Locally sourced ingredients
Locally grown and organic produce is now firmly on the menu as consumers become more discerning about where the food they put on their dinner table comes from and who is growing it.
From the Slow Food movement to urban foraging, we are a nation that is becoming more obsessed with the provenance of food. As organic, locally produced veg boxes continue to grow in popularity in our home kitchens, these ingredients are also now becoming star attractions at restaurants.
Recent statistics from the Soil Association suggest consumption of organic produce is on the up – sales in 2015 rose by 4.9 per cent, with the organic market now worth £1.95 billion in the UK.
The proportion of organic sales through supermarkets has fallen from 80 to 70 per cent, reflecting the wider trend for buying local and organic produce direct from suppliers. Together with the growing locavore movement, committed to sourcing ingredients as locally as possible to avoid long distances to market, it’s all part of getting back to the roots of food.
10 restaurants with a taste for locally sourced produce
1. The Hanoi Bike Shop, Glasgow
Bicycles hang from the ceiling and the air is fragrant with steaming bowls of Vietnamese pho – yet the ingredients, from pickled chilli to tofu made on site, are deceptively Glaswegian. hanoibikeshop.co.uk
2. The Churchill Arms, Paxford, Gloucestershire
This renowned Cotswolds restaurant sources ingredients within a 10-mile radius. Only its fish comes from farther away, in Cornwall, because there is no coastline nearby. churchillarms.co
3. Lussmanns Fish and Grill, Hertfordshire
With restaurants in St Albans, Hertford, Harpenden and Hitchin, Lussmanns works with Britain’s best suppliers – even sourcing English tea grown in Cornwall. lussmanns.com
4. Poco, Bristol and Hackney, east London
This seasonal tapas bar boasts of sourcing 90 per cent of its ingredients locally. Expect plates of saddleback pork belly with fennel, deep-fried oysters, labneh with buckwheat and rose, and broad bean falafel with pickled turnip. pocotapasbar.com
5. Market Bistro, King's Lynn, Norfolk
Even the wine is from a local vineyard at this popular family-run bistro, which takes full advantage of Norfolk’s well-stocked larder, from seafood to organic vegetables. marketbistro.co.uk
6. Green Café, Ludlow Shropshire
The Slow Food-accredited chef Clive Davis creates three-course meals and cakes using only seasonal, local produce from small-scale farmers and growers. thegreencafe.co.uk
7. The Duke of Cambridge, Islington, north London
Britain’s first (and only) certified organic pub, The Duke of Cambridge now works with family-run farm Riverford, known for its organic veg box scheme. The menu includes a “Live on the veg” platter with seasonal crudités and line-caught mackerel with beetroot, orange and agretti, an Italian vegetable that is now grown in the UK.dukeorganic.co.uk
8. Kiosk, Nottingham
Most of the ingredients at this hip eatery (it is housed in a shipping container – say no more) are sourced within two miles of its location in Sherwood, just outside Nottingham city centre. kiosksherwood.co.uk
9. The Feathers Inn, Hedley on the Hill, Northumberland
From North Sea lobster to Haydon Bridge oxtail and hedgehog mushrooms from Chopwell Wood, every ingredient on this pub’s menu comes from local, small scale farmers. Food miles and provenance of the ingedients are listed alongside each dish. thefeathers.net
10. The Potted Pig, Cardiff
The menu might be inspired by France and the United States, but this restaurant’s ethos is all about championing locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. thepottedpig.com