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Foraging, seasonal produce and passion

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Unbelievably people actually read my last blog, which almost turned into a sustainable vigilante attack on poor quality food, I can’t help it, I’m a passionate guy, so this will probably end up the same.

It’s a big shift in seasonality at the moment, things like purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, celeriac, leeks, rhubarb, blood oranges, mussels, oysters, cockles are all coming out of season over the next couple of weeks and radishes, asparagus, cod, crab and sea bass are the things to look forward to. With Seabass it all comes down to how its fairing in the waters, sometimes we get advised to not fish it because, well, it goes on every menu in the country for the summer, so we will see what advice we get from Seafish.

From changing garnishes here and there over winter we are now geared up to do a complete overhaul of the menu. This of course takes a bit of time to sort out, because as well as ensuring a quality food offering we have to be mindful that we are a business too and need to make sure the dishes are priced correctly. We never charge more than we need to, but using local top quality products and produce comes at a cost, our life would be a lot easier if we didn’t care so much.

On the walk up to the restaurant, keep your eyes open and you’ll see an abundance of wild garlic, pennywort, mustard leaf, wild watercress, sorrel, all great things that we will get on the new menu. The wild garlic is on a starter and with the new chicken main course. Sorrel will make it on to a starter, a main course and a dessert! It’s amazing blended with apple!

One thing that made me laugh, whilst we are on the subject of foraging seasonal ingredients, is national strawberry day, can someone tell me why they thought Feb 27th would be a good day to celebrate this in the UK? I laughed out load for about a week about this. When I say laugh, I really mean moaned a bit and said a few choice rude words. June is when our strawberries are in season, maybe a little earlier if we are lucky, but usually around then, I think Egypt is where we mostly get strawberries from in February, which is fine, but you may as well bite into some of our sorrel instead.

Sorry… I knew I would go off on one again…

In other news, we are trying to put more vegetarian options on the new menu, so we should have at least two starters, two mains and all the desserts are vegetarian.  We  will definitely be doing our vegetarian tasting night again this year so keep an eye out for that. Vegetarians get a hard time sometimes in restaurants and are forced to eat curry, pasta and risotto all the time, so we are going to put some real effort into making a vegetarian culinary experience, we just need our own vegetables to get growing!

And on one final note, it will not be long now until we are offering breakfast five days a week, lots of homemade pastries and local meats and also the return of Pizzas from Wednesday to Sunday 4.30pm till 7.30pm and they are truly top quality pizzas, we are still practicing pizza dough’s now to perfect it. Keep an eye on Facebook and the website for the launch in April.

Other than that, nothing has changed, Tyler is still grumpy, I’m still tired and strawberries still aren’t in season.

~ Jeff

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