In an age of endless choices and unlimited availability of exotic ingredients, eating with the seasons is a beautifully simple way to hand back the control and have our recipes dictated, as intended, by nature.
The wonderful cycle of food encourages us to constantly adapt and change our flavour pairings and encourages more creativity in the kitchen. We’ll never be left hungry if we rely on nature’s best offerings at any given time of year; we just have to be prepared and willing to evolve with the changing seasons.
As well as allowing us to reconnect with a more natural cycle of eating, practicing seasonal food shopping and growing supports sustainability and local companies who grow and source ingredients.
So what British ingredients are growing for us right now?
Spring is the very beginning of a new and exciting season and for months we have been working with heavy ingredients like root vegetables at The Terrace. As spring arrives, the menu begins to lighten.
April is when spring really starts shifting the food cycle; it’s the month to welcome asparagus, radish, rocket and our other salad leaves which in turn offer promise of al fresco dining and garden parties – what’s not to love!
Here are some of our favourite spring ingredients:
- Spring onions
- Purple sprouting broccoli
- Wild garlic
Meanwhile, as you read this The Terrace Restaurant’s very own Kitchen Garden is growing wild garlic and sprouting broccoli for this wonderful new season, but when it can’t quite accommodate an entire restaurant’s ingredients list, The Terrace uses local suppliers wherever is possible so nothing has to travel too far.
The Terrace’s dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables come from family run, Hampshire-based companies, Wrights Dairy and Harvest Fine Foods whilst you couldn’t get any closer for the delicious breakfast bacon and sausages sourced from the delightful Pondhead Farm, just 6 miles away in Lyndhurst.
At The Terrace, Head Chef Matthew Tomkinson creates delicious new dishes with each coming season’s freshest ingredients, whilst also finding inspiration in classic flavours.
We caught up to talk about spring, what to grow in our home kitchen gardens and 2018 food trends:
Matt, if you had to create a spring dish from just 3 ingredients what would it be?
"Scrambled eggs, wild garlic and morels. Delicious! We grow wild garlic in The Terrace’s very own Kitchen Garden and the eggs are laid by the resident chickens."
What would you say is trending in The Terrace kitchen at the moment?
“People are really enjoying classic flavour pairings like hazelnut and chocolate and duck and orange.”
What one ingredient would you recommend people should grow in their home kitchen gardens?
“Jerusalem artichokes. This hardy and versatile vegetable grows throughout the colder months and makes for a wonderful winter soup. Enjoy them until the end of March but be sure to add them to your ‘to grow’ list for next winter. As versatile as a potato: roast, sauté, bake, boil or steam them".
What is your favourite season for cooking?
“Always the next one! I love the changing of seasons; out with the old, in with the new.”
If you could grow any one ingredient in the Kitchen Garden, no matter whether it can really grow there due to climate, what would it be?
“World class tomatoes!”
Are there any ingredients that you would consider to be overrated?
“I think many of the micro cresses and some of the foraged foods.”
If you could make a prediction of a food-inspired trend for 2018, what would it be?
“A deeper desire to understand what is in our food. Not just fat or calories but how it is made, coupled with a move to eating more in independent restaurants rather than chains.”
It's the experience the sublime tastes of The Terrace restaurant. Whether you choose to make a weekend of it or simply an exquisite evening, reserve your table today!
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