We got the chance to visit the awesome River Cottage to get down to the nitty gritty of what’s going on behind the cameras…
If you thought River Cottage was just a film set then think again! I was given the opportunity to go to the farm and have a poke around to find out what’s really going down at this foodie haven. I met with the head of education Chris Griffin to discuss River Cottage’s schemes, ethos and general hopes for the future, and it was immediately clear that teaching people, both amateurs and professionals, about the importance of seasonality and local produce is at the forefront of River Cottage’s concerns.
Chris then introduced me to gardener extraordinaire Craig Rudman, who despite his modesty was obviously incredibly knowledgeable about the produce he was growing. Having eaten most of the winter salads I was swiftly ushered into the recently repaired barn to sit in on a lesson at River Cottage’s world-class cookery school, looking on at the students with a mixture of awe and envy.
River Cottage is striving to take on 18 trainees and a further 80 apprentices this year, offering the highest standard of education possible. This is on top of the
wonderful partnership between River Cottage and worldwide hotel chain Marriot, a fantastic collaboration that is aiming to get the hotel kitchens paired up with local producers by teaching the kitchen staff the importance of knowing where your ingredients come from.
The day ended with a meal at the famous River Cottage canteen, which offered an impressive array of West Country ciders and a lovely seasonal menu. The pulled lamb sandwich in a focaccia roll was sensational, and the chips had the essential crunchy/fluffy ratio that is the make or breaking point of any good kitchen. It’s fair to say that this exceptional company is an all-rounder on every front and is so easy to fall in love with, a return trip is certainly on the cards.
For more information visit rivercottage.net