HOME GROWN SEASONAL SUMMER LUNCH
A pioneering partnership with biodynamic gardening expert is revolutionising food production in the kitchen gardens at Northcote, which has just launched a delightful seasonal summer lunch menu
Northcote has long been respected for its commitment to sourcing the finest regional produce with Chef Patron, Nigel Haworth and Executive Head Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen possessing a keen interest in the benefits of sustainable and organic food production.
This has led to a successful partnership with gardening expert, Phill Dewhurst and the implementation of a biodynamic gardening scheme in the grounds of the hotel.
Over the past few years agriculture has become incredibly industrialised which has resulted in cheaper food but this doesn’t always take into consideration the real cost to our health and the wellbeing of the environment. The aim of the garden project is to enhance the life forces within the plot in order to enhance the quality, flavour and nutritional content of the produce grown on the hotel’s doorstep.
The success is already visible with over 90 varieties of fruit and vegetables having made the short journey from the garden into the experienced hands of the chefs in Northcote’s busy kitchen.
Northcote has always been respected for their commitment to innovation – indeed it is one of the reasons behind their extraordinary success – but with the biodynamic gardening scheme, they’re taking trail blazing to new heights.
Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic, ecological, ethical approach to farming, gardening, food and nutrition which was first developed in the 1920s by the Austrian writer, educator and social activist Dr Rudolf Steiner. Building on the concept of organic growing, biodynamic gardeners strive to create a diversified, balanced ecosystem that generates health and fertility from within the land itself.
Seeking to combine ecological, social and economic sustainability, biodynamic gardening is all about nurturing the relationship between humans and the earth to protect the integrity of our food.
Acknowledging Nigel as the Michelin-starred figurehead of the campaign, Phil’s role is very much hands on in the hotel’s garden.
“Our success in the garden allows Northcote’s chefs the pleasure of working in reverse by taking inspiration from the ingredients laid before them, rather than the idea coming first and the produce second. By combining gardening experience with chef expertise we can guarantee exactness from seed to plate,” explains Phil.
With a rotating cropping programme, the biodynamic garden’s harvest is used to create some stunningly fresh dishes and Northcote’s new summer lunch menu reflects this. Delicately favoured herbs, super-fresh fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden all feature on the menu.
The fruits of Phil and Nigel’s labours have already proved substantial with Northcote’s talented kitchen team and, most importantly, their diners singing the praises of their endeavours, resulting in a very happy Chef Patron, as Nigel concludes: “Our goal at Northcote is to keep moving food to the next level and the garden team are essential to this.”
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