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GOAT by James Whetlor wins James Beard Foundation Award

James Whetlor with Big Green Egg

Goat: Cooking and Eating by James Whetlor (Quadrille Books, £20) has won a James Beard Foundation Medal for a best single subject book. The medal, awarded at a ceremony at the James Beard Foundation, New York, on Friday 26 April, in front of guests including restaurateur David Chang and American TV personality Tyra Banks, is one of the most prestigious in America. Promoting good food for good, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures and honours chefs and leaders making food culture more delicious and diverse for everyone.

Ex-chef James Whetlor is the founder of Cabrito Goat Meat, a Devon (UK) based company which has a one sentence mission statement: to put all male billy goats born into the dairy industry into the meat industry. Up until a few years ago most British Billy goats were euthanised shortly after birth. James thought this was, in today’s world of dwindling resources and environmental challenges, unacceptable and set out to do something about it. The award-winning Cabrito Goat Meat now sells to catering butchers and restaurants, from a network of farms across the country.

James is International Director of ‘Goatober’ working with partners in America, Europe and Australia and is consultant for the European ‘Food Heroes’ project, which aims to end food waste in farming across the EU.

Sarah Lavelle, Publishing Director at Quadrille Books, who commissioned Goat: Cooking and Eating comments, “This unique, vital book is genre defining and essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in food and the way we eat today and is set to be the definitive guide on the subject for years to come.”

In GOAT: Cooking and Eating, James looks at the story of this versatile ingredient and offers 90 recipes from around the world that will answer the common question: ‘How do I cook goat?’ With dishes arranged by cooking technique James shows that goat can be cooked fast and lean, or slow-cooked in curries, stews, braises and roasts as well as make sausages, burgers, and kebabs. There is also a section for delicious seasonings, spice blends and marinades.

From Kid Shanks with Chickpeas and Chorizo to Goat Tacos, Steamed Dumplings to Schnitzel, GOAT encourages people to broaden their cooking repertoire as well as use more goat meat in everyday meals. Plus, there are original recipes from renowned chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi, Neil Rankin, Olia Hercules, Gill Meller and Jeremy Lee.

Alongside advice on sourcing goat meat, James highlights issues within modern farming today, the involvement of artisan tanneries to ensure the use of the whole animal and Cabrito’s charitable work with Farm Africa. Fifty per cent of James’ author advance and royalties from GOAT: Cooking and Eating will go toward Farm Africa’s work to transform agriculture and help farmers in eastern Africa increase their harvests, protect the environment and sell their produce in thriving markets.

Notes to Editors

James Whetlor of Cabrito Goat Meat worked as a chef for 12 years in London, before moving back to his hometown in Devon and working at River Cottage. During this period, he bought four goats to help turn an area of scrubland into useable pasture and learnt about the plight of the British Billy goat, in most cases euthanised shortly after birth. James thought this was, in today’s world of dwindling resources and environmental challenges, unacceptable and set out to do something about it. The award-winning business now sells to catering butchers and restaurants, from a network of farms across the country. www.cabrito.co.uk

Farm Africa is an innovative charity that reduces poverty in rural eastern Africa by helping farmers grow more, sell more and sell for more: the organisation helps farmers to not only boost yields, but also gain access to markets, and add value to their produce. 

Farm Africa places a high priority on environmental sustainability and develops approaches that help farmers improve their yields and incomes without degrading their natural resources. Their programmes vary hugely, ranging from helping crops farmers to boost harvests, livestock keepers to improve animal health, and forest coffee growers to reach export markets, but core to all of them is a focus on the financial sustainability of the farmers’ businesses and environmental sustainability.

Many of the poorest farmers in eastern Africa earn their livings by selling livestock and animal products. But livestock farmers face huge challenges in making a sustainable. They have limited access to technical advice, to high-quality feed and vaccines needed to keep their animals healthy, and to markets to sell their animal products.

Farm Africa gives livestock farmers technical advice and training, helps them access animal health services, and helps them gain access to insurance for their animals so that they don’t risk losing everything when drought causes pasture to dry up.  www.farmafrica.org

 

Seven of Kent's best chefs collaborate for charity dinner

The Ultimate Pop Up

The Ultimate Pop Up

The Ultimate Pop Up on 20 June

Seven of the region’s most sought-after chefs join forces for The Ultimate Pop Up at Hush Heath Winery to cook a six-course tasting menu to raise funds for children’s charity, Tree of Hope

Fresh from being crowned Kent Chef of the Year, The Small Holding’s Will Devlin will be cooking alongside star of the Great British Menu and Head Chef at Verdigris, Scott Goss and chef owner at The Compasses Inn, Crundale Robert Taylor. Former Kentish Hare and MasterChef the professional’s personality, Bobby Brown, chef-proprietor of The Michelin listed Wheelwrights Arms in Matfield for 6 years, Rob Marsh and Hush Heath’s Executive Chef, Fabio Vinciguerra will also be cooking while The Bicycle Bakery’s Jamie Tandoh will be making dessert.

Tammy Jackson, the Leigh based mixologist behind For Cocktail Sake, is creating a cocktail for the evening which will be served to guests on arrival along with a selection of canapes.

This one-off special event, sponsored by CCLA, will take place on Thursday 20 June and will raise funds for Tonbridge based charity Tree of Hope, who support families of disabled and seriously ill children across the UK to raise funds for treatment, therapies and equipment recommended by their healthcare teams.

Tree of Hope’s Fundraising Manager Kate Bourne, who is organising the Ultimate Pop Up comments “We are extremely lucky to be based in a region with a thriving food scene but the opportunity to indulge in a meal prepared by some of the area’s very best chefs using the finest local produce, in stunning surroundings is rare and we’re delighted that such a special night will raise funds for Tree of Hope. With over a million children now registered as disabled in the UK, we are so aware that the hundreds of families we currently assist is just a drop in the ocean. The Ultimate Pop Up will enable the charity to reach more families that so desperately need our help.”

The Ultimate Pop Up will take place on Thursday June 20th at Hush Heath Winery. Tickets can be purchased online https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/event/the-ultimate-pop-uk

To find out more about the work of Tree of Hope go to www.treeofhope.org.uk

Farm and Forage at The Small Holding

Will Devlin at The Small Holding, Kilndown, Kent

Will Devlin at The Small Holding, Kilndown, Kent

Farm and Forage at The Small Holding, Kilndown, Kent

Will Devlin, chef owner of The Small Holding, a kitchen and farm on a country lane in the pretty village of Kilndown on the Kent and East Sussex borders, has created a Farm and Forage day for guests to experience a day in the life of the restaurant.

Launching on Wednesday 1 May, the day will start with coffee and homemade pastries before pulling on wellies for a walk around the farm to learn more about the 200 varieties of fruit and vegetables being grown on site for the restaurant. After feeding the pigs and chickens, guests will venture down the lane to the woods and fields to go foraging with Will to find what’s in season including wild garlic, blackberries, elderflower, cobnuts, mushrooms and wild strawberries.  

On returning to The Small Holding, guests will be greeted with a glass of awarding-winning Squerryes’ English sparkling wine before being seated for a 5 course t tasting menu.

Launching on 1 May, the Farm and Forage days are only available on Wednesday and Thursdays throughout the Summer from May until 29 August, priced £145 per person, including a 5-course lunch and arrival drink and a goody bag with seasonal treats to take home.

Bookings can be made direct via www.thesmallholding.restaurant or by calling the restaurant on 01892 890 105.

About The Small Holding

“Homely village restaurant secreted away in glorious Kent countryside… simple, ingredient-led dishes are fiercely seasonal… triumphant standouts are the village reared pork – served as a cube of beautifully fatty pork belly, a tiny, offaly faggot, homemade blood pudding and a lovely, sticky gravy – and a dish of sweet strawberries with an intense basil ice cream and shortbread.” The Good Food Guide 2018

“A thoughtful, original and completely delicious meal. I loved the foraging walk with all the culinary tips and sage gardening advice. I will definitely be back for more. The L’Enclume of the South in the making in a beautiful Kentish setting.” Sudi Pigott, national food and restaurant writer

Kent based Greensand Ridge is the UK's first carbon neutral distillery

Greensand Ridge London Dry Gin

Greensand Ridge London Dry Gin

Greensand Ridge, a craft-distillery near Shipbourne, in the Weald of Kent, has achieved one of its original green goals by becoming carbon neutral, the first UK distillery to do so.

The Kent-based distillery was launched in 2015 with the aim of being ultra-low impact on the environment while also having a positive impact by using surplus produce from local farmers, such as plums and apples, which the supermarkets won’t take.

“Our carbon neutral certification is the culmination of a great deal of work over the last year” says Greensand Ridge founder and distiller, Will Edge. “It doesn’t change our spirits but it’s a statement of what is important to us as a new and growing business.”

The assessment makes up part of the distillery’s inaugural Sustainability Report which details all the work that is done at Greensand Ridge to minimise the environmental footprint through schemes such as renewable power, heat recovery systems, removing plastics and being chemical free.

Will’s approach to use surplus produce or byproducts directs the spirits he brings to market. “We work with local farmers to mitigate their waste and so make a lot of fruit spirits like our Apple Brandy and Raspberry Ghost”, he says, “even our Wealden Rum is made from a locally sourced byproduct.”

Now in its fourth year, Greensand Ridge took some time to achieve carbon neutrality. “The regulations demand a significant ongoing investment in time and resources and we needed to be well established before we undertook the work. Hopefully, that work can be a template for other businesses in the industry”.

Greensand Ridge’s 2019 Sustainability report is available online at www.greensanddistillery.com, and spirits can be purchased directly, from fine food outlets or by the trade directly from the distillery or through distributors.

Sample box spirits

The multi-award-winning London Dry Gin is distilled from eight local botanicals, including gorse, rosehips, oak moss and bay that grow within a mile of the distillery in the fields, woods and orchards beneath the Greensand Ridge in Kent. These are married with seven classic botanicals to create an exceptionally smooth and delicately balanced premium gin. (70cl, £35.50)

Raspberry Ghost is a delicious Eau de Vie that captures the aroma of late Summer Kentish raspberries. The berries are infused in 100% wheat spirit before distillation. The spirit is called Ghost in homage to the German name for this technique, Geist. Drunk as a gin with tonic, the delicate raspberry flavour is present from start to finish. (70cl, £36.50)

Wealden Rum is a delicate and smooth rum with a floral nose, giving way to subtle honeycomb and roast cobnuts on the palate. A long finish with raisin and oak with a sweet, full taste. (50cl, £36)

Our cask-aged Apple Brandy is a delicately perfumed spirit made from quality surplus apples, every Autumn, from fruit growers in the Weald of Kent and Sussex. The sweet juice from dessert apples, such as Gala and Golden Delicious, is fermented long and slow to develop complex vanilla and caramel flavours before being distilled. The true whisky of the Weald. (50cl, £38)

Rye Cask Gin is an unbelievably smooth and complex sipping gin, matured ten months in Rye Whiskey casks for a warm fruitiness and dry spiciness. A warming treat on a chilly evening and perfect as a base for a Negroni or Old Fashioned. (50cl, £38.90)

Our PX Cask Gin is a rare and unique expression of what a cask-aged gin can be. Greensand’s London Dry Gin is aged in Pedro-Ximenez casks for ten months creating a spirit infused with layers of raisin, molasses and Christmas spice, lifted by bright orange citrus. (50cl, £39.90)

About Greensand Ridge Distillery

Greensand Ridge Distillery launched in July 2015 with the mission to reduce food waste at the farm gate by fermenting and distilling quality fruit that supermarkets won’t take and combining these with local botanicals such as cobnuts, gorse and bay to make a range of unique spirits.

Powered by 100% renewable electricity and with a zero target for chemical use and non-recyclable waste, Greensand Ridge Distillery is a truly sustainable business.

Gin lovers can visit the distillery, set in a beautiful location overlooking the Weald of Kent, just outside the village of Shipbourne, as part of a Gin Experience, where visitors can create their own full bottle of gin to take away with them.

The business is run Will Edge who worked in IT, marketing and finance before he undertook a Masters’ Degree in Brewing & Distilling in order to return home to Kent and set about turning his love of spirits and craft cider-making into a livelihood.

-ends-

For more information please contact:
founder and distiller Will Edge (
will@greensanddistillery.com / 07971 164688)
or Hannah Blake (
hannah@thediningroompr.co.uk / 07730 039361)

Notes to editors:

2019 Sustainability Report: https://bit.ly/2HiqBpk
Hi-Res images for download & reuse: http://bit.ly/2H8Oqkn 
Image Gallery: http://www.greensanddistillery.com/photos/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreensandRidge/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/greensand_ridge/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gsrdistillery

Big Green Egg x River Cottage

Tom Grffiths, Flank London

Tom Grffiths, Flank London

Tom Griffiths, chef owner of Flank, London is cooking a masterclass event with Big Green Egg at River Cottage on 17 April. Serving up his modern take on British food - expect nose to tail dishes cooked over fire on the Big Green Egg. Tom is cooking with Big Green Egg chef Ross Anderson and River Cottage chef Andy Tyrell.

Book here.

The Small Holding wins Best Restaurant at Taste of Kent awards

Will and Matt Devlin with Alisa Sweeny from Thomson, Snell and Passmore

Will and Matt Devlin with Alisa Sweeny from Thomson, Snell and Passmore

The Small Holding, a 28-cover kitchen with one acre of working land, has won Best Restaurant in Kent at the Taste of Kent Awards. The judges commented that The Small Holding was a “unique experience, strong on its local sourcing with a good story and scored highly on its customer service”.

Organised by Produced in Kent since 2004, the Taste of Kent Awards showcase the best of Kent’s food and drink products. It is the county’s longest running and most prestigious annual awards, voted for by the public. The range of categories has grown year on year and now incorporates every product that Kent, the Garden of England, is renowned for including beer, wine, cider, apples and cherries.

Thackeray’s in Tunbridge Wells and Corner House, Canterbury were runners up in the Best Restaurant category.

Will Devlin, chef owner of The Small Holding, comments, “We’re thrilled to have won this award from Produced in Kent. Being voted best restaurant by the general public is a massive boost for the kitchen and garden teams. Everything we do at The Small Holding is about sustainability, traceability, growing and rearing our own produce and working with genuinely local suppliers and farmers. For a restaurant that’s not been operating a full year we’re really thrilled our hard work has been recognised.”

Farm, Food, Flavour at The Small Holding

Poly tunnels at The Small Holding, Kilndown

Kent Chef of the Year is a new client at The Dining Room

I’m delighted that Will Devlin, chef owner of The Small Holding, Kilndown is a new client at The Dining Room.

“Homely village restaurant secreted away in glorious Kent countryside… simple, ingredient-led dishes are fiercely seasonal… triumphant standouts are the village reared pork – served as a cube of beautifully fatty pork belly, a tiny, offaly faggot, homemade blood pudding and a lovely, sticky gravy – and a dish of sweet strawberries with an intense basil ice cream and shortbread.” The Good Food Guide

Will Devlin, 30, is the chef owner of The Small Holding, a kitchen and farm on a country lane in the village of Kilndown on the Kent and East Sussex borders. The 26-cover restaurant has been named as one of the best restaurants in Kent at the Taste of Kent Awards and is set in one acre of land, permitting a unique connection between farm and table. Growing, foraging and cooking the best ingredients is at the core of The Small Holding, with daily changing menus, using home-reared and home-grown ingredients from the farm, which is less than 10ft from the kitchen.

The ten-course Full Acre menu offers the diner a full experience of the farm and kitchen starting with home-made sourdough and butter, made on site with the rich yellow cream from a local Guernsey here. This year The Small Holding is growing nearly 200 varieties of vegetables and fruits. During the peak growing months, the raised beds and poly tunnels are full of lettuces, chard, beans and legumes, tomatoes, courgettes, raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants, plus the foraged bounty from the woods over the lane from the restaurant which offers wood sorrel, blackberries, wild garlic, chestnuts and mushrooms. Rare breed Berkshire pigs, chickens and ducks roam the farm and there are plans this year for cows and goats. The five-course Half Acre menu offers a sample of the Full Acre menu, plus vegetarian and vegan Half and Full Acre menus with wine and non-alcoholic flight pairings.

Sample dishes from the March 2019 menu includes Nettle, Garlic, Black pudding; Skate, Dandelion, Sorrel and for pudding Gypsy Tart, Rhubarb, Cream.

“Growing our own produce on the farm brings an understanding and honesty back to the kitchen, and vital freshness. Making the most of our harvests when the ingredients are at their prime – whilst also preserving and conserving them to use throughout the year, keeps us concentrated on the natural cycle of the land and helps us to create full flavoured and imaginative dishes.” Will Devlin

For more information please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR on 07730 039361 or hannah@thediningroompr.co.uk

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Big Green Egg x Kelly Bronze Turkey

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a Kelly Bronze Turkey. It would be such a shame to see one of these incredible turkeys go to waste in a regular oven. In Mr Kelly’s opinion there’s no better way to cook one of his birds than on a Big Green Egg. That’s why, this year, when you buy one of Egg’s special bundles you’ll get a Kelly Bronze absolutely free. www.biggreenegg.co.uk/kellybronze

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Chocolate and pears at River Cottage

Scrumptious

Scrumptious

This chocolate tart with grilled pears is too delicious not to share. Serve with pride and a spoonful of crème fraiche.

By Gelf Alderson, executive head chef of River Cottage

Serves 6-8

For the pastry:

75g coconut oil
55g golden syrup
75g ground linseeds
185g ground almonds
15g cocoa powder

Melt the coconut oil and golden syrup, add the dry ingredients mix thoroughly and press into 20 cm tart case, freeze until solid.

For the filling:

80ml olive oil room temperature
500g dark chocolate
200ml almond milk, room temperature
75ml Somerset cider brandy
A pinch of fine sea salt

Grilled pears:

4 firm pears such as conference or comice

Gently melt the chocolate in a bain marie over a sauce pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before adding the oil and almond milk, a pinch of salt and the brandy. Mix thoroughly and pour into the tart case. Re-fridgerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, halve and core four pears. Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Cook the pears until lightly charred and tender but still holding their shape. Serve with ice cream or crème fraiche.

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Roast carrots, beets, spring onion and redcurrants

Summer in a plate

Summer in a plate

Summer salad from Gelf Alderson, executive head chef at River Cottage

This is one of my favourite types of salad. Lots of summer flavours and vegetables with a surprising hit of tartness from the redcurrants.

Roast carrots, beets, spring onions and redcurrants

Serves 2

5 new season summer beets
5 small new season bunched carrots
2 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
1 tsp nigella seeds
2 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
70g redcurrants (blackcurrants or orange segments are excellent alternatives)
1 small bunch dill or fennel tops, picked
Salt and pepper
Candy beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced, to garnish

Start off by preparing your veg. Top and tail the beetroots, and then simmer until just tender.

Peel the carrots and slice length-ways. If they are really young then this isn't necessary.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Place the carrots on the baking tray and mix with the oil and seeds, and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

While the carrots are in the oven, peel and dice the beetroots. Once the carrots are cooked, remove from the oven, add the beetroots, mix and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place in a mixing bowl while hot, add the spring onions, redcurrants and fennel tops and season. 

Serve and garnish with the candy coloured beetroot to give the salad an extra hit of vibrant colour.

River Cottage Summer Festival

River Cottage Festival

River Cottage Festival, 25-26 August 2018

- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Prue Leith, Satish Kumar, Caroline Lucas -

Over the late August bank holiday, festival goers can immerse themselves in all the delights River Cottage has to offer at the annual summer Festival. This laid-back weekend on 25-26 August is jam-packed with events including food masterclasses, wellbeing and yoga tents, live music and family-friendly festival fun.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will be in attendance and joined by Prue Leith, Caroline Lucas MP, leader of the Green Party and Satish Kumar, a former monk and long-term peace and environment activist. Also, on the line up are River Cottage regulars, foraging expert John Wright and River Cottage curing and smoking expert Steven Lamb, who will be hosting the Garden Stage over both days of the Festival.

The Festival Gig Nights will ensure the evenings at the River Cottage Festival are unforgettable with a brilliant line up of bands and musicians. On Saturday, folk rock and gypsy jazz band Mad Dog Mcrea will headline the main stage and get everyone up and dancing, while on Sunday, singer/songwriter Lauren Bannon, who takes influence from the likes of Sia and Norah Jones and was a finalist on BBC One’s The Voice, will perform.

Over the weekend there are masterclasses for adults and children. Kids can make their own pizza or summer fruit fool with cats’ tongue biscuits and crystallised flower petals, while the grownups can make gluten-free galettes or ferment seasonal produce into pickles and drinks with River Cottage resident nutrition guru Naomi Devlin.

The Fire Pit is a new cooking demo area at the Festival this year. Throughout the weekend, the chef’s demos will show why this ancient cooking technique has become such a roaring trend in the 21st century. Over the weekend cooks including James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat, food and travel writer John Gregory Smith; BBC One Masterchef runner-up Billy Wright, chef and food writer Oliver Rowe, supper club host Kathy Slack who writes the award-winning blog Gluts and Gluttony; Aine Carlin, the bestselling author of The New Vegan; artist, author, cook and stylist Alexandra Dudley; and cookery teacher and author of Mountain Berries and Dessert Spice Sumayya Usmani will be showing why this back to basics cooking with fire delivers smokingly good food.

Festival goers can see behind the scenes at River Cottage HQ and enjoy a Farmhouse Feast, with a changing 2 course menu with dishes made with fresh, homegrown ingredients from the kitchen garden. River Cottage street food will join forces with local producers including Rebel Town Pizza, Louisiana Chilli Shack, Baboo Gelato and Marourde Mead. There is also a fully licensed bar serving local ciders, craft beers and organic wines or visit the Cocktails under Canvas tent and take part in a wild cocktail masterclass.

Kick back and enjoy an experience at the Festival by shaking out any stress with a restorative yoga session or enjoying a holistic massage, reiki or aromatherapy. Gaze at the stars under expert tuition, learn a new willow weaving craft, take a guided wildlife walk or go foraging with River Cottage’s John Wright.

This year the Festival is sponsored by Pukka who will be offering their expertise on herbal wellbeing.

With a friendly party atmosphere, the whole family is welcome to stay the weekend. The grounds are open to campers, either to bring their own tent or to enjoy a glamping experience by booking a stay in a luxury bell tent. Arrive on the Friday for an exclusive campers’ party with food, drink and live music to kick off the weekend.

Visitors can choose from a variety of tickets including Weekend, Day & Gig Night, Daytime, Gig Night or Luxury Camping, all available from the River Cottage website. Children under the age of 16 go free.

For more information and to book event and masterclass tickets, please visit the website.

-Ends-

For further press information, interviews or images, please contact:

Hannah Blake at The Dining Room on 07730 039361 or hannah@thediningroompr.co.uk

 Notes to Editors

The River Cottage Festival will be at HQ on the weekend of 25-26 August
River Cottage HQ, Trinity Hill Road, Axminster, Devon, EX13 8TB
Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th August 2018
10am-11pm.

Tickets:
£10 (gig night 6-11pm)
£17.50 (day ticket 10am-6pm)
£25 (day& gig night ticket 10am-11pm)
£95 weekend camping ticket Friday 4pm-Monday 11am
Under 16’s go free
Glamping tents from £495 for 2 person tent for the weekend includes festival entrance & on-site parking
Free park and ride

About River Cottage:

River Cottage has been a household name in Britain since 1998, when Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall first brought his hands-on, ethical food ethos to our TV screens.  Since then, the River Cottage books, TV series and Hugh’s hard-hitting campaigns have changed the eating habits of the nation, as well as improving the welfare of our farm animals and the sustainability of our fish.

River Cottage HQ, situated on the Devon-Dorset border, is a thriving organic smallholding. It’s also home to a cookery school and chefs' school, and the base for unique dining experiences and events including weddings and private parties. There are River Cottage Kitchens in Axminster, Bristol and Winchester. These award-winning restaurants and delis manifest the River Cottage philosophy by using the very best seasonal ingredients from the surrounding area. Alongside fresh, seasonal fruit, veg and wild foods, the Kitchen menus showcase fish and shellfish from West Country day boats and organic meat and dairy products from local farms.

www.rivercottage.net

 

Mother's Ruin at the Garden Kitchen

Still on the Move 

Still on the Move 

Mother’s Ruin

Gin workshop | 7 June | 3.30-5.30pm
FREE event with a G&T and bites to share

Join the team at the Garden Kitchen to create a small batch craft gin made with botanicals foraged around The Beacon.

On 7 June, Cosmo Caddy, creator of Still on the Move, the UK’s first ever mobile gin distiller is hosting a gin workshop at The Beacon. Affectionately known as ‘Ginny’, the authentic copper still, on a vintage 1937 VW truck, tours the country, packed full of different spices and botanicals, spreading the joy of gin.

The Garden Lane G&T is a favourite at The Beacon so the chance to create our own small-batch premium gin is the best way to experiment with flavours and botanicals to create something totally unique. All gin must have a dominant flavour of juniper, but the team wanted to create not just a Kent gin, but something that has flavours and aromas specific to The Beacon in the 17 acres of woods, that surround the restaurant.

The Beacon's creation is Mother’s Ruin. On the palate, it is a strong, well-rounded and balanced gin with hints of citrus, green cardamom and coriander seed with earthy undertones complimented by garden botanicals foraged in the grounds including wild fennel and wood sorrel.

At the workshop, enjoy a Garden Lane G&T with platters of bites and nibbles and listen to Cosmo talk about the craft of distilling gin and show how to use fresh and dried botanicals. The house serve at The Beacon is with a slice of grapefruit, juniper berries and a few wood sorrel leaves, served over fresh ice and Fever Tree tonic water.

A bottle of Mother’s Ruin distilled on the day will be available to buy at the special price of £30 (normal price £35).

This is a FREE event. There are limited places available so please email david@illbemother.co.uk to register your place.

The Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks

Rare rhododendrons on site at Reuthe's

Rare rhododendrons on site at Reuthe's

Reuthe’s in Seal Chart, Sevenoaks, is opening its doors this bank holiday weekend after months of renovation work to the historic gardens.

Reuthe’s are the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks, an acclaimed plant nursery founded in 1902 by a German plant hunter, set in 11 acres of woodland, part of the horticultural miracle that is the Green Sand Ridge in the Weald of Kent.

The historic site has been bought by local plantsman Oliver Schneider who is restoring the gardens, including a new café by Birch's, to its former glory. In its heyday Reuthe’s won Gold 17 years’ in a row at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show.

Opening on Saturday 5 May at 8.30am, Reuthe’s will welcome back visitors to explore the woodland, jungle-like pathways and walks up through the Hidden Valley. Here they will find plants and trees so rare they are the only ones in this country and discover hidden pockets of wild mushrooms, wild garlic and blueberries. 

Reuthe’s is situated on a north-facing woodland on a gently sloping hill with acidic, sandy and free-draining soil, part of the Green Sand Ridge. The Lost Gardens offer ideal growing conditions for the 300 varieties of rhododendrons growing on site and other acid loving plants such as rare trees, shrubs, azaleas and camellias.

 

River Cottage launches creative courses

watercolour class image.jpg

New creative courses launch at River Cottage with Devon based artists

Watercolour botanicals, modern calligraphy and willow weaving

There has never been a better time to get involved in the British craft industries, which continue to grow and flourish. Whether you're thinking about launching your own wedding stationery calligraphy business or you're looking to master a new skill or want to learn how to weave a willow animal in your free time, River Cottage’s new creative courses led by Devon based artists are the place to be inspired.

Watercolour Botanicals and Modern Calligraphy with Harriet de Winton
16 September, £145 per person
For more information about the course visit the River Cottage website here

Enjoy an introduction to watercolour botanicals and modern calligraphy taught by Devon based artist Harriet de Winton in the beautiful River Cottage gardens.

Finding inspiration in the flowers, herbs and vegetables in the River Cottage gardens and in the nature surrounding the farm, guests on this artist’s workshop will learn the fundamentals of watercolour as well as key steps to painting any plant or flower. During a busy morning of theory and practical guidance, they will paint a watercolour wreath choosing their favourite plants and flowers. Following a delicious River Cottage lunch, the afternoon will be spent with an introduction from Harriet to the modern calligraphy trend, learning basic techniques with a dip pen nib and ink. Once mastered, guests will try their hand copying a lower and upper-case alphabet, numbers and punctuation, progressing to joined up letters to make words and phrases. To finish, everyone will create a chosen phrase or quote in their own personal free style.

Harriet runs the de Winton Paper co, a hand painted stationery company. She has illustrated for numerous publications and teaches extensively. She is also a watercolour expert and teacher at Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fairs. 

Willow Deer Workshop with Katherine Miles
9 October and 13 November, £145 per person
For more information about the course visit the River Cottage website here

Learn how to make a beautiful and eye-catching 3-foot willow deer for your home or garden with Devon-based willow artist, Katherine Miles.

Famed throughout the South West, Katharine’s life-sized willow animal sculptures are displayed in stately homes, private gardens and as interiors design pieces. Katharine will guide guests through the weaving process in this exiting and fun workshop.

The workshop is suitable for beginners with no prior knowledge of weaving. All materials will be supplied, including locally sourced willow, but it’s advised that guests bring along a pair of their favourite secateurs and to wear old and comfortable clothing.

Artisan Willow is run by Katherine Miles who lives in the moorland town of Moretonhampstead, Devon. She specialises in weaving willow animal sculptures and bee skeps for the home and garden. She is available for commissions and also sells her work on-line. 

The Day:

All courses at River Cottage start at the top of the hill where guests will be met and transported down to the farm by tractor and trailer. The morning starts with tea or coffee and freshly baked scones or pastries from the River Cottage kitchen, while saying hello to the course tutors and fellow pupils. The morning session starts and is focussed equally on theory and practical lessons. Food is always the focus at River Cottage, and a two-course lunch of local, seasonal fare including sourdough bread will reinvigorate before returning to class for the afternoon session. At the end of the day guests are taken back up the hill by the River Cottage tractor and trailer, along with the hard work from their class.

 About River Cottage:

All River Cottage courses take place in the award-winning Cookery School at River Cottage HQ. Set against the stunning rural backdrop of the Devon countryside, just a stone’s throw from the Jurassic Coast, HQ covers 65 acres of organic farmland and encompasses a thriving kitchen garden and smallholding. The cookery school is renowned for its approach to seasonality and sustainability while championing the best local producers: it’s a foodie hub where you can learn, cook, eat and be inspired.

 

Britain's Fat Fight

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new programme 'Britain's Fat Fight' starts on Wednesday 25th.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new programme 'Britain's Fat Fight' starts on Wednesday 25th.

Britain's Fat Fight

BBC One’s new three-part series, Britain’s Fat Fight with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, will see Hugh confronting one of the UK’s biggest health crises, by examining and exposing how consumers are being misled by packaging and portion sizes, and bombarded by junk food advertising. Through a series of stunts he takes on the food industry giants to push them to be more transparent about what's in our food, and takes his findings all the way to Number 10. As well as battling big businesses, Hugh tries to see if he can change the eating habits of a whole city by challenging the people of Newcastle to lose 100,000lbs in weight in a year.

Hugh says, "It’s been over a year in the making, and during that time I’ve learned so much about the challenging, complicated and often genuinely scary problem of obesity. I know it’s going to be hard to make change. But I also know it’s definitely possible. Above all, I’m sure we can do so much more, if we do it together.”

Wealden Literary Festival

Illustration by Naomi Howarth

Illustration by Naomi Howarth

Food for thought, for the soul and the imagination

The full programme for Wealden Literary Festival is now open for booking.

Over the weekend of 30 June and 1 July the festival is a unique celebration of nature, place and creativity. A fascinating mix of authors, poets, artists and makers will weave their magic in the enchanting surroundings of Boldshaves Garden.

Coursing through the talks, workshops, art exhibitions, outdoor activities and craft displays, there is joyfulness and reflection in equal measure as the Festival delves into our relationship with the natural world. There is food for thought, for the soul and the imagination.

It has been crafted with all ages in mind; children can enjoy a host of readings, art workshops and hands-on outdoor activities for free. Once again, the festival is showcasing the best of local food, drink and crafts and, for the first time, family-friendly woodland camping is available.

Tickets for many of the events are limited in number, so do visit the box office now to save your place.

https://wealdenliteraryfestival.co.uk/info/tickets/

Cabrito x Craft

Crafty goats.

Crafty goats.

Cookbook Club at Craft London

Following the successful launch of Cookbook Club at Craft London earlier this year, Stevie Parle and the team are excited to welcome acclaimed goat meat supplier and former chef James Whetlor to help cook recipes from his new cookbook ‘Goat: Cooking and Eating’ on Thursday 26th April.

The popular series of collaborative feasts has seen Craft London partner with like-minded chefs and cookery writers to showcase ethical and sustainable produce.

For £35 per person, guests can expect a menu based on the goat meat recipes featured in James’ new cookbook. Guests will be welcomed with a cocktail and starters including Kibbeh Nayeh, Orange and Leek Sausages, Homemade Goats Curd and Greenwich Radishes along with a selection of homemade snacks from the Craft kitchen. The main course of Asado-Style Goat will be accompanied by salad and sauces including chimichurri and a yoghurt dressing, and a selection of side plates. Pudding is Goats Milk Ice Cream served with Craft London Honey and Lemon Cake and Lavender Granita. James and Stevie will be on hand throughout the evening to chat with guests, sign copies of ‘Goat’ as well discussing the use and benefits of goat meat.

Cookbook Club began life at Stevie Parle’s Dock Kitchen in Ladbroke Grove, inviting in some of the most talented cookery writers and chefs to cook from their books. In January 2018 it was announced that the series of collaborative feasts would move to Craft London, kicking off with the much-loved José Pizarro. This was then followed by a feast with seafood restaurant duo Prawn on the Lawn in March, and coming up this summer, the team will host the inimitable DJ BBQ on 21st June who will be showcasing his best dishes from ‘Fire Food’

Cookbook Club with James Whetlor and ‘Goat’ at Craft London will take place on Thursday 26th April. To reserve tickets book online here.

           

One Planet Plate

One Planet Plate

One Planet Plate

Cabrito Goat Meat is joining chefs including Raymond Blanc, Skye Gyngell and Angela Hartnett as well as high street restaurants like Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, Zizzi and Wahaca by participating in the Sustainable Restaurant's Association's One Planet Plate campaign.

One Planet Plate is a restaurant campaign to put sustainability on the menu – a chance for chefs worldwide to demonstrate to diners in food form how they’re contributing to a better food future.serving a dish that highlights how they’re addressing the problems in the food system as part of the SRA's global campaign to help diners use the power of their appetites wisely.  #OnePlanetPlate launches on Saturday 24 March, coinciding with WWF's Earth Hour - the largest environmental event in the calendar and a perfect moment to grab diners’ attention.

The SRA is calling on diners to play their part by snapping a picture of a One Planet Plate when they eat out and sharing it on social media using #oneplanetplate.

How to Eat a Peach at Wealden Literary Festival

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Diana Henry and Tara Westover lead author line up at Wealden Literary Festival, Boldshaves Garden, Kent

Wealden Literary Festival is an enchanting weekend of words and ideas - a celebration of nature, place and creativity through literature, the arts and food.  Tickets for the 2018 Festival on 30 June and 1 July go on sale from 16 March.

Set in the beautiful Boldshaves Garden near Tenterden in the Weald of Kent and the fields and wild woods that surround the gardens, Wealden Literary Festival brings together renowned authors, poets, artists and makers who look first and foremost to nature, wilderness and the spirit of place for inspiration. It has been endorsed by leading nature writers including Robert Macfarlane, Mark Cocker and Jay Griffiths.

A sense of place is a connecting thread linking authors speaking at the festival. On Saturday 30th June, award-winning food writer, journalist and broadcaster Diana Henry will talk about her new cookery book How to Eat a Peach, a collection of seasonal menus inspired by a memory, place or mood. Planning a menu is Diana’s favourite part of cooking, remembering an afternoon at the seaside in Brittany or a sultry evening eating mezze in Istanbul. ‘This is an extraordinary piece of food writing, pitch perfect in every way. I couldn't love anyone who didn't love this book.’ Nigella Lawson

A sense of place is not always a romantic and poetic one. Diana Henry will be joined by New York Times bestselling author Tara Westover discussing her debut book, Educated. This extraordinary memoir is Tara’s story of her isolated childhood growing up in rural Idaho with an un-hinged, paranoid Mormon ‘survivalist’ father who forced his family to live off-grid, while stock-piling guns, fuel and food in readiness for the end of the world. Tara's birth was unregistered, her birth date unclear and no vaccinations received. She received no formal education at all, no books to read and with no TV or radio, she grew up almost entirely unaware of the world beyond her family. Having no other frame of reference, Tara never knew that their way of life was not the norm.

Tara had never set foot in a classroom before the age of 17. And yet, by 27 she had earned a doctorate from Cambridge University. From her unique experience, Westover tells a universal story about the transformative power of an education, but also of the very personal price she had to pay for that privilege. In pitiless prose Tara charts her unbelievable journey from a violent childhood through traumatic and abusive teen years to heart-breaking choices in adulthood. ‘Marvellous. There is no feeling like discovering a young writer who is springing up fully armed with so much talent.’ Stephen Fry

Wealden Literary Festival is family-friendly and looks after the minds and interests of young readers setting out to explore the world. Yuval Zommer, the acclaimed children’s author will be in the festival tent, talking about his widely acclaimed illustrated book, The Street Beneath My Feet. This double-sided foldout book creates a visceral sense of a journey to the centre of the Earth as readers travel past storm drains, buried artefacts, a subway, and many layers of rock on their way to the planet’s inner core. Children are taken on a fascinating journey deep underground showing a hive of subterranean activity.

In addition to the programme of talks, the Festival offers all ages the opportunity to take part in a series of creative writing and art workshops as well as woodland-based activities and events such as bushcraft, foraging and wildlife spotting. It also showcases the best of local craftspeople and food producers through a pop-up market and plays host to art exhibitions and displays.

Andrew Willan, Festival Director comments, “We hope through the Festival to nurture the links between people (and in particular children) and nature. We believe that nowadays all too many people lack the means to engage in any meaningful way with the natural world. We also believe that with improved access to nature comes a desire to cherish and protect it. The natural world provides a wealth of opportunities for learning, creativity and discovery which the Festival embraces.

As the virtual world becomes increasingly dominant in our lives, time spent out of doors with opportunities to read, write, create and think has perhaps never before been so vital. By nurturing a love of the natural world, of literature and the arts, the Festival hopes to give not only individuals and communities, but also nature itself a real chance to flourish and to thrive.”

“It is a thrill to see Wealden Literary Festival taking root and flourishing. With its emphasis on the natural world, its commitment to children and to community, and its vision of getting people outdoors and hands-on with nature, as well as reading and talking about it, it strikes me as a hugely hopeful and valuable new event. Long may it grow!” Robert Macfarlane, author of The Old Ways and The Lost Words

For more information about Wealden Literary Festival, press accreditation or to interview the directors, please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR on T: 07730 039361 or E: hannah@thediningroompr.co.uk

 

James knows an awful lot about goats...

"James knows an awful lot about goats"   Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

"James knows an awful lot about goats" Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

GOAT: Cooking and Eating

We should all be eating more goat. It's sustainable, ethical, highly nutritious and low in fat and has been an integral part of European, African and Asian diets since 3300BC. Why, then, does it remain so underused and misunderstood? Thanks to the efforts of James Whetlor from Cabrito Goat Meat, goat is once again on British restaurant menus and in homes nationwide.

In GOAT: Cooking and Eating, James looks at the story of this versatile ingredient and offers 90 recipes from around the world that will answer the common question: ‘How do I cook goat?’ With dishes arranged by cooking technique James shows that goat can be cooked fast and lean, or slow-cooked in curries, stews, braises and roasts as well as make sausages, burgers, and kebabs. There is also a section for delicious seasonings, spice blends and marinades.

From Kid Shanks with Chickpeas and Chorizo to Goat Tacos, Steamed Dumplings to Schnitzel, GOAT will encourage people to broaden their cooking repertoire as well as use more goat meat in everyday meals. Plus, there are original recipes from renowned chefs including Yotam Ottolenghi, Neil Rankin, Olia Hercules, Gill Meller and Jeremy Lee.

Alongside advice on sourcing goat meat, James highlights issues within modern farming today, the involvement of artisan tanneries to ensure the use of the whole animal and Cabrito’s charitable work with Farm Africa. Fifty per cent of James’ author advance and royalties from GOAT: Cooking and Eating will go toward Farm Africa’s work to transform agriculture and help farmers in eastern Africa increase their harvests, protect the environment and sell their produce in thriving markets.

Goat is a genre-defining book and essential reading for anyone with even a passing interest in food and the way we eat today and is set to be the definitive guide on the subject for years to come.