Provenance has found its home in the village of Notting Hill. Co-owner Erin Hurst talks about the importance of provenance, grass-fed wagyu, and what’s in her London larder.
Step inside Provenance in Notting Hill and expect a warm welcome. Records play in the background, there’s the local gossip to catch up on. Recipes are shared and photographs of suppliers hang on the wall like a family album.
Husband and wife team Erin Hurst and Guy Gibson have made their business a very family affair since opening Provenance last year. As the children of New Zealand farmers, both know the importance of provenance having grown up on farms. “It’s the one fundamental thing that is so important to us. We know the origins of every single product and each of our suppliers personally,” explains co-owner Erin Hurst.
Specialising in grass-fed, free-range produce including wagyu beef, this is a butcher that is committed to quality, with each of its award winning and often generational suppliers true to its philosophy of “great animal welfare, sustainable farming and meat reared free-range and grass-fed for taste”.
Having established their business in an area of London they have called home for the last fifteen years, the feel of the butcher was always going to be important. “In creating the butchery, I wanted it to feel like you were walking into someone’s kitchen,” says Erin. Modern in design, the serve-overs are low; the counters, waist high. There’s no glass between the counter and the team. The result is a very hands-on friendly space with “the boys knowing nearly everyone that comes through the door”.
In addition to its wagyu, locals are encouraged to try new cuts like chicken flat-iron and Korean short-ribs or its range of handmade pies—lamb and sweet potato and ham hock with sprouting broccoli. Monthly supplier demonstrations offer great ways to sample produce like their sell-out wagyu burgers and on the shelves of the butchery, you’ll find artisan condiments by CNWD and Rubies in the Rubble among others.
Provenance at its simplest is knowing the origins of something. At this very family-business, it has added meaning. Alongside head butcher Struan Robertson works Tom Gibson, Guy's brother. Many of the generation farmers are known to Erin’s father — a New Zealand farmer who was a Nuffield scholar in the UK twenty years ago.
When knowing where our food comes from is never a given, Provenance is a very welcome addition to W11.
33 Kensington Park Rd, W11 2EU
Mon-Sat 8am-7pm; Sunday 10am-4pm
Tel: 020 7229 8814http://www.provenancebutcher.com/
My London larder
Our home larder looks a lot like what you’ll find in our store. So there’s Simon Wright’s tomato sauce (@wrightsfood), Trealy Farm Charcuterie (@trealyfarm), CNWD smoked salmon (@cnwdfood) and some Ouse Valley fresh mayonnaise (@OuseValleyFoods). We have Rubies in the Rubble (@rubiesintherubble). One of the girls lives close to us, so she’s helped us with one of our supplier demos that we do once a month. In the fridge, there’ll always be some Packington chicken (@PackingtonFR) and pies from the store. And of course meat, we eat wagyu once or twice a week.
Favourite food market
Portobello Road (@RBKC). There’s a great new cheese store called La Cave a Fromage that’s just opened. We get our spices from The Spice Shop and all of our herbs and vegetables come from the market. We know most of the stallholders by name. Friday is a great day to go as you have the food market as well as some of the antique dealers.
London food secret
Walking down Portobello Road and doing local things like buying from the fantastic falafel girl outside Tesco or grabbing lunch at Books for Cooks on Blenheim Crescent (@Booksforcooks). There’s a great fishmonger called George’s Fisheries on Ladbroke Grove.
UK food hero
Jamie Oliver. He’s not only an amazing chef but he’s been a huge driver of eating locally and promoting British produce. I’m also a fan of Peter Gordon who has done such an amazing job of bringing a pan-Asian influence to cooking in the UK.