The Eden Harvest Festival
In honour of the Eden Project Harvest Festival, head chef Andy spoke to their blog. Here’s what he had to say about Autumn…
We love autumn at Fifteen, because there’s always new and exciting local produce ready to harvest for our seasonal menu. Like the Crown Prince squash, which we use our squash, sage and goat’s cheese risotto. Or the Cavolo Nero cabbage that goes into our authentic Tuscan stew, Ribollita, but which is grown just down the road in Torpoint.
This lovely, dark Italian vegetable is a great example of how our suppliers have helped us stick to our policy of sourcing 80% Cornish, and 20% Italian, produce. When our vegetable supplier Buttervilla agreed to grow the speciality cabbage it meant we could serve up the sort of authentic Italian menu our customers are looking for, but without having to import.
Our 80/20 policy means we have to be flexible – and creative – at our end, too. Each morning we chefs sit down together and decide on our dishes depending on the produce that’s arrived that day.
This time of year we also create an almost wholly local menu, for our Totally Cornish lunches, designed to celebrate our suppliers.
People always ask me why we bother trying to source our produce locally, and imagine it must be quite a bind. But actually, it was more that we were inspired to work with the wealth of amazing food growers we discovered when we first opened in the county.
As the restaurant has grown, a lot of our suppliers have too, which is really great to see. We make sure that all our apprentices get to meet them face to face on their educational trips.
Of course, sticking to the 80% policy isn’t all plain sailing. While it’s rarely hard to source meat in Cornwall, sometimes it can be difficult to get hold of fish when a big storm hits the county. We’d also like to use more mozzarella in the restaurant – so if somebody could set up a Buffalo farm in Cornwall that would be great!
To get involved, visit http://www.edenproject.com/come-and-visit/whats-on/harvest-food-festival-cornwall.php?hc=2