This weekend's inspiration is in support of Chatsworth's Road local Rushmore Primary School market. It's a great community market with a great local spirit where you can find some great buys among the bric-a-brac stores as well as seasonal fruit and vegetables, organic meat, fish, homemade cakes, and artisan breads. The perfect way to spend a Sunday. We hope that we'll see the return of this Sunday market very soon. You find out more about the market here and to register your support you can write to Hackney Council.
It seems ages since I was in NYC but my interview with Alison Cayne continues to be inspire me. At the moment, my article is travelling back and forth between London and NYC for some fine tuning but ... it should be available for posting very soon. In the meanwhile, here is a sneak preview:
Alison Cayne wants us to cook more. Given her philosophy that sustainable and seasonal eating can address problems of food inequity it’s hardly surprising. Such devotion to the kitchen is at the heart of Haven’s Kitchen - her cafe, cooking school, and event space located two blocks from New York’s Union Square Greenmarket.
A perfect brunch hosted by Craved and Black Isle Bakery providing the ideal showcase for Ruth Barry's delectable buns - mushroom and tarragon (conjuring the earthiness of the forest) and smoked salmon with creme fraiche. Ally Pally from Wildes Cheese, Spalactic and Bermondsey Hard Pressed from Kappacasein with a serve of Brickhouse sourdough proved the perfect starter with Damson Jam by England Preserves. A surprising addition was Barry's range of dry goods - granola, ginger nuts, shortbread and nut butters. The granola wonderful with the organic natural yogurt from Kappacasein and honeycomb. Brunch concluded with friands - spiced with cardamom and rhuburb, aromatic and truly delightful. A true celebration of the producers and food entrepreneurs who are defining and redfining London as a food city. We can't wait for the next event.
A co-operative of smaller farms and producers from Sussex and Kent, Jacob’s Ladder Farms supplies biodynamic and organic meat, eggs and bread to some of London’s best food markets. Set up by Michael and Jayne Duveen in 2010, all producers involved champion traditional farming practices. It was our privilege to speak to Jayne Duveen, a veteran of the food industry, including a twenty-year association with Neal's Yard Dairy. Our interview with her was an inspirational one in which she spoke about native breeds and organic farming practices to her UK food hero, Randolph Hodgson, and the revival of traditional butchery in the UK.
How did you get started?
Michael and I have always been passionate about food and farming and so when he converted our current farm over to biodynamic status, it offered us a unique opportunity to do something. We established Jacob’s Ladder Farms as we wanted to relay the importance of reconnecting food to the farm as well as work with likeminded farmers. As most of the farms involved are small, working together enables us to find a viable way of trading in London and is the only way that we can offer our customers all year round supply.
And the name?
It’s the rib of the animal. This is a name that has been forgotten with the loss of whole carcass butchery. Whole carcass butchery was done in the days when the majority of butchers would walk the fields with the farmer and buy whole animals direct from the farm. The industry moved away from this and bought prime cuts from wholesalers and the direct link to the farm was lost. This is now changing and once again people are appreciating their butcher and wanting the cuts that have been forgotten and more importantly to know where their meat comes from. We believe that this revival of whole carcass butchery ties in really well with the growing interest in provenance which is what Jacob's Ladder Farms has to offer.
Who are the other farms that you work with?
There is our own farm, where we have built up a herd of Sussex cattle and a flock of Romney sheep. Our beef is grass fed and the breeds are native. Other farms include Perry Court Farm - the first family to practice biodynamic agriculture in the UK. They rear the Luing beef breed which is hardy and suits their farming system. Montague Farm is an organic farm in Sussex. They also have the native Romney sheep breed and their farm is now an area of Special Scientific Interest because of all the wildlife and biodiversity. We also work with Edwina Le May at Ladymead's Farm who has been rearing organic rare breed hens for 27 years.
All farms are family-run including Hungary Lane Farm - a 300 acre biodynamic farm located in Sutton Bonington and Coopers Farm that specialises in Britain’s oldest and now rare pig breed – Berkshire. We also work with Brockwell Bake Association and were one of the first to start sell Andy Forbes sourdough bread. Andy is interested in reviving heritage wheat breeds that flourish in organic/biodynamic farming systems. We were one of the first farms to start growing grain for Andy and therefore it was a natural step to sell his bread.
As you know, we at London Food Essentials are huge fans of Craved and their promotion of small-batch London-based producers. So we were besides ourselves when we heard about this collaboration between Black Isle Bakery of London and David Voxlin. So make sure you get yourself a ticket for what promises to be a bountiful brunch. It will feature well-known London producers as well as the seasonal and modern delights of Black Isle Bakery.
Get your tickets here. At £20 a ticket this event will sell out fast.