No restaurant can survive without good suppliers and we are proud of the fact that we’ve built up over the years a strong network of the finest in the area, many of whom are now personal friends. Here are a few of them:
REG THE VEG
Reg the Veg is one of the few shops that has been around longer than us and as food miles go we’re on pretty safe ground as their front door is barely 20 yards from ours. They buy from the market but also from a local farmer in Abbott’s Leigh who grows the very best in traditionally harvested vegetables. We always use these and they bring our dishes to life.
Jonathan Newberry has been smoking food for over 20 years now up at his grandfather’s farm in Dundry. Ex-chef for the American ambassador in London and with a cv as long as your arm in the finest of British kitchens and personally acquainted with most of the country’s top chefs, he produces some of the best smoked salmon in the world, supplying amongst others Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and the Dorchester Hotel. He’s the fastest-working chef I know – I’ve watched him fillet, pin-bone and skin a salmon in less than forty seconds. He supplies us with salmon, both hot- and cold-smoked, bacon , chickens and a host of other smoked foods which we may require from time to time.
ALAN SPARKS – the “FUNGI with FISH” (his pun not ours…)
Filling the role perfectly of the grizzled old sea-dog, “Sparky” makes the journey to Cornwall three or four times a week and buys direct from the markets in Newlyn and Looe. The fish is always spanking fresh and I choose it straight from the van the same afternoon as it’s landed. Alan is also an inveterate forager and supplies us with a cornucopia of wild mushrooms when in season, chanterelles, girolles, parasol, puffball, chicken-of-the-woods, ceps and more. He also brings us wild garlic, wild asparagus, seaweed, sloes, crab apples and many other things that grow wild in our fields, forests and hedgerows.
Based on the A38 near Lulsgate, Steve Downey buys from local farms and supplies us with Aberdeen Angus beef , Old Spot pork, lamb from the Somerset levels and all manner of game when in season. He supplies all over the country to some of the top restaurants and we are lucky enough to have him right on our doorstep.
From a vast warehouse in Fishponds, this worker’s cooperative supplies a huge range of dry goods, both organic and fair-trade. From here we buy Shipton Mill flour, pulses, nuts, seeds, raw sugar and much, much more.
Not a supplier as such, but a great champion of the Slow Food Movement, and of course publisher. Alastair has been kind enough to allow us to keep our pigs on his field (borrowed from Chris Alcock) next to his offices in Long Ashton. This generosity has enabled us to have all manner of pigs, Duroc, Old Spot and Berkshire to name some, all of which have found their way onto our menu.