The Guardian: Hyperlocal heroes
The concept of restaurants growing their own is not new. But those that do it, such as Askham Hall, Le Manoir or L’Enclume, have tended to be Michelin-starred or large country house venues with serious resources. This new crop of hyperlocal restaurants are smaller, DIY and cultivating their own supplies even in urban locations. The Dairy in Clapham, for instance, has its own rooftop allotment, while the success of London BBQ restaurant Pitt Cue has been underpinned by the farming prowess of co-founder Tom Adams. Adams has spent much of the last few years outside London raising mangalitza pigs, to get exactly the product he required. Pork so good it needs only simple treatment in the kitchen to create something exceptional. Ten years ago at the height of molecular gastronomy, chefs were amateur scientists. Now, says Buckley, they are “learning about nature and how food works”.
Adams now runs Cornwall’s Coombeshead Farm, an almost entirely self-sufficient restaurant and guest house, which – with WTLGI, Ambleside’s Lake Road Kitchen and Sedbergh’s Three Hares – is at the forefront of this hyperlocal movement. Fellow travellers such as Somerset’s Ethicurean or Monmouthshire’s Whitebrook, which at the height of summer sources up to 90% of its produce from within 12 miles, work in a similar way. This whole approach will get a further boost this year when ex-Fera at Claridges chef Dan Cox opens a new restaurant at Cornwall’s Crocadon Farm.