It’s been a busy old year!
As I mentioned in my last post, I was asked to help open a farm shop in Chipping Campden, called Fillet & Bone, earlier this year. I had the best job of putting together a collection of amazing suppliers, many of whom are local to The Cotswolds. It’s been an eye opening to the rich and diverse collection of artisan foodstuffs available in the area. Here are just some of them:
Toddenham Manor Farm The farm was developed a few years ago by Irayne Paikin, a London girl, who came across the beautiful property with her husband, escaping the hustle and bustle of city life. They have moved on to produce the highest quality outdoor reared pork and beef.
Nolan Brook produces pedigree grass fed lamb and has been developed by a happy chappy, Sam Walby.
Salt Pig Curing Company is a recent discovery. A very reputable chef, previously of The Kingham Plough, Ben Dulley, has set up his own charcuterie production business in Chipping Norton. Watch this space. His products are to die for! Personal favourites are Cotswold ‘Nduja, a spicy, spreadable Italian style salami, smoked tenderloin and cured pigs cheek.
Svenssons Crispbreads and Cinnamon Buns. Ann Marie has been a part of the Broadway community for many years. I met up with her early last year when she told me she had started making her own crispbreads as they were one of the things she missed about her home country, Sweden. It was later in the year when she messaged me to say they were now in production along with some cinnamon buns. I believe Fillet & Bone were one of the first stockists. Right from the start, they were a huge success and continued to be so. Well done Ann Marie!
Rollright Cheese As the name suggests, Rollright is produced at King Stone Farm in Little Rollright, Oxfordshire. Cheese makers, David Jowett and Anthony Curnow both have a huge passion for their product, which was first produced in 2015 and has since gone on to be an internationally recognised, award winning and fabulous wash rind cows milk cheese.
Toad’s Mill Now this is a slight cheat on my part because Herefordshire isn’t The Cotswolds! Toads Mill, However is a classic recent and artisan start up, producing spelt flour. Toby and his wife both have a farming background and decided to start a small production of their own spelt. Spelt is a grain similar to wheat with an ancient history and is making a remarkable comeback. Characteristics of spelt are higher in protein and lower in fibre than wheat flour.
Experiencing the passion these producers and suppliers and many more demonstrate has been, and will continue to be, a massive learning curve for me.
There is a well known saying: ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ but you can!
So life has once again taken one of its rollercoaster turns. It’s now back to Food by Bazza.
I continue to enjoy writing and my passion for food and am planning to develop both of these aspects of my life. Most importantly, I am keen to pursue the food side and offering consultancy/advice/assistance in the hospitality and retail industries, particularly with new start up businesses where I have great experience and specialism. However, I am also looking to pursue my relationship with artisan suppliers who need development advice.
Please keep up to date with what’s occurring at Food by Bazza
What’s coming up?
Given my long standing association with the place, I am so pleased to see the recent developments at The Lygon Arms. It’s such great news for us all that the hotel is being restored with the tender love and care it received in the old days. A number of local people have been critical of the changes but please give it a chance and support this amazing institution.
On Wednesday evening I am attending a wine dinner there, which I will be writing about.
Most recently I have had some really great experiences at The Fish Hotel and The Dormy House. In particular we were at a good friend’s lunchtime birthday party at The Dormy House. As well as being a great party, the food was quite outstanding.
I am really looking forward to celebrating the first birthday of one of my favourite places in Cheltenham at the moment, The Bottle Of Sauce. It’s a really fun place for casual dining and very good value.
Most exciting of all this year is the opening of The Ivy Montpelier Brasserie. I can’t wait for this exciting opening party. Take a look at the website. Menus are available and the reservations line is now open. See you there!
So that’s all for now. Please look out for some upcoming reviews and interviews and I’d love to hear from you too.