Trips to visit our suppliers are an important part of the trainee journey. The ethos behind the Fifteen kitchen is about respect for the produce, sourcing from local suppliers and using seasonal ingredients and our trainee chefs are given a plough to plate experience of our sourcing process. Many of our trainees when they leave the kitchen never forget this way of cooking and take their respect for the produce into their own careers and kitchens.
Good Earth Growers & Buttervilla at Crocadon Farm, St Mellion
Yesterday, the trainees spent a day away from the kitchen and out in the fields at Crocadon Farm in St Mellion, where some of the produce used in the kitchen is grown.
The day started with Rob from Buttervilla Growers talking tomatoes! The trainees learnt about organic growing techniques and ‘Heritage’ varieties, tasting examples along the way for flavour comparisons and learning how the different planting processes impact the final flavour.
Sean O’Neil from Good Earth Growers then led the trainees on a tour of the crops, sharing his knowledge on growing and enabling the trainees to see how the produce grows. Along the way, trainees were tasked with selecting and picking ingredients themselves, to be cooked later on.
Once the fields had been toured and ingredients including Kale, Sweetcorn, Radishes, various Beetroots, Mustard Flowers, Mustard Leaves, Red Cabbage, Carrots, Fennel and Cavolo Nero were collected the trainees set to work in an outdoor kitchen to prepare lunch. Head chef Adam Banks and Training and Development chef Karl Jones were on hand for support as a feast of salads and fire cooked vegetables was created. A few supporting ingredients were bought along from the kitchen to compliment the fresh produce including fresh Da-Bara Bakery Ciabatta, Prosciutto di San Daniele and some local cheese.
“So, what did you learn?” we asked the trainees at the end of the day.
Jacob says: “It’s been lovely to see the whole food cycle. There’s a lot we can take back to the restaurant.
“Depending on how the plants are grown it can change the flavour of the produce. Bigger plants give the produce less of a taste but it gives you more product whereas growing in small quantities with less produce and smaller produce means it tastes better. At Fifteen we’d rather go for quality over quantity.”
“Well said chef!,” says Training and Development Chef, Karl.