We've known chef and food writer Gill Meller for many years. Given that his kitchen philosophy centres on simple, seasonal cookery and making the most of beautifully produced, natural ingredients, we get on very well. And as autumn eases in, who better to celebrate all the glorious meat it brings, especially our favourite forgotten food, mutton. We'll have some specially created recipes to help you make the most of it, but in the mean time let's take a moment to celebrate autumn. Over to Gill!

I used to think I had a favourite season. One that stood out from the rest, which gave me, as a cook, everything I could hope for. It’s only now, looking back, I realise I love each one differently but with the same equal measure.


Over time I’ve learnt that seasonal cooking isn’t just about ingredients. It’s about connecting to the world around us through the food we eat. It’s about opening our eyes and actually seeing. It’s about being quiet for a moment and actually listening. It’s about reaching out to our communities with our hands and helping.

Seasonal cooking is about supporting producers who are working in harmony with nature to help restore biodiversity and protect our ecosystems so that future generations can enjoy good food too, no matter what the season.

The shift from summer to autumn has a particular resonance though. For me, it’s a time to slow down, breathe and take stock. It’s a time to preserve for the winter, it’s a time for slow roasting meats, watching the leaves fall and the swallows leave.

I sometimes feel my cooking is a reflection of my surroundings. I take inspiration from the landscape, my locality, and the amazing farmers, growers, and fisherman that produce the ingredients I use. That’s why I’m so happy to be working with Pipers Farm again. I’ve come up with some lovely simple recipes to help you make the most of their beautiful mutton, one of the most sustainable, delicious meats we could hope to eat. My friends at Pipers are real farmers with mud on their boots, and having known them for years, walked their farm, and cooked what they create, I know their meat is very special and the perfect way to mark autumn.

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