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Paul Foster

Foraging weekend at Tuddenham mill

Posted on 21 Jun 2011 at 03:46

On June the 17th and 18th I had the pleasure of spending two days foraging with Miles Irving in my own surroundings. We took out a small amount of guests on the saturday to spend the day with us. The starting point was on our twelve acres of land at the restaurant and I was amazed at what he showed me, considering  I have been picking just elderflower, chick weed, nettles, and watercress. I was blind to what else was there, yet now I look at the field in a totally different way. We found Mugwort, wild asparagus, hogweed seeds, jack by the hedge seeds, ox eye daisy, mignonette, greater plantain, ribwort plantain, bulrush, daisy leaves, a cherry tree, lime tree, wintergreen (from the birch tree), sow thistle, yarrow, ground ivy, wild sorrel, wild chervil, and even the highly poisonous hemlock.

After lunch we took a trip up the banks of the river lark and found some more fantastic ingredients including, hops, hedge mustard, burdock, meadow sweet, judas ear mushroom, swine cress, silver leaf, pineapple weed, and yellow sorrel.

My challenge was yet to come, I had to give a 30 minute demonstration to the customers on the event showing them how they can extract the flavour from the ingredients and use them in the best way possible and not just for the sake of it. After this I produced a tasting menu of 8 courses based around the ingredients we found. This was difficult considering a couple of the ingredients I hadn't worked with before. I do enjoy a challenge and it fortunatly went without a hitch and i got some great feedback about the food. A few of the recipes I did off the cuff will be featuring on my menu very soon.

We are looking at hosting more of these events in the future so please keep an eye on the website if you are interested in coming along.

Menu and photos below.

Alexander stem, plantain veloute, jack by the hedge, british tomato

Tilbrook asparagus, chickweed, greater plantain, hops

Mackerel 52C, new season, cherrys, hogweed

Pork neck, burdock root, meadow sweet, hedge mustard

Lamb rump, elderflower mayonaise, rose garlic, bulrush, judas ear mushrooms

Whipped sea buckthorn, raspberries, ground ivy

Bitter chocolate, pineapple weed panna cotta and candied buds

Suffolk strawberries, brandon pine ice cream, goats milk, baked oats

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