Chef up and running for fresh ingredients

Chef up and running for fresh ingredients: Image 1 It's ready, set, go for the head chef at the Old Vicarage who will be pulling on his running shoes and dashing out the garden to pick fresh ingredients for diners.
Food is more succulent and all-round satisfying the fresher it is and you can't get much more fresh than the chef actually heading out to pick your order fresh from the vine. That is exactly what is happening at the Old Vicarage in Worfield where the produce is sourced as locally as possible even as local as being picked from the venue's grounds for the plates of customers by head chef Gavin Allan.

Foodies are more concerned than ever about where what they eat comes from and how sustainably a dish has been produced. Those who eat at the Old Vicarage will be astonished to glance out of the window and see head chef Gavin dashing out to pick ingredients for their order. One of those dishes, aptly named Watch The Chef Run, is a tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad where Gavin can be seen rifling through the basil and tomatoes in the garden to get the best and freshest ingredients from the vine he can find. You don't get more traceable than that.

Gavin is the new kid on the culinary block in the West Midlands and this dish is all part of a new summer menu which focuses on miles to plate and aims for the dishes to be as simple, sustainable and fresh as possible.
He said, "I wanted to introduce a menu that not only explored summer combinations and show that British produce can be dynamic while also offering food that has been consciously thought about. Our tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad, or Watch The Chef Run, will include things picked to order from our hotel garden. It may seem like a simple concept, but actually, when you take into account the growing itself and the consideration of which ingredients are ready to pick, it's actually a bit of a science. There's also very little waste from the garden, with the excess tomatoes not used in season picked and fermented at the end and used to create a tomato salt."

The Orangery Brasserie at the Old Vicarage recently rebranded at the same time Gavin decided to introduce the Midlands to his unique take on brasserie dining. The new menu will also include an extensive steak dish selection including a Tomahawk steak for two. The meat is also sourced locally and is supplied by Beaman & Sons, a traditional family butcher in Bridgnorth for the last 125 years. The brasseries's fruit and vegetables is supplied by Shropshire-based Rowlands Fresh Produce and fish by Barkworths Seafood in the Shrewsbury Market Hall. The brasserie is part of the boutique hotel and can be found within the hotel grounds overlooking gorgeous countryside and rolling green hills.

Owner and operator of the Old Vicarage, David Blakstad, has also played an advisory role on the brasserie's new menu and is thrilled with the result. He said, "Food is always evolving, and Gavin likes to ensure that we stay true to our environment. He is a refreshing addition to the culinary industry in the West Midlands. The mix of our own grown and locally supplied produce and the homemade methods thatGavin uses is the principle to drive the brasserie forward. Gavin and I want to get across the importance of sustainable food that can be traced back to its origins."

The 14-room boutique hotel boasts enviable views in the heart of the Shropshire countryside with visitors travelling from all over the Midlands and beyond, whilst offering exclusivity to over 60 weddings each year. Working with locally renowned vendors such as Bennett & Dunn, Beaman's Butchers and Rowlands of Shrewsbury, The Old Vicarage aims to bring high-quality produce to its visitors.

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