the lookout for young, passionate and enthusiastic chefs to join our growing team. To ﬁnd out more about how you can become a part of the W&H family and help build the future of our industry, head to www.whitingandhammond.co.uk/vacancies
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THE JEWEL IN THE
CR O W N
Here at Whiting & Hammond, we pride ourselves on taking pubs and restaurants that have seen better days, and transforming them into award-winning venues for locals and visitors to enjoy. MD Brian Whiting shares his thoughts on our latest site, The Rose & Crown Photography by Jamie Melville
e’ve started the New Year by embarking on the ninth wonder of Whiting & Hammond, The Rose & Crown in Green Street Green, Kent BR6 6BT. It’s only three miles inside the M25, on the A21 going to Bromley. Most people will know it as the pub where the lady sells the ﬂowers by the roundabout. Don’t think we’ve moved into town, as I’ve already found a fantastic walk just behind the pub up Old Hill. This brings you to High Elms Country Park, which is ideal for walking the dog, taking the children or just enjoying a country walk – it’s well worth the trip. This is quite a major transformation for the pub. We’re taking it back to its bare bones, removing the toilets, the bar itself and over 50 tonnes of concrete (there has been a steady ﬂow of grab lorries removing the waste). We’re adding a new oak-framed extension, expanding the size of the kitchen,
bringing in new toilets and developing the garden, so you’ll see our four new heated ‘tiki’ huts. One can take up to 20 people, another between 10 and 12, and the other two between eight and 10. You’ll be able to book them for a small charge and they come with their own on-call waiter; you only press a button in your hut and they’ll appear like a genie. We’ve employed a great team of sub-contractors, all of whom are local builders. As I’m writing this, we’re nine weeks into the refurbishment; we still haven’t quite ﬁnished the demolition, but we’re not far off, and I’m happy to report that we’re well on the way to putting her back together. The end result I believe will be a stunning transformation of this tired old pub into a classic Whiting & Hammond venue. We’re keeping the children’s play area and working really hard on improving the
outside space into a stunning garden. This will have its own barbecue shack, which no doubt will come into its own on those beautiful summer days. I’ve already imagined having a cold pint of lager, sitting in the garden eating from the barbecue shack. We’ve project managed the whole transformation ourselves, which means a half a million-pound investment into the property. It will have a fantastic £150,000 extended kitchen, so the chefs can produce award-winning food, while the menu, as per our other sites, will change daily, using seasonal, local foods from our artisan suppliers. We’ve also invested in a charcoal barbecue in the kitchen itself, so all our steaks, burgers and even some fresh ﬁsh will be cooked over wood – the ﬂavour will be fantastic! The bar hasn’t been forgotten; we’ll have six real ales, which we’ll change
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GASTRO ROSE & CROWN
regularly, and a good range of lagers and craft beers, as well as an extensive wine list and a good selection of soft drinks for the drivers and kids! As with all Whiting & Hammond sites, the crew is our lifeblood. It’s so important that we get the team up and running quickly, as we’re coming into a particularly busy time in the pub world. Thinking about the team,
WE’RE RECRUITING! The Rose & Crown (the one with the flower lady outside) is now part of the awardwinning Whiting & Hammond family pub and restaurant group, which was voted the Caterer’s Best Employer of the Year in 2014 and 2015. We’re busy with a huge refurbishment that will bring this lovely old pub back to life. With all our fingers crossed, we’ll be open in March.
if you want to become part of this new and exciting venture, we have a list of vacancies below, so give us a shout if you want to be in our gang! Cheers, Brian Keeley-Whiting MD
• HEAD CHEF • SOUS AND JUNIOR SOUS CHEF, £20-25,000 PA PLUS BONUS • CHEF DE PARTIE, £GRP • COMMIS CHEF AND APPRENTICES, £GRP • KITCHEN ASSISTANTS AND KITCHEN PORTERS, £GRP • DEPUTY MANAGER, £20-23,000 PA PLUS BONUS • ASSISTANT MANAGERS, £16-20,000 PA PLUS BONUS • PART-TIME AND FULL-TIME BAR/WAITING CREW, £GRP • PART-TIME CLEANERS, £GRP • PART-TIME MAINTENANCE PERSON, £GRP All positions will receive a share of tips, plus a 20% staff loyalty card to use with family, meals on duty and the occasional drink when we ﬁnish!
The Rose & Crown Farnborough Green Street Green Way Kent BR6 6BT 01689 869 029 www.the-roseandcrown.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/BR6roseandcrown @therosecrown_
All our award-winning sites have the same goals – we want to create places where people can come for any occasion, be it a bite to eat or a few drinks with friends. The food is homemade and we’re proud of our beers and wines. We only use quality ingredients a nd have our beef hung for 21 days. Our ﬁsh is purchased daily, with recommendations from the ﬁshmonger, and our vegetables are grown locally or sourced from London markets.
If you have a love for food and drink, enjoy working in a busy environment and want to be a part of our award-winning team, email your CV to lisa.mordan@ whitingandhammond.co.uk, stating the role you wish to apply for. Alternatively, call us on 01892 871 042/07973 678 620, or visit www.whitingandhammond.co.uk
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Time at The Bar
Stories, rumours and local legends from the world of Whiting & Hammond…
The Chaser Inn Shipbourne, Kent
On a busy Saturday evening, two couples who happened to be sharing a table both realised that it was the other’s anniversary. They bought each other a bottle of Champagne to toast the occasion, and the happy coincidence that had brought them to the pub that night.
The Farm @ Friday Street
Eastbourne, East Sussex We’ve hosted lots of oﬃce parties, but the worst-behaved was the group that rearranged the mural at the local curry house to include some phallic jelly sweets! Yes, the party went out of control, and we’re not sure the curry house would like us back anytime soon!
The Little Brown Jug
The Cricketers Inn
Which pub had to ﬁre up the barbecue in winter? Disaster was averted after the quick-thinking manager, who was let down by our gas supplier, ﬁred up the barbie. Fish and chips and burgers were served, and no one noticed or cared that there was no gas!
After one espresso martini too many, a certain landlord’s wife ‘convinced’ (pestered) the band into playing Dolly Parton’s Nine to Five twice, and Bryan Adams’ Summer of ’69, even though they didn’t know the words. She then proceeded to scare all the boys oﬀ the dance ﬂoor with her ‘kick-ass’ disco dance moves.
Chiddingstone Causeway, Kent
The Mark Cross Inn Mark Cross, East Sussex
One party didn’t turn out as expected. The nice, mild-mannered, well-spoken PA who we had been dealing with for meal orders and dates had a brilliant night, when at 2am she was found dancing her heart out in just her bra!
Brighton, East Sussex On a work lunch, one employee took advantage of the boss’s generosity and over-indulged in the wine. He got more and more critical of how he thought the company was run, and ended up having a drunken rant at his boss, before being asked to leave! We wonder if he still has a job…
The Kings Head Bessels Green, Kent
After a party in one of the outdoor huts started to noisily play the popular game Cards Against Humanity, they were shocked when their waitress won!
The Blue Ball
Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey Our staﬀ were saddened to hear a rumour that one of our regulars, Pete, may have passed away. A few days later, in walks Pete, right as rain and rather confused, as he himself had heard the rumour that he’d ‘died’! It has now become a talking point, and he still doesn’t know where the rumour came from!
Heard a good story about your W&H local? Let us know by: Calling 01892
whitingandhammond.co.uk Writing to The Little Brown Jug, Chiddingstone Causeway, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8JJ All entries will be strictly conﬁdential!
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Stanmer House goesMoulin Rouge!
Stanmer House in Brighton was transformed into a Moulin Rouge party and cabaret dining experience to bring in the New Year. Our glamorous guests were greeted on arrival by paparazzi photographers, before being seated for a ﬁve-course dinner in the restaurant. The evening’s entertainment was kicked off in true Moulin Rouge style as the dancers ‘can-canned’ through the restaurant, and performed a routine in the lobby. The photo booth and props were also enjoyed, with plenty of bubbly and confetti to celebrate the start of 2016, while our resident DJ kept guests dancing into the early hours! Photography by Carl O’Connell
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Seaside BESIDE THE
Thanks in no small part to an abundance of food and drink options, Eastbourne has remained a staycation favourite among UK holidaymakers for generations. Join us as we take a gastronomic tour of the Sunshine Coast, and find out why it has become known as ‘The Watering Hole of the South’ PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF VISIT EASTBOURNE
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f all the towns in the South East, few can boast as many affectionate nicknames as Eastbourne. From the omnipresent South Downs to the iconic Eastbourne Pier, the seaside resort in East Sussex is commonly known as the Sunshine Coast; thanks to its consistently high levels of sunlight, it’s an ever-popular tourist destination and attraction. Its lesser-known moniker is The Watering Hole of the South, adopted on account of its oasis of eateries, bars and pubs. It’s a pseudonym that accurately reﬂects the area’s vibrant foodie scene, which boasts ice cream parlours, Victorian tea rooms, bistros and more; all set against captivating ocean views and the picturesque backdrop of Beachy Head, the UK’s highest chalk sea cliff. “From the invention of one of the country’s most loved desserts, banofﬁ pie – which was invented at The Hungry
Monk, a pub in nearby Jevington Village in the 1970s – to the all-time favourite seaside dinner of ﬁsh and chips (there’s an abundance of great ‘chippies’ within the town), Eastbourne has a history of serving delectable, traditional British food to hungry visitors after a long day of exploring the coast and countryside,” says Annie Wills, head of tourism and enterprise at Eastbourne Borough Council. “Not only does Eastbourne provide UK visitors with classic seaside favourites,
As a seaside town, Eastbourne oﬀers some unique and authentic culinary experiences
but the town also houses a whole host of eateries serving international cuisine. From Indian to Italian and Thai to tapas, Eastbourne has always welcomed the arrival of independent and well-known restaurants to help meet the varying tastes and budgets of the town’s visitors.” And it’s not just the traders that attract tourists to Eastbourne’s epicurean centre. Laying claim to some of the South East’s top producers, it has made its mark as a hotspot for local microbreweries and vineyards in particular, which have helped put Eastbourne on the map, both as a delectable paradise, and as a major industry player. “In addition to boasting a large and diverse range of pubs, wine bars and cocktail bars, Eastbourne also has many other strings to its bow when it comes to the ﬁnest of drinking experiences,” Annie continues. “The town is surrounded by a plethora of Sussex and downland microbreweries, and the surrounding
Tourism and Enterprise, Winter Garden, 14 Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 4BP 01323 415 556 email@example.com www.visiteastbourne.com
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GASTRO SPOTLIGHT countryside areas of Eastbourne are swarmed with vineyards.” To showcase the best of what’s on offer, the county’s biggest beer festival comes to Eastbourne’s Winter Garden every October, featuring a range of over 160 real cask ales on tap, alongside bars dedicated to wine, cider and international bottled beers. And with the South Downs National Park and Seven Sisters Country Park on its doorstep, the town’s seaside setting makes it an idyllic spot for guests to spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon sauntering through sand, sea and stunning scenery. “As a seaside town, Eastbourne offers some unique and authentic culinary experiences,” Annie says. “Fresh, locallycaught seafood can be found at Periwinkles on the beach next to the pier, selling seafood to take home and cook, as does Southern Head beach shop, where visitors can buy freshly-caught ﬁsh from devoted ﬁshermen.” It’s this emphasis on its roots as a traditional coastal resort, not to mention
the support of independent business owners and tradespeople, which has made Eastbourne’s gourmet appeal so successful. Sovereign Harbour, located in Northern Europe’s largest composite marina, offers a multitude of restaurants, while the beach hosts summer events, such as daily bandstand concerts and weekly ﬁrework displays – a popular spot for visitors to relish an authentic seaside experience. “The town is laden with many great independent restaurants, coffee shops and eateries, which all help to boost the local economy,” explains Annie. “Eastbourne is extremely proud to present so many independent businesses, which thrive in a town of food and drink fanatics. Regular farmers’ and continental markets selling locally-grown produce can also be found throughout the entire year in the town centre and along the seafront.” As part of the town’s continued renovation – with the help of £2million in Government funding to boost tourism in the wake of 2014’s
devastating pier ﬁre – Eastbourne is further looking to enhance its culinary offering through a £1.2million investment in the new Wish Tower restaurant, which Annie insists will add a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ once a signature chef or local restaurateur is found. In the meantime, she has high hopes for the future of the town and where its culinary community is heading. “We’d love to grow our position as a wine tasting destination, as well as see more foodie events ﬂourishing in the town, such as Feastival, which returns for a second year in 2016,” she concludes. “We’ll be very happy to welcome some big brand names at the new shopping mall as part of the town centre’s redevelopment, but the continuing growth of superb independent gourmet eateries is equally important to Eastbourne’s outstanding culinary offering.” Whether it’s the former or the latter, it’s safe to say that the Sunshine Coast is a foodie destination on the rise, without losing its identity as the quintessential English seaside town. Keep on shining, Eastbourne.
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Eastbourne FEAST ON
ANNIE TALKS US THROUGH FIVE OF HER FAVOURITE FOODIE HIGHLIGHTS IN THE WATERING HOLE OF THE SOUTH FUSCIARDI’S One of Eastbourne’s little success stories is the opening of Fusciardi’s Ice Cream Parlour, an authentic Italian parlour, which was opened by newlyweds Antonio and Anna Fusciardi in 1967. Still in the Fusciardi family today, the parlour makes all of its own 18 ﬂavours of gelato and boasts an amazing ice cream sundae menu of 24 diﬀerent varieties! LOCAL BREWERIES Long Man Brewery and Beachy Head Brewery both exhibit at Eastbourne’s Beer and Cider by the Sea festival in the spring and autumn Eastbourne Beer Festival. Nearby, Middle Farm is home to the National Cider Collection.
THE GRAND HOTEL
ENGLISH WINERIES Wine lovers can visit the English Wine Centre or the Rathﬁnny Estate – England’s largest vineyard, which will soon be a major contender in Europe’s wine market, as it aims to produce a million bottles of sparkling wine per annum. Fizz on Foot,
an independent tour company in nearby Alfriston, lead tours around the beautiful Sussex countryside, visiting vineyards along the way for sparkling wine tastings. INDEPENDENT TRADERS Try homely, trendy coﬀee hangouts such as Nelson’s Coﬀee Co and Urban Ground, and healthy vegetarian eateries The Green Almond and Miss Walls Back Garden; or Old Dave’s Gourmet Burger, where the South African rugby team enjoyed a perfectly ﬂipped burger during their residency in Eastbourne ahead of the Rugby World Cup last year. SEASIDE RESTAURANTS The Belgian Café oﬀers 50 ways to eat mussels for a dining experience to remember, and Britain’s only ﬁve-star luxury coastal hotel, The Grand Hotel, can be found at the western end of the seafront. The hotel runs the highly acclaimed Mirabelle Restaurant, serving a modern European menu of gourmet seasonal dishes.
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My Favourite Dish Here’s where we feature our team’s top choices from the W&H menu for you to try at home. This time we hear from Colin Gilbert, development chef for the Whiting & Hammond group, who talks us through a delectable recipe that will ensure an easy transition from winter into springtime Photography by Craig Matthews
Braised oxtail and kidney suet pudding SERVES 6
Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 5½ hours
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Ingredients Suet pastry 500g strong ﬂour 20g baking powder 10g salt 250g beef suet 350ml cold water Butter for greasing moulds
Braised oxtail and kidney 300g ox kidney 1 sprig thyme 1 bay leaf 6 peppercorns 30ml olive oil 2kg oxtails 1 large carrot, ½-inch diced 2 sticks celery, ½-inch diced
• Begin by making the suet pastry for the pudding. In a large bowl, combine the ﬂour, baking powder, salt and beef suet. Add the cold water and mix to form a smooth dough. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes • After this time, grease six 450g pudding moulds. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of 5mm and line the pudding moulds, allowing enough pastry to cut out six round lids for the puddings. Allow to rest in the fridge until needed • Bring the ox kidney to the boil and refresh, then bring back to boil with the thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns. Simmer for approximately 90 minutes, then drain • Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof pan over a high heat, then sear the oxtails all over until nicely browned. Remove the oxtails from the pan, then add the diced vegetables and cook until they begin to soften. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce by ⅔. Add the thyme, bay leaves, garlic, star anise, oxtails, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Bring to the boil then skim any fat off, add a tight ﬁtting lid and place in a preheated oven at
1 large onion, ½-inch diced 350ml red wine 3 sprigs fresh thyme 2 bay leaves 2 cloves garlic 1 star anise Worcestershire sauce to taste 1l beef stock, or enough to cover the oxtails
150°C (gas mark 2) for three to four hours, or until the beef is meltingly tender • Once cooked, remove from the oven, lift the oxtails from the cooking liquor and allow to cool. Meanwhile, pass the stock through a ﬁne chinois/sieve and reduce by ⅔ over a medium heat • Pick the meat from the bones, then add the blanched kidneys and reduced cooking liquor, reserving some of the sauce to pour over the pudding later. Season with salt and pepper to taste; you’re now ready to ﬁll the puddings • Spoon the mix into the lined pudding moulds, leaving a 1cm overhang of pastry to secure the lid in place with a little water. Cover each pudding with a piece of baking parchment, secured with an elastic band. In a steam oven, cook the puddings for 90 minutes • Once the puddings are cooked, carefully remove from the steamer; turn out the puddings onto plates and spoon over the remaining sauce. Serve with seasonal vegetables, creamy, buttery mash and a large glass of Merlot • Enjoy!
My favourite dish? Not easy for a chef to have only one, although at this time of the year, what nicer than a braised oxtail and kidney suet pudding, with winter vegetables and creamy mashed potatoes?
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Top of the Hops
Ale aﬁcionados in the South East will be familiar with Old Dairy Brewery, the award-winning Kent hop house that’s passionate about creating an exceptional range of enjoyable and drinkable beers. We hear from head brewer Glenn Whatman about this ‘quintessential English countryside brewery’
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ow more than ever, small, independent microbreweries are bringing local beers to the forefront and showing drinkers just what our counties can do. Indeed, this part of the world can lay claim to award-winning brewers from all over Kent, Sussex and Surrey, who have been recognised by national bodies for their fresh ingredients, savvy marketing and communal spirit. And the Old Dairy Brewery is certainly no exception. Based in Tenterden, the traditional brewery is nestled deep in the heart of the Kent countryside, where its story began. In early 2010 it was set up in an old milking parlour, becoming an immediate success and building a loyal fan base among ale enthusiasts who appreciated its ﬁnely-crafted recipes, locally-sourced ingredients and interesting variety of styles. An expansion in mid-2014 saw a new brewery housed in two old World War Two Nissen buildings, next to the Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway. While one has been converted into a 30-barrel brewery – producing around 16,000 litres of beer a week – complete with a shop, bar and meeting room known as ‘The Parlour’, the second plays host to the oﬃces and warehouse operation. It even has its own brewery shop, where visitors can buy some of the bottled brews to enjoy at home.
“We’re the quintessential English countryside brewery from the heart of the Garden of England,” says head brewer Glenn Whatman. “Our fantastic new brewery overlooks delightful rolling hills, but is just oﬀ the High Street in the picturesque market town of Tenterden. Our carefully crafted recipes are designed to create perfectly balanced, very drinkable ales across a range of diﬀerent styles.” For Glenn and his brewing team – which also includes John Westacott, Darryl Mills, Jordan Mann and Ed Davis – a passion for the craft of brewing can be seen in each and every pint pulled, while Tenterden itself plays an equally important role as the home of local hop grower Hukins Hops. “We use only the ﬁnest malts and hops to brew our beer, and most of these are grown on our doorstep in Kent,” Glenn continues. “Production is focused on our core range, plus new, seasonal and speciality beers to satisfy all palates in both cask and bottles.” This core range contains regular beers like the classic best bitter Red Top and golden pale ale Gold Top, whereas the fruity Summer Top and winter warmer Snow Top can be found in a further selection of seasonal ales. Elsewhere, ‘occasional beers’ such as the fresh Green Hop, as well as a speciality range including the bottle-conditioned Dark Side of the Moo, complete the nostalgic collection.
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COLOUR SPECTRUM Introducing ﬁve of Old Dairy Brewery’s bestselling brews And with its brewery tours and exclusive ‘Top Club’ membership – which oﬀers members merchandise, discounts and event invites – Old Dairy is always thinking about the bigger picture, enhancing its USP by taking a corporate approach at a local level, without compromising on its regional values. Moreover, it never forgets where it came from or where it’s going, a philosophy that helps fellow microbreweries stand out from the competition. “Apart from the fact that we use local ingredients where possible – including our hops, which come from Tenterden – you know exactly what goes into your beer,” explains Glenn. “Just like when you buy your produce right from the farm or at the farmers’ market, when you go to a local brewery, you can meet the brewer in person, ask questions and tell them what you like and what you don’t like. “Microbreweries generally don’t transport long distances, which means they cut down on the use of fossil fuel and generate less air pollution. Most serve their beer very locally (at least initially), so the only place you can find them is often in the immediate area. It keeps more money in your local community, which helps local economies because these businesses are more likely to buy from local suppliers, hire local service providers and, of course, hire employees.” Well, in that case, you’d better get the next round in, Glenn, because ours is a pint of Old Dairy.
Red Top (3.8% ABV) Relax and enjoy this classic English ale brewed with Maris Otter, Crystal, Brown and Chocolate malts. Savour the delicious toffee flavours with a hint of coffee, perfectly balanced against the fruitiness, spice and hints of citrus from East Kent Golding, English Cascade and Challenger hops. Goes particularly well with meat or fish.
Blue Top (4.8% ABV) Inspired by the famous India Pale Ales brewed in the 18th century, Blue Top delivers a satisfying bitterness, smoothly balanced with caramel flavours from the Crystal and Maris Otter malts, finished with a refreshing hint of citrus from East Kent Golding, Challenger and Bobek hops. Ideal with a curry or other spicy dishes.
Copper Top (4.1% ABV) This rich, dark premium bitter has a delicious toffee, caramel body with chocolate undertones from the Maris Otter, Crystal and Chocolate malts. Balanced with a spicy and fruity bite from the Bramling Cross and Challenger hops, this is truly an ale to savour. Perfect with steak or your favourite roast.
Gold Top (4.3% ABV) A superb golden pale ale that combines Maris Otter with Munich and Carapils malts, normally used in the finest continental lager. Add East Kent Goldings, Cascade, Galaxy and Bobek hops and the result is a refreshing ‘anytime’ beer with good body, caramelised undertones and a distinctly gold colour. Perfect with fish and spicy food.
Silver Top (4.5% ABV)
Old Dairy Brewery Tenterden Station, Station Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HE 01580 763 867 | www.olddairybrewery.com Whiting & Hammond supports responsible drinking. Visit www.drinkaware.co.uk for the facts about alcohol
A delightfully smooth cream stout with flavours of chocolate, coffee and liquorice from a blend of dark, roasted English malts, balanced perfectly with the rich, fruity aroma and subtle spice undertones of East Kent Golding, Challenger and Bramling Cross hops. A perfect accompaniment to game or cheese.
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GASTRO FOOD TRIVIA
Foodie Factsheet We’ll all be undoing our hard work getting back in shape after Christmas by indulging once more for Easter on Sunday March 27 – and what better way to pig out than with a chocolate egg? We round up some fascinating trivia gems and titbits you probably never knew about the sweetest of traditions
Eggs were traditionally used in pre-Christian festivals as the symbol of new life, purity or fertility. Later customs concerning eggs were linked with Easter because the egg provided a fresh and powerful symbol of the resurrection and the transformation of death into life.
Decorating and colouring hen, duck or goose eggs for Easter was the custom in England during the Middle Ages. The household accounts of Edward I, for the year 1290, recorded an expenditure of 18 pennies for 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and coloured for Easter gifts.
The 2012 survey Easter Egg Packaging by Jo Swinson MP found that only 38% of the average Easter egg box is actually Easter egg; the rest is paper and plastic. Commercial Easter eggs are responsible for up to 3,000 tonnes of waste.
The most popular chocolate egg worldwide is Cadbury’s Creme Egg, which first went on sale in 1971. The Bourneville factory can make 1.5million Creme Eggs every day, and 500million are made each year, one third of which are exported overseas.
One of the largest Easter eggs ever made was on display in 2011 in an Italian shopping centre. Weighing 7,200kg, it was 10.39 metres tall, with a circumference of 19.6 metres at its widest part. One of the most expensive eggs on offer in 2006 was the unique Diamond Stella Egg – a chocolate egg laden with diamonds – which came with a £50,000 price tag.
Papier mâché Easter eggs started being produced in England in the 18th century, while the first chocolate eggs appeared in the 19th century. First produced by Fry’s in 1873, chocolate eggs were originally completely solid, rather than the hollowed out shells enjoyed today.
Approximately 80million chocolate eggs are sold annually in the UK. The value of Easter egg sales increased by £44million in 2014, plus Easter chocolate sales make up 10% of Britain’s annual spending on chocolate.
Dieticians have warned that eating five Easter eggs (the average given to most children), plus the bars included with them, could see youngsters doubling their recommended calorie intake for a week. Many could be eating up to 10,000 calories over the Easter period, seeing their weight increase by several pounds within days.
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Wild WHERE THE
It’s a tradition that dates back from time immemorial, but foraging is now creating a bigger buzz than ever before. To get to grips with what all the fuss is about, we chat to Nick Weston from Hunter Gather Cook in East Sussex, who tells us why so many people are taking up this top pastoral pastime
hether you realise it or not, chances are you’ve tried your hand at foraging at one time or another. From picking wild berries in the hedgerows down your garden path, to the ineffable taste of that slimy grub your friends dared you to eat in your youth, everyone has their own childhood memories of engaging with nature and unearthing its delights with their bare hands.
For people like Nick Weston, founder of Sussex-based foraging and cookery school, Hunter Gather Cook, it’s this sense of nostalgia that has been well and truly capitalised on throughout Britain in recent years. Indeed, the activity’s resurgence has seen men, women and children alike embark on rambling adventures through forests and ﬁelds all over the UK, rooting around for wild mushrooms, trufﬂes and anything else they can ﬁnd.
Read on Æ
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“Foraging has always been part of life in the UK, certainly in the countryside,” says Nick. “Most people interact with it from an early age through blackberry picking or scrumping for apples, and everyone learns to avoid stinging nettles when they’re young! Aside from restaurants driving the trend, with chefs looking for different and unique ‘wild’ ﬂavours, I think we all want to try new and different things. Foraging is about going back to our roots, and also builds a backstory to the ingredient, how you got it and the adventure behind it.” Led by Michelin-starred chef René Redzepi’s trailblazing restaurant Noma in Copenhagen – which has topped the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list four times since 2010 – gourmet movements like Scandinavia’s New Nordic Cuisine have helped develop foraging from a rural pursuit for anoraks, to the on-trend, in-vogue concept it is today. Celebrity cooks closer to home have
helped promote the trend too, advocating the use of fresh, local and seasonal produce, and pushing natural ingredients to the fore of foodie fashion, at a time when the recession has made the prospect of free food all the more appetising. Current fads aside, the wonder and discovery that goes hand in hand with being a ‘21st-century hunter-gatherer’ remains its greatest appeal, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in our part of the world. “The South East of England, and the Weald in particular, is a rich, lush landscape that varies between heathland, mixed woodland, meadows and the South Downs,” Nick explains. “That variation in landscape means we have a lot of different game, plants and fungi available to us.” And this is certainly the case at Hunter Gather Cook. Based in the woods, ﬁelds and meadows of Beddingham, on a 40-acre farm near Lewes in East Sussex, the school was started by Nick in 2011 and specialises in game butchery, wild cocktails and outdoor cookery, as well as identifying, processing and cooking a range of wild plants and animals to a high standard. Courses are run by a skilled team of passionate hunters, foragers, chefs and ﬁre masters, who teach fundamental skills and transform the surrounding landscape into a gastronomic larder, workshop and kitchen. “For me, foraging has nothing to do with health or nutrition; it’s all about ﬂavour and how to pair wild plants with the animals
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we hunt that eat those plants,” continues Nick. “At Hunter Gather Cook, we teach people how to harness those ﬂavours and incorporate them into their everyday lives.” Like any industry that thrives on the expense of natural resources, sustainability is a key concern. Many foraged ﬁndings can often fetch hefty sums, which has led – in part, at least – to detrimental ecological effects, and the opposition of many foragers to scavenging for proﬁt and commercial gain. As a result, Nick and his team are dedicated to ensuring their practices are as environmentally friendly as possible. “All the staff at HGC are committed carnivores, so we teach a lot of animal butchery,” Nick says. “Foraging for meat is very important, certainly when it comes to deer, as the current population is way out of control due to having no natural predators. Foraging for plants, especially mushrooms, has to be done with sustainability in mind and not have too much of an impact when harvesting.” As for the food itself, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Of course, the likes of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Nigel Slater have inspired millions of readers and viewers to adopt a more DIY approach to cooking, which has deﬁnitely gone a long way in educating the public about the many beneﬁts of a good rummage in Mother Nature’s natural larder. But as far as the team at HGC is concerned, the versatility of what’s on offer is just as important as the quality.
“It largely depends what you plan to do with the foraged ingredients,” concludes Nick. “They’re all stars when showcased properly and in the right context. If you’re making wild cocktails, blackberries can be put to good use by making your own crème de mûre for a bramble. Meadowsweet can be pressure-infused into a good grain vodka for a meadowsweet vodka martini. With mushrooms, a cep Carpaccio with wood sorrel, bacon and a Dijon dressing is great to showcase the sweet, nutty ﬂavour of the cep. “The entire kitchen at HGC runs off ﬁre and smoke, and we specialise in teaching cooking with these techniques, as there’s so much ﬂavour in fuel. With venison, we do a lot of ‘dirty’ cooking – basically cooking the meat directly on hot coals. A braided ﬁllet with a smoked elderberry jus is always a winner on courses.” It all sounds delicious, and knowing exactly where everything comes from only serves to somehow make it seem even more inviting; after all, when out and about on a summer stroll or winter wander, you never know what you’re going to stumble across to inspire that next culinary creation. But that’s just the thing about foraging – the food is only the beginning of the adventure. Hunter Gather Cook is based near Lewes in East Sussex and offers seasonal day and private courses, corporate and teambuilding days and stag and hen parties. Courses are not suitable for vegetarians and cater specifically for adults. To find out more, visit www.huntergathercook.com
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Nick offers his top 10 tips on how to make the most of your walk in the woods Foraging is multisensory, so don’t just rely on sight – smell is also a very good tool for identification.
When experimenting with wild foods, start by replacing a common ingredient with a foraged one. For example, replace nettles with basil for a wild stinger pesto.
Make sure you have plenty of foraging books for cross-referencing your finds.
Sustainability is very important when harvesting wild foods – only take what you need and nothing more.
Shooting and fishing are a key part of foraging, so it’s advisable to get into one of the two, or both – no meat, no meal.
If you’re serious about getting into foraging, do a course, as there’s nothing like hands-on experience for learning about wild foods.
Honey Agaric Chanterelle
Don’t eat road kill – it’s not foraging and you don’t know how long the animal took to die. Lactic acid build-up spoils meat, and it could also have been poisoned in the case of badgers and squirrels.
Avoid foraging in parks, especially in towns and cities.
Don’t eat anything unless you’ve correctly identified it and are 100% sure what it is. Where applicable, always seek landowners’ permission when foraging.
Play with your food!
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With its New Nordic Cuisine movement, Michelin-starred restaurants and recent resurgence of traditional classics, Scandinavia has become one of the world’s leading culinary regions. Karen Bowerman journeys to three of the region’s most delectable destinations
or the guy who’s the equivalent of Gordon Ramsay in the Danish version of Hell’s Kitchen, chef Wassim Hallal seems a surprisingly agreeable chap. He arrives at his new deli, sporting a ﬂat cap and the broadest of grins, and welcomes us, wholeheartedly, to Denmark. Maybe my delight in his smorrebrod (Danish open sandwiches) has something to do with this, but even when my foodie companion, Bill, begins drilling him on sarnie speciﬁcs (“Is there onion in the remoulade?”; “How, exactly, do you make the chicken skin so crispy?”), he’s still patient and polite. Bill and I are on a whistle-stop Scandi food tour. We’ve got three days to visit three cities in three countries: Sweden, Norway and Denmark. “Scandinavia is more than meatballs, pickled herring and Carlsberg,” Bill says, defensively.
He’s already a bit of a fan. We meet Hallal in Aarhus, on the country’s east coast. His deli, F-Hoj, has a classy cosiness. Our open sandwiches are heaped with toppings: smoked salmon with avocado purée, smoked cheese and fresh horseradish; potato and pear with mustard and honey; and eggs and crayﬁsh with grapes and salsify. He also runs the city’s upmarket Restaurant Frederikshoj. “I think texture is as important as taste,” Hallal tells us. “I aim for crispy, creamy, salty and sweet, all in one mouthful. At ﬁrst, I just wanted to create high-end dishes, but now I want to show that simple food can also taste great, as long as it’s made with good ingredients.” Focusing on fresh,
seasonal produce is at the heart of New Nordic Cuisine. It’s led to a renaissance of Scandinavian classics, including smorrebrod, which is now being seen, and served, in a new light. Using organic, regional ingredients is also the aim of Nordisk Spisehus, where Bill and I have dinner. The restaurant serves signature dishes from Michelin-starred establishments. “We get the thumbs up before we copy their menus,” a waitress reassures me. The restaurant manager and sommelier, Ditte
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Susgaard, clariﬁes: “We don’t just copy; we try to turn every dish into a tribute to the chef who created it.” I ﬁnd the concept a little bewildering (shouldn’t a restaurant be deﬁned by its own menu?), but it seems chef David Johansen, from Copenhagen’s one-starred Kokkeriet, is pleased. Nordisk serves his pigeon breast with trufﬂe. “I look forward to seeing my dish in the hands of other talented chefs,” he says, “because the best way to create culinary art is by being open to new ideas.” Our eight-course dinner (DKK 899; £90) with wine pairing (DKK 749; £75) features dishes from ﬁve Copenhagen restaurants. Among them is Clou’s salt and sugar-cured scallop, topped with tiny discs of crispy rye bread and dried seaweed, and Kadeau’s squid in shrimp emulsion – the creaminess of the shrimp contrasting with a crunchy, almost palate-cleansing swede salad.
GASTRO TRAVEL Each time, Susgaard arrives quietly at our table to present the wines. For roasted turbot (Nordisk’s own dish), she pours an oaked chardonnay. Its ripe, mineral taste works well with the intense lobster jelly. For beef tartar, it’s the light berry taste of an elegant Baden wine. Pudding is Nordisk’s own: salty hazelnut ice cream with crystallised white chocolate. It’s outrageously rich and insanely indulgent. “How many calories are here?” I ask. “Too many,” the waitress replies. I leave, wondering if Nordisk needs to be more courageous. Given that its dishes seem to hold their own in a Michelin-starred menu, does the
kitchen really need to rely so heavily on the creativity of others? The next morning, Bill and I catch a ferry to Sweden’s west coast city of Gothenburg. It’s known for its coffee culture (try da Matteo’s, which roasts its own beans), but we’re heading to the ‘Fish Church’. It’s actually a 19th-century ﬁsh market in a building inspired by Norway’s wooden stave churches, which were built without pillars.
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IN ASSOCIATION WITH
The ‘aisle’ is laden with fresh lobster, shrimp and salmon. But it’s the variety of pickled herring that catches my eye. Choices include oregano and pink peppercorn, carrot and juniper and onion and bay leaves. I try herring and redcurrant, expecting the sour taste of vinegar, but instead, the ﬁsh is soft and almost creamy, with the fruit giving it a fabulous kick. On a mezzanine at the far end of the market is Gabriel, where we’re having lunch. It’s run by chef Johan Malm, who won the World Oyster Opening Championships in 2010. We eat sumptuously; fresh oysters from Grebbestad (two hours north of Gothenburg), the thickest of ﬁsh soups with sweet prawns and ﬁsh that’s almost al dente, and grilled plaice with browned butter and potatoes. “I kept it simple,” Malm says, “to let the quality of the ingredients shine through.” It’s quality again at the city’s new Koka restaurant, the latest venture from Michelin-starred chef Bjorn Persson. For 14 years, he ran the multi-awardwinning Kock & Vin. Then, listening to customers’ requests for more affordable ﬁne dining, he closed it down and opened Koka in the same premises, winning a Best Restaurant in Sweden Award last year. The restaurant is minimalist, its customers well-heeled. Our table is surrounded by oak shelves of sparkling glassware. Each place setting has a set of cutlery presented in its own wooden box. Our ﬁve-course dinner (SEK 680; £54) with wine pairing (SEK 600; £48) includes Swedish crab on a mound of leek purée, and pork belly with Brussels sprouts and grated walnut. The pork is served with a 2005 San Guglielmo Magnum. Bill beams – it’s what he calls a ‘classy wine’. Its acidity cuts through the fat of the pork and there’s a hint of spice and black cherries.
GASTRO TRAVEL By the time we reach Tromso, in North Norway, we’re glad of a ‘lighter’ supper. We have ‘just three’ courses from the à la carte menu at Fiskekompaniet, a restaurant overlooking the harbour, but then get carried away with the wine. I enjoy ravioli ﬁlled with scallops, served in a blue mussel sauce (NOK 215, £18), steamed salted cod with bacon, carrots and mushrooms (NOK 325, £27), and an apple doughnut (NOK 145, £12). However, it’s the wine that excels: Macon-Villages 2014 (NOK 462, £40) with our starter, Madeira Boal 1984 (NOK 127, £11 a glass) with our pudding, but the Meursault 1er cru Genevrieres 2011 (NOK 705; £60) is what we can’t stop raving about. On our ﬁnal day, we forego ﬁne dining for ﬁshing. At Ersfjordbotn, a small hamlet 15km west of Tromso, we meet Trond Lorentzen, whose family runs a ﬁsh processing plant at nearby Brensholmen. We clamber onto his boat and chug through the fjord. Gulls bob on the water; shoals of herring dart beneath. We drop a line and almost immediately I’m pulling it up again – along with a 7kg cod. “It’s a ﬁsh I’ll never tire of,” Trond says, as we catch several more. Gradually, the blue twilight gives way to sunrise. The sky turns rose and a humpback whale arches gracefully through the waves. In a small ﬂat above the ﬁsh processing plant, Trond’s wife is peeling potatoes. We sit down to the freshest cod I’ve ever tasted. As the day grows dark, talk turns to our foodie adventure. “It's been so much better than meatballs,” I joke, as Bill and I help ourselves to more. For more #HolidayInspirations, contact your local Baldwins Travel Group ofﬁce, or visit www.baldwinstravel.co.uk
Karen Bowerman was a guest of the Danish, Swedish and Norwegian tourist boards. For more information, visit www.visitdenmark.co.uk, www.visitsweden.com and www.visitnorway.com
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AS FOOD AND DRINK PRICES CONTINUE TO SOAR IN THE UK, THERE’S NEVER BEEN A MORE IMPORTANT TIME TO BE CONSCIENTIOUS ABOUT HOW MUCH WE EAT, AND HOW MUCH WE THROW AWAY. WHETHER YOU’RE HOSTING A DINNER PARTY OR CONTROLLING THOSE PORTION SIZES, WE OFFER 10 HANDY HINTS ON HOW TO WATCH YOUR WASTE
et’s be honest, we’ve all done it; ﬁnished our dinner as best we can, only to chuck the perfectly good leftovers unceremoniously into the bin. It might seem pedantic to get our knickers in a twist over a few small morsels of unwanted grub, but when viewed on a national scale, food waste is a very real concern that isn’t showing any signs of slowing. According to lovefoodhatewaste.com, we dispose of 7million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year in the UK, more than half of which could have been eaten. Almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in Britain comes from our homes, costing the average household £470 a year – £700 for a family with children – which breaks down to around £60 a month. The two main reasons for wasting perfectly good food are cooking or preparing too much, or not using it in time, while the foods we throw out most are fresh fruit and vegetables, salad, drink and bakery items such as bread and cakes. It’s having a detrimental impact on the environment too; to put things in perspective, the beneﬁt to the planet of reducing our food waste would be the equivalent of taking one in four cars off the road. So, what needs to be done to stop this epidemic? While avoidable food waste was reduced by 21% (over a million tonnes) between 2007 and 2012, there are still plenty of steps that can be taken to ensure we love what we eat and keep our food waste to a minimum. Here are some top tips to help you do your bit at home…
Waste not, want not A crucial part of cooking with leftovers is using all of what you’re eating. If you’re cooking a roast chicken, try boiling up the carcass to make a broth for soup, then add some stock, seasoning and remaining vegetables – two meals for the price of one! Host a dinner party You’d be surprised at how much unwanted food you can get rid of by simply having your nearest and dearest round for a bite to eat. Whether it’s nibbles or a full-blown three-course meal, there’s bound to be something you don’t want that suits everyone’s tastes. Use up your spoiled supplies Just because your provisions have gone off, doesn’t mean they’re not usable. Stale bread can be transformed into a bread and butter pudding, or included as croutons in a light salad. Dregs of old wine bottles can easily be mulled back to drinkable life too. Freeze it or lose it Of all the food preservation methods, this has to be the easiest and most effective. Whether you’ve overﬁlled the shopping trolley, or your eyes have been bigger than your stomach, freezing and storing leftovers will keep them for another day and help control portion sizes. Be creative with your meals TV cooks like Nigel Slater are always experimenting with different ways to make the most of what’s lying around in the fridge. If you’re feeling inspired to cook something new or a little bit different, check out some of your favourite chefs, cookbooks and websites.
Digitalise your diet There are endless amounts of apps that can help you utilise leftovers to full effect. These free gourmet guides are easy to use, creating tantalising treat ideas based on whatever’s going in your larder. Food bloggers and vloggers are also well worth checking out on the web. Don’t believe everything you read Remember, there’s a big difference between a ‘sell-by date’ and a ‘use-by date’. The former is often one of the biggest culprits when it comes to perpetuating food waste, so make sure you’ve checked whether the food has actually gone off before throwing it away. Maximise your shopping list Before embarking on that weekly supermarket visit, plan your shopping list around the meals you want to make. By knowing exactly which ingredients to look for, you’ll stay focused and avoid ﬁlling the trolley with superﬂuous items, which in turn will help reduce your food bill. Control your portions As well as ensuring you’re not eating too much or too little, keeping an eye on your portion sizes can help battle food waste. By shopping more efﬁciently and cooking from recipes, you’ll be able to dish up just the right amount for each and every meal. Grow your own Starting a fruit and vegetable plot is a terriﬁc way of reducing food waste. By growing your own, you’re in control of how much food you produce, eat and use in your cooking. It’s also cheaper, reduces food miles and will help you stay ﬁt and healthy. If you want to ﬁnd out more about food waste and how you can help reduce it, head to www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
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GASTRO IN SEASON
For professional cooks like James Palmer-Rosser, executive chef at Whiting & Hammond, the arrival of a brand new season can only mean one thing – an abundance of fresh produce to play around with in the kitchen. Here, he talks us through ﬁve of his top items available in springtime
These sweetly little beauts belong to the sunﬂower family and are compatible with many ﬂavourings. I love using them for soups, like a Jerusalem artichoke and wild mushroom velouté with toasted cobnuts, or roasting them to go alongside beef and purées for pork. They can also be a side and are delicious when roasted with bay leaves. They don’t have to be peeled, but I ﬁnd using a teaspoon does the trick. If you do peel them, make sure you submerge them straight into a citric acid bath to prevent them from discolouring.
Who doesn’t like a truﬄe? I’m referring to the fungus type rather that the sweet, chocolatey ones. Traditionally, pigs were used to sniﬀ out the strong, unique smelling fungi from around oak trees, but acquired a liking to this expensive delicacy and were eventually replaced by training dogs. Because of the price of fresh truﬄes, they’re used sparingly and are
allowed to dominate without other ingredients getting in the way of their musky, pungent complexity. They also taste great with bacon, so if you think they can go together, just add it!
Possibly not the most attractive type of food, but one that gives me so many fond memories (well, apart from cleaning the beards oﬀ them when I was a young lad working in a seafood restaurant, where they were so popular that they came in and went out quicker than my little hands could clean them!). However, for me, they’re best when served with white wine, lots of garlic, shallots, butter and double cream, sprinkled with freshly-chopped parsley. I even make a shallot and saﬀron mussel soup that’s great for those colder days.
There’s nothing that can beat new spring salt marsh lamb – I can eat my bodyweight in this and it can be done a million ways! In the US, lamb comes behind beef in the ﬂavour preference table, as they consider young lamb too sleepy and gamey, using ﬂavour descriptions like ‘sweaty-sour’. But don’t let that put you oﬀ; with so many things that can be done with lamb, it’s a meat regularly found in my fridge at home.
Enough said. Leave margarine alone and ensure that a good-quality butter is always in the kitchen. Love it!
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GASTRO WINE INVESTMENT
Vintage Values Along with art, wine has become one of the most investable industries for people who want to put their money where their mouth is. For some inside knowledge, we hear from five vino experts, who share their thoughts, insights and predictions on what to buy, where to look and how it works
ike all investments, wine can be something of a mineﬁeld to navigate. With so much to learn, knowing where to spend your money can be overwhelming at times, which means it’s vital to get the right advice from the right people, as you never know how much that dusty old case lying in the cellar could be worth. Whether you’re thinking of investing in wines ‘en primeur’ (when they’re still in their barrels), or are on the lookout for the ﬁnest bottles from world leaders like Hong Kong or Bordeaux, you’ll most deﬁnitely
need to know your stuff if you want to make a tidy proﬁt. Of course, no wine lasts forever, so don’t be fooled into thinking that only older bottles are going to make you any money, as the less obvious choices can often be just as lucrative. Whatever you go for, make sure it’s a wine you like and enjoy drinking, so you’ll still have a valuable product, no matter what the market’s doing. To help you get started, we speak to a handful of professionals in the wine trade, who help demystify the process, and offer some top hints and tips on how to make the most of your money…
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GASTRO WINE INVESTMENT
JOE FATTORINI INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, BIBENDUM WINE, LONDON www.bibendum-wine.co.uk Why is wine investment so appealing? Because you buy into history. It’s fun and interesting and also tax-efﬁcient; many investments in ﬁne wine are free of Capital Gains Tax. For people with a broad portfolio of different assets, wine can be useful, as well as delicious and seriously lucrative. Were there many trends in 2015? Last year was about people buying less, but better. Only the US auction houses saw sales increase, but the all-important Hong Kong market was weaker. Hong Kong is the largest wine auction market in the world; what happens there affects the rest of the world. What advice would you oﬀer to investors? Wait. Wine investments are erratic. I know someone who made £1million on paper in a year; the next year, he had a paper loss of £1.25million. But if you can wait, you can ride out the pain and make a lot of money. Which region is the most investable? There are around 50,000 wines available in the UK. Maybe 100 or so are ‘investment grade’, but Bordeaux is still at the heart of the market. The great Bordeaux estates don’t just make some of the world’s greatest wines; they make large quantities too. Finally, what should investors look for? Provenance, provenance, provenance. Where did it come from? How did it get there? How was it stored? Is it what it says it is? Ask yourself why you’re investing. Are you here to make money? If you are, then you need to be dispassionate.
ALICE SHEPPERD FINE WINE TRADER CRU WORLD WINE, LONDON www.cruworldwine.com Tell us about the beneﬁts of investing in the wine trade It can be good fun! Wine is a lifestyle investment; making money from it is an added bonus. As wine is a depreciating asset, any money you make on it is tax-free, which is a very tempting investment term. What trends are emerging at the moment? Lighter, lower-alcohol, fresher wines are becoming much more fashionable. I think this trend will continue over the next few years. Buying en primeur seems to be going royally out of favour after the big losses made from buying Bordeaux ‘09s and ‘10s. Can you oﬀer any tips for ﬁrst-time investors? It’s always going to be a gamble. Don’t buy with the assumption that the wine will go up in value; buy wine that you like, so if the market doesn’t move in your favour, you can always just drink up and enjoy it! Which regions are the most investable? Bordeaux Grands Crus Classés are still heavily traded and pretty investible. Of the ﬁrst growths, MoutonRothschild has taken most of the limelight over the last couple of years, though it can be tricky to get hold of. Blue chip Burgundy is also very investible. Is it always a case of older being better? Not at all. It’s a common misconception that older wine is worth more. To an extent it is, but all wine has a point of being past its best. At this point, you’ll want to sell up or drink up sharpish!
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GASTRO WINE INVESTMENT
ALISTAIR COULTHURST OPERATIONS MANAGER LAS BODEGAS, MAYFIELD www.lasbodegas.co.uk
JONNY GIBSON OWNER AND HEAD TUTOR SUSSEX WINE SCHOOL, BRIGHTON www.sussexwineschool.com
What makes wine appealing as an investment? Wine is a fairly unique investment in that, while offering a fairly attractive return, you can always just drink it if the mood takes you!
Why is wine so attractive when investing? Wine is appealing because it’s a ﬁnite product; there’s a limited amount made each year and global demand is high. The long-term performance is one of steady growth and you have a tangible asset to enjoy, regardless of the performance of your investment.
Have you noticed many market trends recently? After falling away a few years ago, the market is growing again, and I see no reason for that to change in the coming year or so. Can you oﬀer any guidance? Being a specialist Argentine importer, I would say consider New World countries like Australia, Argentina and the USA. The risk here is that, unlike the more famous names from France or Italy, a lot of these wineries don’t have long histories of investment, but if you look at the success of Australian producer Penfolds, there’s deﬁnitely potential. How about the most investible regions? Argentine Malbec is such a young market that nobody really knows how it will age. Due to its attractive, youthful style, there’s no real need to age it; however, the few examples we’ve seen aged magniﬁcently, showing great potential for investment. It’s this that could be attractive to potential investors, especially from the more renowned wineries on the market. Examples of this are wines like Benegas Lynch Malbec and Susana Balbo Nosotros. Are older wines always more proﬁtable? Absolutely not. If you’re after a quick buck, then buying older vintages can work; however, unless you’re conﬁdent of the quality and longevity, this can backﬁre. I would look for underrated vintages that are showing increasing potential as they age.
Do you have any predictions for the market this year? Spain is generating new interest and is one to watch in 2016. Some people feel that Bordeaux prices may have bottomed out, so this key region could start to see prices moving upwards again for the ﬁrst time since 2011. If you could oﬀer some top pieces of advice for wine investors, what would they be? Don’t expect growth in the short term, but look at wine as a long-term investment. Also, ensure that you buy wine through a reputable wine merchant with a long track record of investment wines. Tell us about some of the most investible bottles and regions that buyers should be on the lookout for in 2016 Top-quality Bordeaux chateaux remain the most investible bottles, due to their high global demand. Other regions with consistent demand include vintage ports, Super Tuscans, vintage Champagne and red Burgundy. And what should investors look for? Most people invest in the top Bordeaux chateaux. This is a key region for wine demand, so has a liquidity and transparency that makes it an attractive choice for investment beginners. Look to buy wines en primeur, or when prices are lower than average.
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GASTRO WINE INVESTMENT
SIMON BROAD DIRECTOR TEN GREEN BOTTLES, BRIGHTON www.tengreenbottles.com Why invest in wine? Wine is a ﬁnite commodity; every time a bottle of a particular wine from a particular vintage is opened, there’s one less in existence. If that particular wine was made from a sought-after spot and a renowned vintage, the value of the bottles remaining will increase. What’s happening in the industry? Shifts in the market, particularly the rocky love affair between China and Bordeaux, have served to shake conﬁdence in what was a very stable, yet closed world of investment-grade wine. En primeur campaigns from areas like Rioja and the Rhone Valley are becoming more common. Who’s best to advise investors? Get advice from someone who specialises in it. Investment in wine is a very narrow specialism, and you’ll want someone who knows not only what wine to buy, but who can also advise on when and how to sell in order to get a return. Where are the top regions? Bordeaux and Burgundy are the obvious ones – though so established you’ll need serious amounts of money to get at the investment-grade stuff. Port and Madeira are relative bargains in terms of quality, and have the most longevity in terms of actual ageing potential for drinking. Is it always a good idea to put money into older wines in particular? If it’s really old, yes – as long it’s from a recognised region/producer and has proof it’s been stored correctly, there’ll be some value there. In fact, I’d say storage is the key thing to look for.
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Ingredients Brownie 12 whole eggs 1kg caster sugar 2tbsp vanilla extract 1kg salted butter 700g 70% dark chocolate, chopped 1 pinch salt 1kg ﬁne cake ﬂour, sifted 300g white chocolate buttons 200g milk chocolate buttons
Coconut sorbet 75g desiccated coconut 1 x 400ml can coconut milk 125g caster sugar 125g liquid glucose 500g full fat crème fraîche 50ml Malibu liquor Salted caramel 1 vanilla pod 250ml double cream
375g caster sugar 60g liquid glucose 1 pinch salt 300g room temperature salted butter, cut into squares Chocolate ‘crackle soil’ 400g caster sugar 300g 70% dark chocolate buttons 100g chocolate-coated crackle crystals (available from good confectionary stores)
Directions Brownie • In a bowl, add your eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk on a high speed for ﬁve to 10 minutes until pale and light in colour • Melt the butter either in a pan on a low heat, or in the microwave slowly on a medium heat. Once melted, pour onto your dark chocolate and stir with a whisk until all chocolate is melted. Add the salt and allow to cool to room temperature • Combine your chocolate mixture into the egg and sugar mix in a folding action using a whisk. Once combined, fold in your ﬂour and then white and milk chocolate nibs • Pour the brownie mix into a 20” x 12” rectangular tray and move around to let the mix angle itself into the corners to spread • Bake at 160°C for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the brownie has set, but still has a slight wobble in the middle Coconut sorbet • Toast your desiccated coconut, either in a hot oven or under a grill until golden-brown. Combine with the coconut milk, sugar and liquid glucose in a pan and stir on a low heat until sugar is dissolved • Add the mix to your crème fraîche and Malibu and blend for two minutes until thoroughly combined. Leave mix covered in the fridge overnight to infuse • The next day, blend the mixture for a second time and pass through a sieve to remove excess coconut ﬂakes
• Churn in an ice cream machine to manufacturer’s instructions, or until set to a stiff sorbet consistency
in your butter a square at a time until all is incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Pass through a sieve and set aside to cool
Salted caramel sauce • Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Add to your cream and bring to the boil in a pan. Set aside to cool and infuse while you make your caramel • Combine the sugar, glucose and a splash of water in a pan and work with your ﬁngertips to get a wet sand consistency. Wet your ﬁngers and scrape around the sides of the pan to remove any sugar that may catch. Cook on a medium heat for around 10 minutes, or until the caramel is a dark amber colour • Remove from the heat and gently add your warm cream while stirring with a whisk; be careful, as the caramel will bubble up and may splatter. Add the salt and whisk
Chocolate soil • Combine your sugar with a splash of water in a pan and work with your ﬁngertips to get a wet sand consistency. Scrape around the sides of the pan, as you did with the caramel sauce. Cook on a medium heat until the mixture reaches 131°C on a sugar thermometer • Pour your dark chocolate buttons into the hot sugar and quickly stir with a whisk. The mixture will start to dehydrate and take on a soil consistency. Pour onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper and set aside. When cooled, stir through your crackle crystals
This rich, indulgent brownie uses three different types of chocolate, giving great ﬂavour and texture to the ﬁnished dish. Using the salted caramel sauce gives the dish acidity from the sharp caramel to balance out the sweet chocolate ﬂavours of the brownie. The coconut sorbet works well in the dish to bring subtleness and freshness to counteract the richness of the chocolate and caramel
To serve Allow the brownie to cool and let the mixture set (this should take around two hours). With a hot knife or pastry cutter, cut out your portions. If reheating, place for one minute on medium heat in a microwave. Drizzle your caramel sauce over the warm brownie and place a scoop of coconut sorbet on top. Sprinkle the chocolate soil on top and around and wait for the candy to bubble away. Additional garnishes (optional, pictured) include tempered chocolate scrolls, caramelised hazelnut popcorn, cocoa nib tuile and aerated dark chocolate.
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Snap, crackle and choc
On Sunday March 27, Easter will be upon us once more, which means it’s the perfect time to spoil ourselves with some decadent and indulgent delights. Executive chef James Palmer-Rosser talks us through one of his favourite sweet treats from the W&H menu Photography by Sam Yardley
Triple chocolate brownie, coconut sorbet, salted caramel and chocolate ‘crackle soil’ SERVES 24
Preparation time: 24 hours (20 minutes for the brownie) Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes
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GASTRO FOOD HEROES
KENT Kent is the place to be for fine food in even finer surroundings, due to its abundance of renowned ingredients. To find out why it’s called the Garden of England, we hear more about Produced in Kent, the ever-growing champions of regional produce, who are putting the county in the spotlight
f you’ve ever bought food directly from an independent, Kent-based business, chances are you’ve spotted the Produced in Kent logo. Far from just an eye-catching piece of corporate branding, this widely recognised seal of approval represents the ﬁnest food, drink and crafts the Garden of England has to oﬀer. Indeed, for producers all over the county, Produced in Kent provides an essential platform from which to showcase their wares. By supporting
a diverse range of businesses, the brand beneﬁts and promotes its members, which in turn bring valuable employment opportunities to Kent and are at the heart of its rural communities. “Produced in Kent is a membership organisation dedicated to championing local food, drink, products and services in Kent,” says digital marketing manager Jo Gurr. “Our members range from local retailers, restaurants, service providers and farmers, to vineyards, brewers, butchers, bakers and candle makers.”
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GASTRO FOOD HEROES Today, Produced in Kent represents a diverse range of over 250 of the county’s leading food and drink businesses, including award-winning wineries like Biddenden Vineyards and Chapel Down in Tenterden. And with numerous events held throughout the year – not to mention a thriving farmers’ market community, in conjunction with Kent Farmers’ Market Association – it has become a beacon of home-grown heritage for manufacturers far and wide. “We provide services to members, developing and stimulating the market for Kentish products,” Jo continues. “As an organisation, we provide marketing and business support, advice, training and sales opportunities, and exclusive showcase events. The Produced in Kent brand is widely recognised, both locally and nationally, valued by the members, and seen as a sign of quality and provenance by the public.” Local talent is being recognised as a result, through schemes like the Taste of Kent Awards, founded by Produced in Kent in 2004. As the county’s longest-running and most prestigious awards ceremony, it showcases the best of Kent’s food and drink products, while the Kent Young Chef Award
shines a light on the Garden of England’s brightest gourmet talents. A prime example of the group’s eﬀorts is the 10% Kent campaign, which aims to encourage shoppers to buy locally produced food and drink as part of their regular weekly/monthly shopping pattern. Plus, by inspiring buyers and managers in procurement to buy local as part of their food and drink purchasing decisions, everyone can be a part of making a big diﬀerence countywide. “The idea behind 10% Kent is simple: keeping the beneﬁts of the money you spend in the county we live in,” explains Jo. “If we all spent £5.50 a week, it would bring an extra £175million into Kent’s local economy!” According to the New Economics Foundation, every £1 spent locally generates £1.76 for the local economy, compared to just 36p when spent with a major retailer. Quite a perspective to put things in, especially as the average family spends £54.80 on food and non-alcoholic drinks every week, 10% of which could go a long way towards helping Kent companies ﬂourish. Of course, it goes without saying that such a substantial inﬂux of
revenue to the economy in our part of the world would be a considerable beneﬁt, for which Produced in Kent is leading the way, ensuring our traders get all the support they need. “You can do this by buying locally produced food and drink as part of your regular shopping,” Jo concludes. “To help you do so, you could use the online directory and store on our website; order a copy of Kent’s Finest by emailing us at info@ producedinkent.co.uk; check out your local farmers’ markets; look for Kent labels on food in bigger retailers; use your local independent retailers; ask for local when you’re eating out; and look out for the Produced in Kent logo.” With so much potential in our county’s culinary enterprises, it’s no surprise that people like Jo are doing all they can to get them noticed. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and get local. Produced in Kent Charcott Holm Farmhouse, Tonbridge Road, Hadlow, Kent TN11 0AH 01732 853 170 www.producedinkent.co.uk
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GASTRO FOOD HEROES
Here are some fantastic one-day courses to look forward to over the coming months
Make a silver metal clay pendant at Blackthorn Trust
Saturday February 13, 10am to 1pm Come along and make a silver metal clay pendant necklace. Includes all materials and tools. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01622 828 373. Tickets cost £55 per person. St Andrew’s Road, Barming, Maidstone, Kent ME16 9AN www.blackthorn.org.uk
Baking Bread (Part One) at Commonwork
Saturday February 27, 10am to 4pm Learn to bake your own loaves at this beginner’s guide to making bread. Explore the science and culture of bread and its basic ingredients. During the day, you’ll be baking four different breads to take home for your friends and family to enjoy! The course costs £65 per person, which includes a light lunch and all ingredients.
Baking Bread (Part Two) at Commonwork
Saturday March 12, 10am to 4pm
Indulgent Chocoholics Course Wednesday March 23, 10am to 4pm
Saturday March 19, 10am to 4.30pm
On this new chocoholics one-day course, indulge in your love of all things chocolate with tasting and cooking tips, experiment with unusual chocolate ﬂavour combinations, and take home some delicious treats! A healthy, chocolate-free lunch is provided as part of the day for balance. Make to eat or take home the best chocolate cake ever (really!), ‘pick-your-own-ﬂavours’ chocolate trufﬂes, chocolate proﬁteroles and super chocolaty chocolate chip cookies. The course costs £65 per person, which includes lunch and all ingredients.
Future proof your garden! Learn how to apply permaculture principles to the design of your space, to achieve maximum productivity for minimal workload in an earth-friendly way. The course will be interactive, with plenty of opportunity for questions and discussion, and will involve practical activities outdoors – don’t forget your wellies! The course costs £59 per person, which includes a light lunch.
To book your place for Baking Bread Parts One and Two, Introduction to Garden Permaculture or Indulgent Chocoholics Course, contact Becky Baldock by calling 01732 463 255 or emailing BeckyB@Commonwork.org Bore Place, Chiddingstone, Kent TN8 7AR www.commonwork.org
If you feel like spreading your wings and trying some new bakes, here’s a great chance to build on the basics of bread making and have a go at some different doughs. During the day, you’ll be having a go at sourdough, an enriched dough, a fruit dough and a stuffed dough, all to take home. The course costs £65 per person, which includes lunch and all ingredients.
Introduction to Garden Permaculture
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, t e k r a m t o e T k r a to m Tell us how TFM got started After many years of selling chilli sauces at farmers’ markets around Kent, I decided that Tonbridge, where I had lived and had another business for many years, needed a decent farmers’ market of its own. Did it take oﬀ immediately? At the time, I was told by many people that it wouldn’t work. Tonbridge High Street had seen better days and none of the new cluster of food shops and eateries had opened. So, after nearly a year in the making, Tonbridge Farmers’ Market was launched in June 2011.
And how has it got on since then? Now, four years on, the market has won many awards, including Best Food Market in the Country in 2015, for which we were judged against markets that have been running for years in some of the UK’s biggest cities. What were your goals when you began? The main aims of the market were to bring fresh, local produce to the people of Tonbridge and surrounding areas; to make the trip to the market a pleasurable experience and give the customers more than just a few stalls; and to provide a chance for small food producers to showcase and sell their wares. How many stallholders are there? We now have a regular 85 stalls. The market eatery, which is a covered seated area for just over 50 customers, is surrounded by street food stalls. The market kitchen is a kitchen
od nt fo e d n pe local inde e , h d t n f gla er rt o anag of En ting hea n m e t rd t ke ea e Ga wha mar he b , h t s t d n e i o r n a I o sa pl nd ucer eve W arket, ex t d S o . r seco e p e n M h e t ’ c t ers ary s to on esh Ken arm d r F a e culin r rw dg yf nbri ok fo d wh o o l n T a t n le , a rs ca onth tal ro e i p v m p a y er ch sho of ev ys su y a a l d p Sun uce prod
on a stage, where we have numerous cooking demonstrations throughout the market. Are these particularly popular with customers? On most days, there are queues for all the fresh produce and, as long as it’s not raining, you need to get to the market early to get a table at the eatery and enjoy the freshly cooked, hot food while watching the entertainment.
Is everything on oﬀer local? Wherever possible, we have local producers and produce. Over 20% of our producers are from the Tonbridge area, with the rest from just a bit further aﬁeld, but the majority are from Kent and Sussex. Would you say it’s important for people to shop at farmers’ markets? There are so many food additives, chemicals and added salt and sugar in our food nowadays. I think it’s very important for the customer to have a connection with the person who makes or grows their food. I want to know where mine comes from.
Could they ever compete with supermarkets? I do worry that, with their huge budgets, the supermarkets push the misconception that their food is the cheapest and the best. I know from experience that this isn’t always the case, and shopping at a farmers’ market is the best way to ﬁnd out.
Tonbridge Farmers’ Market is held on the second Sunday of every month, from 9.30am to 1.30pm, at Sovereign Way Long Stay Car Park, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1RG. To ﬁnd out more, visit www. tonbridgefarmersmarket.co.uk, email email@example.com, or phone 07876 685 853. You can also follow the market on Twitter @TonbridgeFmMrkt
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A farmerâ€™s life
Based at Coldharbour Farm in Kent, Penshurst Beef is run by Simon, Sam and Harry Frederick, who pride themselves on producing top-quality meat. Harry explains more about their sustainable practices and tells us why animal wellbeing at the heart of everything they do
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So, Harry, how did it all begin for Penshurst Beef? The Frederick family has been farming in Penshurst for four generations, and currently my father Simon, grandfather Sam and I are all involved in the family business. Our sheep and cows make up around half the population of Penshurst and have been part of the village scenery for quite some time now. We’ve built up a pedigree herd of South Devon cattle that runs alongside the sheep, which are a mixture of Kent Romney ewes and other native breeds. You’re passionate about breeding ‘happy cows’ – can you tell us more about what this means? From the outside, the animals may look the same as 50 years ago, but we’re embracing new technology alongside traditional farming methods. We track their growth rates and record data such as worm resistance, all heading towards breeding sheep and cows that require minimal input and will ﬁnish off grass. Studies have shown how grass-fed animals produce a healthier meat that’s lower in fat and higher in Omega-3 and other nutrients. They live a completely freerange, stress-free and additive-free life. We pride ourselves on having happy, relaxed cows and sheep, another thing actually proven to produce a tenderer, tastier meat. Native breeds have evolved with the landscape here in Kent, so are well placed to thrive in the natural environment. Talk us brieﬂy through what your average day entails Each day on the farm is a different one, with tasks varying from night-time lambing in the spring, to harvesting wheat in the sunshine in July. Our farm is split between the livestock and arable farming, with many ﬁelds rotating between the two. Quite often, the day’s work will get interrupted by a cow’s decision that a neighbour’s garden looks more appetising than our ﬁeld, and my canoe has been used several times to check the sheep in the winter in Penshurst! The animals take priority in the life of a farmer and come ﬁrst before anything else gets organised.
And how does your meat makes its way from farm to plate? Haywards Butchers, a fantastic butcher shop in Tonbridge, cut up our meat and sell our lamb and beef. We also sell direct to customers, straight from the farm. We sell boxed lamb and beef, vacuum-packed and labelled, with discounts available for buying half or whole lambs. In what ways do you ensure your farming is sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly? The UK has the highest level of animal welfare in the world, and we’re incredibly proud to be British farmers. We see a large part of our job as being guardians of the countryside, and are members of several schemes that look to increase natural wildlife in our ﬁelds and rivers. When we house our cows in the middle of winter to protect the ﬁelds, they drink water pumped from a bore hole, with the electricity for our house and barns being provided by solar panels. They’re fed on silage and hay grown on the farm in the summer, and their manure is then spread back on the ﬁelds as a natural fertiliser. What’s your relationship like with local farmers’ markets and why are they so important? We sell all our meat locally, which is something we’re passionate about. We believe that the traceability of any product is vital, and we host open days so you can even come and have a look around for yourself. Farmers’ markets are one outlet, and we currently attend Penshurst, Hildenborough and Hever markets. These are brilliant and provide customers with guaranteed local produce at very reasonable prices. It allows a relationship to be built between the grower and consumer. In an environment where people are caring more about where their food shopping comes from, farmers’ markets are the perfect place for this to develop. Penshurst Beef and Lamb Coldharbour Farm, Coldharbour Road, Penshurst, Kent TN11 8EX 07834 990 698 www.kfma.org.uk/PenshurstBeef firstname.lastname@example.org
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GASTRO FOOD TRENDS
A Taste of Things to Come The start of every New Year comes with an onslaught of resolutions, predictions and guesswork for what’s around the corner – and the food and drink scene is no exception. To give you an insight into what we think will be big in the near future, here are 10 foodie fashions to look out for in 2016
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GASTRO FOOD TRENDS
hat a year 2015 was for food and drink aficionados. From bestselling gadgets and gizmos like spiralizers and NutriBullets, to in-vogue foodstuffs such as chocolate soil, ‘free-from’ foods and salted caramel, there were plenty of fads and crazes to keep us busy between January and December. All this, while trying to figure out what was surely the be all and end all of engrossing dinner party conversation and debate: was that dress blue and black or white and gold? Looking ahead to 2016, we’re predicting a more hands-on, immersive and sociable 12 months for people who like nothing more than to combine great food with great company. Whether you’re experiencing a new and innovative approach to eating out, or finding true love online through epicurean internet dating, the coming months are set to be very exciting times indeed. Here, we consult our crystal ball to bring you some potentially top trends that will dominate the food and drink industry over the next 365 days – the good, the bad and everything in between. To find out more about what to expect throughout the New Year, join us as we guide you through some of our favourite forecasts to look forward to…
own in the form of quick, efficient street food, served in close-proximity dining spaces. Of course, this concept is already old hat, but 2016 will be the year when even more conventional restaurants will need to rethink their game plans and get on board with an immediate, inclusive approach, doing away with the luxuries and nuances of a traditional sit-down dinner.
> Food will become more prominent in internet dating One of the biggest crazes to emerge in 2015 was, of course, Tinder, which has well and truly shaken up the way we use the internet to find true love. Dating websites galore have popped up for animal lovers, while culinary catches can be found on the likes of Same Plate and Foodie Lover. But there’s yet to be a definitive gastronomic guide to that perfect partner that has reached the heights of Match, PlentyOfFish or eHarmony. Hang in there, food lovers – you’ll be supping with your soul mate in no time.
> Eating out will be more communal
> Street food will be commercialised Regular Gastro readers will no doubt
In our fast-paced lives, people are finding
remember an interview we ran last issue on
themselves with less and less time to treat
street food, in which Richard Johnson – the
themselves to the luxury of a blowout
man behind the British Street Food Awards –
three-course meal. More urban eating
predicted that the urban foodie phenomenon
experiences will therefore come into their
would move indoors. Indeed, the seemingly
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GASTRO FOOD TRENDS
well as money-saving incentives like the
> Fast food chains will become less popular
M&S ‘Dine in for Two’ offer, has paved the
Nowadays, your average roadside Burger King
way for street food to set up shop in our
or McDonald’s can cost almost as much as a
supermarkets and restaurants. Rotisserie
full-blown meal out. The ease and convenience
chickens will soon be a thing of the past,
of fast food is one thing, but is speed really
replaced by affordable, quality hot food to
worth the money? Inflation has meant that
go or eat in.
this far less affordable bite to eat is becoming
unstoppable popularity of gastro pubs, as
more trouble than it’s worth, and while there will always be a market for fast food as a concept, chances are it will be radically altered over the next year, becoming altogether healthier, cheaper and tastier. Ronald and The Colonel won’t know what hit them.
> Lunch will make a comeback
> Food will become more immersive From London’s Dans le Noir? restaurant –
For far too long, office workers around the
which invites guests to dine in pitch darkness
UK have been resigned to the fact that
– to food festivals, wine tastings, cookery
the second meal of the day will never be
courses and catering demonstrations, people
anything more than sustenance. This is set
are demanding a more sensory experience
to change in 2016, as a multitude of factors
when they eat out. Expect to see restaurants
begin to influence people’s eating patterns
take their shows on the road, catering to
> Tea will become the new coffee
between 12 and two. With the continued
thousands of diners in Britain’s biggest
Quaint, traditional pastimes like afternoon
rise of healthy eating and emphasis on
venues, for gourmet experiences that are
tea will forever have a special place in Britons’
making your own by celebrity chefs – not
comparable to gigs or shows, complete with
hearts, but tea as an industry has yet to
to mention the imminent invasion of street
no shortage of showmanship. Celebrity chef
enjoy the unparalleled boom of its more
food into the high street – you can expect
Tom Kitchin once told Gastro: “Coming to a
cosmopolitan counterpart, coffee. This year,
lunch to reclaim its rightful place as an
nice restaurant should be like going to the
char drinkers will be in their element, as tea
event to be savoured.
theatre.” He might be on to something.
shops as we know them become far more
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GASTRO FOOD TRENDS
commercialised. It makes logical business
Another trend to make its presence known was
sense, really; ask the average tea enthusiast
‘free-from’ foods, drawing further attention
> Staying in will be the new going out
how many cups they put away a day, and it’ll
to the fact that we’re becoming increasingly
Family meals have no doubt suffered
more than likely be at least double that of any
conscious about what we put into our bodies.
a blow in recent years, as smartphones,
coffee connoisseur, meaning there’s plenty of
And with vegans and vegetarians now
tablets, social media and catch-up TV have
money to be made.
having far more choice and inspiration at
all played a part in diverting our attention
their disposal for delicious, nutritious meals,
from spending time around the dinner table
shoppers and suppers putting aside the steaks
with family and friends. To remedy this,
in favour of greener substitutes should come as
homeowners will be inviting professional
no surprise the next time you’re out and about.
chefs into their kitchens on special occasions,
> Full-fat options will replace low-fat substitutes
rather than splashing out on expensive restaurants. They’ll be given the option of either supplying ingredients themselves, or
The fact that ‘light’ alternatives to seemingly
having the chef work some magic with their
fatty foods are, in fact, just as detrimental to
own produce, for an appetising, cost-effective
our health in their own way, is nothing new.
treat to tuck into at home.
But as dieticians insist that ‘zero-calorie’ products are lacking in vital nutrients, full-fat originals are set to have a resurgence. Food education and the influence of seasonality has ensured that people are placing higher
> People will eat less meat
value on natural ingredients, so anticipate proper milk, butter and cream to make their
Last year’s demand for spiralizers and
way back. Elsewhere, artificial substitutes
NutriBullets really shone a light on how much
to sugar like Diet Coke and Pepsi Max will
we as a nation are craving our fruit and veg.
similarly take a backseat to full-fat drinks.
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into Stanmer From couples looking to tie the knot in Grade I-listed style, to companies planning a corporate training day, there can be no better location that Stanmer House in Brighton. Events and marketing manager Rebecca Weller gives us the lowdown on Whiting & Hammond’s most prestigious venue
he diamond in the W&H crown is most certainly the elegantly grand Stanmer House. Situated just outside of Brighton, this jewel offers far more than just a beautiful spot for lunch or tea. Behind the front of house team is a buzzing events ofﬁce planning up to 400 events at the Georgian manor house. A grade I-listed property set in 5,000 acres of lush parkland, Stanmer House could be a million miles away from the hustle and bustle, but is conveniently only 10 minutes from Brighton. Having once housed Prince Regent’s mistress and withstood occupation of troops during the war, the house is steeped in history. Brought back to life after 20 years of lying derelict, it was restored to the beautiful house that stands today, encompassing stylish and contemporary designs, while retaining the original splendour of old. A family home right up until the 1940s, Stanmer House comes alive when ﬁlled with the laughter of people enjoying themselves, something the events team works hard to ensure. The multitude of rooms means the house is the perfect venue for a variety of events, with the space to cater for meetings, team building, corporate dinners, private dining, anniversaries, birthdays, wakes, Christenings and weddings, to name just a few! Understandably, Stanmer House is an ever-popular wedding venue for those looking for somewhere to hold their civil ceremony or civil partnership and reception. Weddings can be held at the house throughout the year, come rain or shine. With a strong belief that no wedding is the same and that a couple’s personality should shine through on their big day, the events team works closely with our wedding couples to create a truly unique and bespoke package to accommodate all dreams and desires. Whether it’s a wedding for 10 with afternoon tea served in the garden, or a grand affair for 200 guests, each is just as important as the next. The vast grounds and manor house are the perfect setting for any wedding; the sense of history and welcoming atmosphere creates an environment that’s both inspiring and comfortable, ensuring our bride, groom and their guests will have the most wonderful day. From the moment
they step through the grand entrance, the magic of the house comes alive. Our wonderful team of chefs is responsible for presenting mouth-watering menus for our couples to choose from, or alternatively, our head chef will happily sit down and run through ideas for something a little different, if that’s what our customer is looking for. Maintaining the Whiting & Hammond ethos that all food is cooked freshly from locally-sourced produce ensures that guests are left satisﬁed and happy. From canapés, three-course menus and evening buffets, to afternoon tea and a hog roast, our customers’ wishes are our command. For our corporate clients, we have options to suit all budgets, including our popular delegate packages. The ﬁrst ﬂoor of Stanmer House is home to our conference rooms, which can accommodate meetings from two up to 40 delegates in a variety of set-ups. Each room comes equipped with a plasma screen for those all-important presentations, and with free parking and Wi-Fi throughout, the facilities at Stanmer House are second to none, with the added bonus of a fantastic view across the park to get those creative thoughts ﬂowing and enhance the productivity of your day.
Contact the events ofﬁce on 01273 680 400 or email@example.com to discuss your event today. To ﬁnd out more about Stanmer House, visit www.stanmerhouse.co.uk. Alternatively, keep up to date by liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StanmerHouse or following us on Twitter @StanmerHouse
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GASTRO GIFT GUIDE
Gourmet Gift Guide As any cocktail connoisseur will tell you, the barware from which you serve your drinks can be just as important as the tipples themselves. We present five bars and cabinets that will make your next soirée the talk of the town, and provide a great space to practise those mixology skills at home Traveller leather and walnut cocktail bar cabinet £14,058 from www.touchedinteriors.co.uk This beautifully crafted and handsome piece epitomises classic, traditional design. Its interesting and unique appeal, yet refined simplicity, is set to impress at any cocktail party, as the mysterious full-size doors conceal a stunning internal bar system with shelves, glass and bottle storage. The exterior channels an industrial luxe aesthetic, making it a fine example of modern and elegant styling. Finished in beautiful leather with a Deco-walnut interior, the traveller special edition also comes with a stunning key ring and keys.
Solid wood polished copper globe drinks bar £5,960 from www.touchedinteriors.co.uk The globe bar in black and copper is the perfect combination of contemporary design and pure craftsmanship. This luxurious drinks globe will surely bring a touch of lavish style to your interior, and can be placed in any living or dining room, giving it instant elegant style. The bar is made from manually hammered polished copper, while its legs and bottom head are crafted from mahogany wood, lacquered in black with a high gloss varnish. In its interior, there’s space for glasses and bottles, plus the surface of the bottom base is made from black lacquered glass.
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GASTRO GIFT GUIDE Alexandra walnut cocktail cabinet £16,240 from www.touchedinteriors.co.uk Channel intricate Art Deco glamour into your interior space with this exquisite cabinet. Containing four removable glass shelves, it’s the ideal functional piece for stylish storage in a traditional bedroom, or to house your unique dinner services. The Alexandra walnut cabinet is intricately carved and structured in wood with a cracked white finish, walnut base and oxide handles.
Elliptical bronze mirrored cabinet – £19,920 from www.touchedinteriors.co.uk The elliptical bar cabinet is a fusion of modern and classical elements, making it a highly detailed and exquisite limited edition piece. Crafted by the finest artisans, this luxury bar cabinet was created with the highest quality in mind, from conception to production. The iconic piece is beautifully finished in black and bronze gold, structured in wood, enveloped in metal elements and built with a reflective mirror in the interior.
Klarstein wine fridge – £295.82 from www.klarstein.com Equipped with eight elegant, wooden removable shelf racks, the Klarstein wine fridge can accommodate three bottles of your best wine on each of its four floors. The controlled indoor temperature, good insulating materials and rear hidden fans ensure a constant temperature, according to your individual preference. Via an easily understandable user interface with LED display in the middle of the refrigerator, the temperatures of the upper and lower parts may be separately regulated. The additional refrigerator light may also be switched on or off here.
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GASTRO SUPPLIERS LISTING
WHITING & HAMMOND ARE PROUD TO WORK WITH AND RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING SUPPLIERS AND ADVERTISERS BALDWINS
www.baldwinstravel.co.uk / 01892 511 999
BIBENDUM WINE LTD.
www.bibendum-wine.co.uk / 020 7449 4100
www.chilstone.com / 01892 740 866 CORNWELLS
CORNWELL’S CELEBRATION CAKES www.celebrationcakescranleigh.co.uk
www.cpltraining.co.uk / 0845 833 1835
www.fentonchandler.co.uk / 01252 851 726
www.frobishers.com / 1392 825 333
www.fullers.co.uk / 020 8996 2000
GARY A. SARGEANT FCA
www.gary-sargeant.co.uk / 01322 614 681
www.haywardsbutchers.co.uk / 01732 355 611
HENRY PAUL FUNERALS
www.henrypaulfunerals.co.uk / 01892 825 505
www.iaharris.co.uk / 0207 622 7687
www.jonesbritain.co.uk / 01435 866 435
www.larkinsbrewery.co.uk / 01892 870 328
PENSHURST FINE FOODS
01892 664 044
www.rencraft.co.uk / 01732 762 682
www.salcombedairy.co.uk / 01732 851 523
SOFAS & STUFF
www.sofasandstuff.com / 01892 572 309
www.warburtonschefs.co.uk / 01732 850 308
www.whwservices.co.uk / 01732 770 142
WORLD OF POTS
www.worldofpots.com / 01732 850 300
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When it comes to healthy eating, making resolutions and actually sticking to them can be two very different things. But with the help of your smartphone or tablet, you could be on your way to keeping those foodie vows intact. Here are five of our favourite free apps to help you stay strong throughout 2016
Salad Recipes Free
Healthy Eating Guide
By Moving Treehouse
If you’re trying to stay healthy, but want more than just a few measly lettuce leaves on your plate, this app is deﬁnitely for you. Whether you’re whipping up a nutritious meal or a light accompaniment to a main dish, there’s an extensive collection of over 2,000 recipes on offer, from potato, pasta and vegetable, to coleslaw, fruit and gluten-free. A must-have for diners who love their greens!
Discover some delicious, healthy recipes to enjoy in 2016, by selecting your favourites to store in one easy place and come back to later. Healthy Eating Guide also includes a four-week meal plan and allows you to submit your own recipes, plus video links and inspiring stories will help you on your way to staying ﬁt as a ﬁddle all year round, without compromising on the food you eat.
Weight Loss Recipes LITE
Raw Food Diet Free
By Decar Studios
By The Jones Kilmartin Group, LLC
As anyone who’s ever made a healthy eating resolution knows, shedding the pounds is one thing, but keeping them off is something else entirely. Enter this fabulous recipe guide, which will help you shift that unwanted weight with the help of some inspiring ideas for every meal of the day. The app also includes a calorie counter to help you keep track of your progress.
Live a healthier, more organic life with this detox diet app. Based on the belief that the healthiest food for the body is uncooked, it’s a brilliant introduction to the raw food diet, featuring recipes for all meal types, including breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s free and easy to use, enabling you to make the most of your food in its purest form.
EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry By Amphetamobile
Healthy recipes in your pocket are just a click away with these fast, easy, delicious recipes, which will inspire you to cook. Mouth-watering photography accompanies 200 of EatingWell’s best and fastest concoctions, while tips, cuisine types and nutritional information make it a standout collection. Each recipe is professionally written and tested, allowing you to create dishes that are good for you, no matter how busy you are.
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