Gourmet life - all the latest food news and views from across Hampshire
PUBLISHED: 14:24 21 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:24 21 January 2014
Food news from Hampshire this month
Supporting local flavours
Local producers will continue to benefit from the Southern Co-operative for 2014 after they renewed their partnership with county food group Hampshire Fare.
Local producers are high on the company’s agenda with the retailer currently providing its customers with the opportunity to purchase local products through its ‘Local Flavours’ range, which includes 450 different local lines. This gives Hampshire producers the opportunity to showcase their products to The Southern Co-operative’s customers and enables consumers to buy local every day of the week.
Kate Hibbert, Local Sourcing Manager for Local Flavours at The Southern Co-operative, spoke of the importance they place on supporting Hampshire’s producers: “For us, as a co-operative, it’s not just about selling food but about supporting the communities where we trade in a holistic way. We work closely with our local producers and suppliers to help them develop their business in a sustainable way, as well as backing organisations including Hampshire Fare that in turn offer them support.”
Claytons Eggs, located near Romsey, has been supplying the Local Flavours range since 2009. Phillip Shepherd from Claytons is positive about the opportunity, “The Southern Co-operative is a great company to work with. They were the first of the supermarket groups to support local producers and they are willing to give us a good price for the eggs. We are pleased that this arrangement means our eggs are going to shops in the local area rather than being sent to a packing station. We supply The Southern Co-operative with 800 dozen eggs per week, that’s 9,600 eggs.”
As well as sourcing producers for their Local Flavours range The Southern Co-operative shows its support for producers during the Hampshire Food Festival held every July. Stores across Hampshire enter into the spirit of the festival with tastings and food events celebrating local produce. Its Local Flavours tasting trailer is also a regular participant at agricultural shows.
Mike Wright, Chairman of Hampshire Fare, commented on the partnership: “We are delighted that The Southern Co-operative has decided to continue supporting Hampshire Fare. We value their support and our work is only possible thanks to our loyal corporate partners and friends. We are also pleased to announce that we will be welcoming Kate on to our board to give a valuable multiple retailer perspective to our business.”
The Hampshire Cookbook
We’ve always known that Hampshire is one of the finest counties for food production and now there is proof in the shape of the new, Hampshire Cookbook, an innovative project designed to raise funds for The Prince’s Trust Million Makers Challenge.
A team of volunteers from Hampshire-based global relocation company, HCR, created the book to celebrate the county’s diverse produce - and a host of the nation’s top cooks and chefs were quick to come forward with recipes.
“We were blessed with the sheer talent of the contributors to the Hampshire Cookbook,” said HCR head of marketing and Hampshire Cookbook volunteer, Simon Hood.
“Included are some quite exquisite recipes from Tommy Miah, Delia Smith, Rick Stein, Paul Hollywood, Marcus Wareing, Antonio Carluccio, Eric Lanlard and Hampshire’s own Simon Rogan.
“We couldn’t have asked for a tastier selection to help us celebrate all that is good about Hampshire’s food - and the best part is that all of the book’s profits will be fed back into The Prince’s Trust to help disadvantaged young people in the county.”
The Prince’s Trust Million Makers Challenge is a national competition calling on employees and university students to come together and raise £1 million to help make a difference to the lives of young people across the country.
“The team here would like to thank everyone who helped make The Hampshire Cookbook a reality,” added Simon. “From those donating recipes to the local businesses sponsoring the project - to our talented contributors. The response we’ve had from those offering their help has been incredible.”
The Hampshire Cookbook, priced at £7.99, will be available across Hampshire’s Farmers Markets and through Amazon UK.
A gourmet gallery
Exactly a year since it opened, Bell Street gallery, Rum’s Eg of Romsey have opened up a café serving varieties of freshly ground coffee, loose leaf tea and hot chocolate as well as homemade cakes and scones. Open from 10am until 4.30pm on weekdays and 11 until 4 on Sundays, light lunches will be served from 12 with a delicious choice of freshly prepared soups, open sandwiches, quiches and salads with daily changes to the menu on offer.
Visitors can also enjoy viewing and selecting from the most extensive selection of work from Hampshire Artists including: jewellery, ceramics, paintings, prints, soft furnishings, wooden and glass gifts and an unrivalled selection of greetings cards.
Call 01794 511220 or visit www.hampshireartandcraft.org for further details.
Beautiful South Awards
County food group, Hampshire Fare, is celebrating after enjoying another success at the Beautiful South Awards held at The Felbridge Hotel in West Sussex recently. For the fourth consecutive year the Hampshire Food Festival received an award in the Tourism Event of the Year Category. This year’s Silver Award will be added to the two Gold Awards and the Highly Commended received in previous years.
The Beautiful South Awards have been running for over twenty years and celebrate the very best the South East has to offer for all types of tourism businesses including B&Bs, hotels, holiday parks, visitor attractions as well as recognising those businesses that have gone the extra mile on accessibility, sustainability and great customer service.
The annual food festival is organised by Hampshire Fare to showcase local food and farming. The award was presented for the 2012 festival which attracted 295,000 visitors. The Hampshire Food Festival takes place throughout the month of July and involves more than 80 events held at various locations across the county. Vineyard tours, cookery classes, produce markets, brewery tours, buffalo herding and teddy bear picnics are just some of the events open to locals and visitors to the county.
Seven members of Hampshire Fare also attended the event which was hosted by Tourism South East Chairman, Ken Robinson CBE and travel journalist and broadcaster Alison Rice.
Careys Manor Hotel received a Highly Commended in the Business Tourism Award category and a Silver was awarded to employee Colin Parkes for his outstanding customer service. Marwell Hotel, Lainston House Hotel and The White Horse Hotel and Brasserie were all presented Silver Awards. The Cloud Hotel received Highly Commended and The Montagu Arms Hotel celebrated with a Gold Award.
New faces at The Hodd
Our Hampshire Life Pub of the Year, the Hoddington Arms has recently appointed award-winning head chef, Chris Heather, who previously worked at the prestigious Ivy Restaurant in London; and earlier this year was awarded a Rosette for his cooking.
He has been in the restaurant business since the age of 14, and is now looking forward to applying his extensive experience and passion for food to developing the menu at the Hoddington Arms. He says, “I am fortunate to be in a great region with fantastic local produce and will be evolving my dishes using the best of local seasonal resources.”
Chris joins another fresh face behind the bar as new landlady, Alex, brings a little French flair to the English countryside. Alex, along with her partner, Greg, and their little girl are delighted to move to the village of Upton Grey and are looking forward to becoming part of the community.
Originally from the South of France, Alex is passionate about food and customer service. She has worked all over the world in quality restaurants, including the USA where she worked with the celebrity chef, Paul Bocuse. An experienced publican, Greg, from Christchurch in New Zealand has developed a love for British Ales and together the couple have exciting plans. Alex says, “We are delighted to take over the running of the Hoddington Arms, and look forward to building upon the success of the 2013 Pub of the Year award. Not only do we want to be known as one of the finest dining pubs in the area, we’re passionate about creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere for anyone popping in for a pint and a chat.”