There are a few people out there whose words we find ourselves hanging on, who when we listen to them speak, inside our bellies filled with the fire of agreement. In this series, we will feature these special people, champions of food, farming and whatever else floats our boat.
Next up are Matthew and Iain Pennington, founders of the award-winning restaurant, The Ethicurean, a beautiful hidden gem in the Mendips just outside of Bristol. Housed in two of the original Victorian glass houses of the Barley Wood Gardens on an overgrown Georgian estate. With views as far as the eye can see over a magnificent walled garden, and an orchard filled with glorious aged trees. We have been working with the guys at the Ethicurean for a number of years now and we believe them to be truly inspirational people.
Ethicurean: adj: the pursuit of fine-tasting food while being mindful of the effect of one’s food production and consumption on the environment.
Founded in 2010 after having started from farmers markets, Matthew and Iain opened The Ethicurean. Working in harmony with their surroundings, they use what grows in the kitchen garden to use an abundance of seasonal ingredients in their menu. They source sustainable producers to work with and are keen advocates of pickling, smoking, preserving and foraging, to use the very best produce and to use in ways which celebrate every single day of the British season. They also create their own vermouth using botanicals from the garden and make tinctures and syrups. Both being self-taught they experimented with what they had grown and today along with their head chef Simon and have won many accolades, a true commendation of their incredible talent.
Working sustainably with the landscape and surroundings are vital to the Matthew and Iain and to us. We understand that it is key to producing intensely flavourful food and to ensure that the countryside is looked after and is preserved for future generations. You can find Pipers Farm on the menu year round, showcasing our Saddleback pork and bacon, Red Ruby beef, grass fed lamb and properly free range chicken and duck.
The Ethicurean cookbook is a deeply satisfying thing of joy. With recipes from the bounteous walled garden, it’s a pleasure to read, with tales from each season that connects so intrinsically. We are continuously inspired by Matthew and Iain and love what they do.
A few weeks ago we held a collaborative supper with the guys at The Ethicurean. With a wonderful menu for the evening which consisted of a unique seasonal combination of our meat paired alongside items sourced from the walled gardens and surrounding countryside. It was a magical evening, with Peter talking in between courses about why we do what we do and why it is so important to us. We were totally blown away by the dishes that were served, with the evening rounding off with the most inspirational Saddleback bacon infused panna cotta.
It is a pleasure working with Matthew and Iain, we admire what they do and are truly inspired by them. To book your table with them head over to their website and give them a ring.