Just like any recipe has a handful of essential ingredients, there are a few things that really define what we do at The Riverford Field Kitchen. The first is 100 per cent organic, seasonal veg (obviously!). The second is a leisurely dining experience, spread over several courses. Thirdly, our daily set menu, freshly created every morning to celebrate what’s at its best in the surrounding fields.
What we cook represents much more to us than just a meal. Our short, set menu means we can put more attention into each dish, and make the most of produce at the height of its season. It means that food waste is minimal; we’re only cooking one menu, for a set number of guests, and because we source so directly, we only bring in the ingredients we need. We also get creative with graded out veg, which hasn’t quite made the cut for the veg boxes but is far too good to go to waste.
Our ambition is to showcase brilliant vegetables and inspire people to cook with them at home, making veg the star of their plates. We dish up some unusual varieties, and some that you will have tasted before – but probably not the way we cook them.
Some of the best feedback we get from guests is when they’ve tried something completely new, or changed their minds about a vegetable they thought they didn’t like. We’ve been known to convert many a beetroot or fennel hater! It’s about starting a little revolution in people’s kitchens. When you unpack your veg box, I hope you feel the same excitement about what you can create that I do when I’m faced with a blank sheet of paper every morning, awaiting a menu.
Spring brings a bounty of new ingredients into our kitchen. The days get brighter, and so does the food from the fields, as the earthy roots of winter are replaced by vibrant colours and flavours. Right now we’re feasting on wild garlic foraged from around the farm, as well as purple sprouting broccoli and cauliflower (which are both in peak season), and lots more. It’s my favourite time of year.
Lewis has created a special recipe box this spring, so you can enjoy The Riverford Field Kitchen experience at home, cooking up your own Roast Chicken & Asparagus with Spring Veg & Herb Broth. Available to pre-order from Thurs 21 April.