A Taste of the South East
June 20, 2012
As part of our program to connect chefs with food producers, Harbour & Jones’ latest farm trip took a team to Sussex and Kent to sample the delights of the region’s best artisan suppliers.
We had been invited by established foodservice supplier KFF, who were keen to introduce us to some of the producers behind their “Locally Sourced for You” range. This collection features a wide variety of specialist fine food and drink, many of the products award-winning, sourced exclusively from Kent and Sussex.
Our first stop of the day was High Weald Dairy, an organic dairy farm in West Sussex, recently named “Sussex Food Producer of the Year”. This family-run farm uses organic milk from their own cows as well as local sheep and goats’ milk to make the most delicious, award-winning cheeses in their on-site dairy. We were given a fascinating tour and some insights into cheese making and then got down to the serious business of tasting the different cheeses, including some pan-fried sheep milk halloumi which was heavenly.
We then headed East to Flimwell and The Weald Smokery, a traditional smokehouse where fish, meat and cheese are smoked over oak in brick kilns. It felt like stepping back in time with the weathered sooty bricks and the scent of oak smoke in the air. The rows of tasty looking chickens being cooled by electric fans brought us back to the modern world though!
There was time for one final stop on our wonderful day trip and fortunately for us this was at Kentish Mayde in Biddenden, where we were treated to a scrumptious selection of pies for lunch. Kentish Mayde was started in 2001 by experienced restaurateurs, Colin and Sue and their son Matthew who bake savoury and sweet pies, suet puddings and pasties, all lovingly made and hand-finished. We were treated to a magnificent spread of cold pork pies, hot steak and ale, chicken, ham and leek and lamb and mint pies. After this feast, we journeyed back to London, happily chatting about how lucky we are to have access to such well-made and tasty food.