What could be better and indeed more British than a classic Sunday Roast? Well, how about one for which all of the ingredients are sourced locally? So the centrepiece – the meat, whatever your chosen one is, the potatoes and all the veg, as well as fruit to make a pukka pie (no not that kind) and the cheese to round things off, all of it from incredible producers growing and rearing to the highest standards.
For some restaurants serving a 100% locally sourced Sunday roast is absolutely nothing new – it’s part of what you do, built on years of established relationships with a fantastic network of local suppliers carefully cultivated and nurtured. For others, the reality of building such a network can be a serious challenge.
Monday night saw the launch of a new supplier network for chefs in the Bristol and Bath area. We’ve teamed up with fresh-range an online platform bringing together award-winning producers in Somerset and Gloucestershire, many of them organic, meaning low food miles and no need for days or weeks of haulage and storage. Most of the food is baked, caught, cooked, cut, laid, picked or produced just before being delivered to the door. Simple – eh?
Farmers and chefs tucked into a tasty discussion about how best they could satisfy each other’s appetite for building relationships that work for both parties and achieve the end goal of providing the public an exceptional food experience. As with all the best discussions it was done around a table, inspired by the ultimate mini-roast dinners, produced exclusively with ingredients from fresh- range by Josh Eggleton’s team at his latest venue – Chicken Shed, on the waterside in Bristol. Mini Yorkshire puds stuffed with succulent beef, roast potatoes with dipping bowls of gravy – you get the idea.
Rich Osborn, Director of fresh-range opened the discussion by asking what needed to be true to produce a 100% locally sourced Sunday roast, ordered and delivered as close to the day as possible?
Consistency was a running theme from the chefs in the room, from those at restaurants including Birch and No Man’s Grace. Too often, it was said, meat changes from one week to the next. Quality and price were two other potential challenges. One chef said he doesn’t serve chicken because he can’t find a supplier producing a good enough bird. While another wanted assurances that customers would pay more to know where their meat came from.
Rich said that by bringing together more restaurants and local producers there was an opportunity to create a virtuous local circle – creating a robust supplier network which could only grow and better meet the needs of chefs and restaurants.
Bristol restaurant Yurt Lush, named best Sunday Roast last weekend at the Bristol Good Food Awards, is taking the lead and serving its loyal customers a 100% locally sourced Sunday roast with all of the ingredients supplied by fresh-range.
A locally produced Sunday Roast is just the start, and with the mushrooming of online purchasing platforms and aggregators like fresh-range now providing producers with a route to chefs and chefs a short cut to the finest farmers and food in the area, we believe this could be the start of a local food revolution. As we left, farm visits were being arranged…
Take a look at what fresh-range can offer.