”From a chef's point of view we cannot and should not hide away from the fact that we profit from produce, be it animals, vegetables or herbs, so therefore I need to take responsibility from where and just as importantly when we use that produce. Using a product in the height of its season brings greater flavour, it brings greater sustainability. We make sure that we are not disconnected from the ingredients we use, going out and picking our own herbs from the estate for our menu daily, not only gets the kitchen out for an hour a day but we don't waste anything, we respect the ingredient more, we take what we need and nothing else. You realise that this product was not grown just for you, it was wild, it will still be here long after I stop looking, in this same patch, we are just serving a bit of wild garlic, that happened to be ready to be picked today.”
“For me foraging brings a deeper connection to the landscape and to the change of seasons. It also provides access to an ever-changing array of forgotten flavours. Late autumn is the time to harvest sloes and roships, both traditional ingredients for preserving - in this country mostly for sloe gin and rosehip syrup. I am using the sloes, along with native juniper berries to make a sloe gin stout as one of the seasonal beers I make at my microbrewery: Woodman’s Wild Ale.
The dry, sharp taste of the sloe is transformed into a rich, fruity flavour with hints of cherry and almond and pairs perfectly with the aromatic bitterness of juniper and the dark chocolate and coffee notes of the stout. The rosehips are the key ingredient in a Saison, with the tangy, tropical fruit flavours of the hips pairing wonderfully with the tart, spicy qualities of a Saison.”
“ Inspired by the abundance of nature around me, I learn recipes according to the things I find. Gorse Flowers, Brambles, Heathornes, there is stuff everywhere!
We hunt a lot of our own meat. About 95% of the meat we cook. As there are no top predators in the UK now, Deer population need to be regulated.
We also shoot wood pigeon and squirrel. We make our own cured, jerky and biltong and we are starting to try hams and smoking.
Avoiding big business agriculture and meat is how I want to try and live.“
“During times of post financial struggle where I have been unable to feed myself, I have turned to typical traditional methods of gathering food such as poaching for rabbits etc.
I have learnt whilst using these methods that the legal implications if I am caught are far more severe than if for instance, I was caught stealing from a supermarket.
We live in strange times currently, I can't possibly image telling somebody even 100 years ago that you can't get armed police called upon you just for trying to hunt and feed yourself.”
“A passion for nature, wild places and different cultures has made me emerge from my birth place in below-sea level holland to explore some of the more remote places and people on the planet.
The pull of the ocean never faded however, Cornwall’s clear oceans, surf lined beaches and agreeable climate meant that base is here. If that can be combined with days of snorkelling and foraging for seaweed, wee, let it be.
In Ireland dulse is traditionally used as a cure against hangovers, but it is also a healthy and tasty ingredient in fish dishes, soups, desserts, bread, chowders and salads. It can be eaten straight from the oceans! And when dried it makes an excellent on-the-move snack.”
“A brickworks used to exist on the farm my grandparents owned. The surrounding creeks had been silted up with fine china clay, a by product from local quarrying. Someone realised that although it was the waste from the process, it had the potential to provide a valuable resource if re-wasbed, and so the brickworks was formed.
I grew up exploring these clay river banks, and have always felt a deep affinity with it as a material. On returning to Cornwall a little over a year a ago, it felt important to me to go out and collect some of this clay, as a way to reconnect to my home and sense of place here. This sparked interest in exploring other sites in Cornwall and my practice now involves collecting various local materials which connect me to the landscape and provokes a sense of wonder at the geological forces that came to make the clay exist.”