Seasons Change

For a chef, it’s essential to be acutely aware of seasonality. Our menus ebb and flow as the year progresses, as hot gives way to cold, fresh gives way to comforting. and every animal, vegetable, fruit and nut has its day. You can set your watch by these changes.

Or at least you could. When you’re trying to prepare an autumn menu while tomatoes and even strawberries are still growing outside, the idea of global warming doesn’t seem quite so open to debate any more. Maybe we should be thankful. Certainly foraging ceps of this size and quality a couple of weeks ago, at a time of year when they’d usually be long gone, is something to be thankful for. But when winter keeps on running into March and beyond next year, the shift in seasonal timing probably won’t hold quite so much appeal.

On a practical level, these changes makes a restaurant like ours – which pushes hard to work with local, sometimes foraged produce – think harder about how we use, store and preserve ingredients as they come into the kitchen. That, at least, is no bad thing. Let’s just hope we don’t find ourselves serving local heirloom tomatoes by next Christmas…

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