In honour of British Food Fortnight which is being held from 23rd of September to the 8th of October, I decided to take a look back at one of our most memorable events and talk about why we at EJ catering support British food producers.
During the time of harvest, when the autumn leaves are falling and the weather has become crisp, there is a national celebration of all that is wonderful about British food and drink. Established in 2002 following the foot and mouth crisis, the British Food Fortnight was created to bring together all of the food initiatives and projects taking place around the UK to the attention of the public.
Since then the event has become renowned and brings together the very best of British food and provides a huge opportunity for local producers. So, with this in mind, it is also important that local businesses support other local businesses. We at EJ believe this to be a vital value of our company and whenever we can, we source local produce for our delicious dishes. You really can’t beat home-grown!
True Taste of Wales 2010 was an event that stands out in our memory for many reasons. The event was challenging on every level and the amount of organisation that it required was astounding. It truly was an honour to be involved! The main reason we loved this event so much was that our menu’s key ingredients were all locally sourced within a twenty-four mile radius of Pembrokeshire – how amazing is that!
We served five hundred foodies a five course dinner of homemade food. We started with a delectable mouthful of crab salad designed to tease the taste buds for the courses to come, artistically displayed on a single spoon. This was followed by a Welsh favourite – cockles combined with bacon in a tartlet of homemade pastry. The next course of fish and chips served with a fresh pea dip was a hit. A British staple with a culinary twist! Braised ribs followed and to round of the food filled evening we served our guests a potch of local pumpkin and panacotta topped with homemade honeycomb – a real autumnal sweet treat!
All of the food we serve is lovingly created and is always served with pride. I was however extremely proud on this occasion as our ingredients were sourced locally and really were of the highest quality. Our hand-cut, thrice-fried chips were made from potatoes sourced less than a mile away. The co-operative potato farm has a staff of fifty-five and has an eight million pound turnover which is absolutely amazing!
The bacon and air-cured ham that we served came from a husband and wife business less than four miles away. 100 litres of full fat cream (yes that is a lot of cream and a lot of dessert to dream about!) for the panacotta came from dairy cows that were grazing as we cooked just eighteen miles away. Even the coffee that was served was roasted in Pembroke dock!
The passion of the suppliers is evident in the quality of their products and it really is a pleasure to be able to work with such incredible producers. The opportunity to then use this local produce and create such fantastic dishes is a privilege to say the least!
So, in honour of British Food Fortnight I would like to thank Gwaun Valley Meats, Puffin Produce Ltd, Calon Wen and Capital Coffee all of these years later for helping us serve the very best of local produce at the 2010 True Taste of Wales. Although the event was seven years ago, the impact that it had on me still resonates today and with British Food Fortnight fast approaching, I would like to thank all British producers and encourage everybody to buy local when you can!