I was lucky enough to gain an invitation to the City Food Lecture where the guest speaker was to be professor Chris Elliot of Queen`s University Belfast. His subject was “Does it matter where our food comes from”
Unfortunately Chris could not attend and his place was taken by his colleague Michael Bell who delivered Chris`s lecture. Three key factors that Michael discussed were;
Does it matter where in the world our food is grown/produced?
Does it matter how it is produced?
Does the disconnect between citizens and their foods matter?
Key Point One:
l am very passionate about where the foods we serve at the club are grown/produced. “Simply Cooked, Seasonal Quality British Food” is what we aim to serve.
I cannot guarantee that 100% of the products are produced here in the UK but l make sure that my suppliers are aware of my commitment to British & Irish produce and I am a great believer in following the UK seasonal trends with our menu changes. For example; farm sourced fruit and vegetables from various counties around the country allow us to follow the seasons so we can offer the freshest, tastiest foods on our menus for you all to enjoy.
Key Point Two:
As you can see from our Provenance listing within our menus, we are sourcing as much of our foods as possible from British and Irish producers.
I continue to visit new farms and hear from producers who approach me to put their products on to our menus. These are exciting times for me and my team to work with high quality produce produced by members of the club, of course in line with all the food hygiene regulations I am bound by.
An interesting point was raised. Apart from the USA we in the UK spend the lowest percentage of our income on food at less than 12%. France spend 16% and Japan 18% where quality food is important to their societies.
Prices we pay for produce with a clear farm to fork journey has cost implications but the quality of the product sourced from independent farms where the wellbeing of live stock is paramount, or to the vegetable and fruit producers who tend to their lands produces a higher quality product that is different in flavour to some of the mass farming of some of our European neighbours.
Key Point Three:
We at The Farmers Club are very lucky. The membership know so much about foods, where and how it`s produced.
This keeps me and my team on our toes, reviewing the food offering, learning more about its production and where it is coming from.
It’s a tragic shame that more and more of our population have little or no idea where bacon comes from for example or where milk originates. Hopefully this can be addressed through more involvement at schools and through social media.
On a personal note it was interesting to see the number of non-British, non-seasonal foods on the City Food Lecture Buffet Supper menu that followed the Lecture……..food for thought!
Please note that the maximum number of people on one table in the Restaurant is eight. Larger groups cannot be spread over two Restaurant tables and should book a function room instead.