We’ll hopefully be publishing a series of articles about Chefs who are supporting Real Food Hub to promote Heritage Breed Meats and Special Types of Meats available for Nationwide Delivery, so that these fantastic breeds can continue to survive. Read More
These brilliantly supportive Chefs are talking to their customers through their enewsletters and social media so it is a great way for us to reach more people who want to eat better meat.
Nigel Jones is Chef Director of Nanteos, a luxury country house hotel on the rugged coast near Aberystwyth. He has served Longhorn Beef and Middle White Pork to his guests, from one of our fantastic farmers, Richard Vaughan at Huntsman Farm.
I contacted Nigel asking for his help in spreading the word, so that we can achieve our mission of “Bringing Heritage Breed Meats Back to British Kitchens”. Nigel immediately wanted to help because he loves what we are trying to do at Real Food Hub.
Nigel was great to talk to because he shares our values. He started his working life in agriculture and stock rearing (Dairy and livestock) before his passion for food and hospitality culminated in a career change.
A Chef trained by Antony Worrall Thompson, Nigel is very keen on provenance and traceability so is happy to back Real Food Hub whose farmers practice regenerative agriculture, take their animals to small local abattoirs themselves and have exceptional standards of animal welfare.
Here is what Nigel has to say:
“How pleasing it was to speak with Jenny Goddard last week.
Jenny had sent me an email regarding one of the aims of The real Food Hub being the promotion of the use of Heritage Breed meats in British Kitchens. I thought afterwards that British Heritage Breed meets British kitchens may be a good strap line. Obviously evidence that me remaining outside the field of marketing and promotion was a wise choice.
Being a farmer prior to my becoming a chef Jenny’s words struck a chord in me. Working with livestock never leaves your blood and when the opportunity arose in the world of kitchens where I directed ordering, I was adamant that we would source well. This included the use of indigenous breeds, low carbon footprint, exceptional animal welfare but mainly that we would utilise the whole carcass. The animal husbandry and the route to slaughter are also of major importance. Of course, being local does not always mean better. Across of any herd or flock there will be a range which will include excellent to poor, with vast majority being in between.
My use of heritage breeds, not necessarily ‘rare breeds’ , but commonly minority breeds stems from my passion for the breeds which were generally exceptionally suited for their environment and produced distinct qualities. All of us above a certain age will remember tasty chickens that were a treat instead of the usual roast beef. Both of which would not have been produced en mass. You wanted it you paid the price. The call for cheaper foods has in many respects been to the demise of some breeds in a relatively short space of time. I guess the most obvious example is eggs. If you want proper free-range eggs there will be a price to pay. If you do not want to pay that price you will have to settle for caged laying hens.
Anyway, rather than rant on let’s celebrate what we are trying to do at Nanteos. I am actively seeking producers of meat that falls into the categories I laid out above. Without doubt we have had some of tastiest and relaxed meat we have used. From middle white pork, Ryeland lamb and Longhorn beef from Huntsham Court farm to the eggs we receive from Nantclydd over the hill opposite the produce is a joy to use. Much as I enjoy the Middle white pork and have done so for years, we are now trying Saddleback and Welsh pig pork (and possibly bacon) from Debbie Salmi and her husband who farm just a few miles from us.
Jenny Goddard’s passion is both laudable and infectious, but the task ahead of her is a difficult one. I and all at Nanteos wish her well and support what she is doing. We will continue to do our part and hope that this in some way will also encourage the ‘Meating’ of heritage breeds and the kitchen such that they return to their former place as the choice of many.