CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Somerset Life today CLICK HERE

From farm to fork

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 January 2014

Adam Henson

Adam Henson


Adam Henson has joined forces with top chef nigel Slater for a fresh look at how we view food

I’ve recently been involved in an unlikely but very enjoyable partnership. I teamed up with Nigel Slater for a BBC TV series about British food. Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen saw me, a farmer from the Cotswolds, paired up with this North London cook, award-w inning writer and celebrated food columnist. We come from entirely different worlds. For instance, while I’m really at home in the cab of a massive combine harvester, Nigel hasn’t driven for decades. But sure enough, we got on famously.

The whole idea of the series was to follow some of our best-known and most popular foods from farm to fork as a way of trying to reconnect us with the meals on our plates. After all we lead such busy lives these days and convenience food is so easily available that I think we’ve lost touch with the staples in our diet. That’s despite the fact that more than half the land in the UK is used for producing food.

Take chicken for instance. It’s Britain’s favourite meat, we eat our way through more than a billion chickens ever y year and a lot of it appears in processed meals and takeaways. But knowing how much we Brits love exotic tastes and foreign flavours, Nigel picked the brains of some top restaurant owners in the North West to devise simple ways of making things like chicken kiev healthily at home.

Living and working on the land, I‘m very aware of the changing seasons and what that means for crops and harvesting. I count myself lucky to be so close to nature because modern city life and imported meat, fruit and vegetables can really divorce you from the notion of seasonality. If you let it, that is. When times are tough the cost of food in season is all important, so we looked at something which has become increasingly expensive in recent years to see if there was a cheaper alternative. Spring lamb is delicious but out of reach for many people on a budget. I discovered that the answer lies in knowing the various cuts of meat; the sort of things you see on diagrams in butchers’ shops. We rescued the cheaper, less fashionable cuts and Nigel produced dishes which proved Spring lamb c an be tasty and inexpensive. We also filmed the sort of event which was once a common sight in ever y village in the country; the traditional harvest supper. It really focuses the mind when you’re challenged to feed your neighbours from food you’ve grown yourself.

The prospect of moving in with a farming family to grow crops, rear animals and cook up tasty, cheap, healthy food was a very tall order indeed. I really think we succeeded and both Nigel and I learnt a great deal from the experience. Although, I’ll think twice before letting him any where near another combine harvester.


More from Food & Drink

Tue, 10:43

Josh Eggleton, winner of ‘Chef of the Year’ at the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards 2018, gives us an exclusive recipe for his Cider Glazed Ham

Read more
Tue, 10:36

Those chilly winter evenings are perfect for huddling in the corner of a pub, catching up with friends and enjoying a few drinks or a hearty homemade dinner. Get yourself out of the cold, we’ve assembled a list of 20 cosy pubs to visit in Somerset

Read more
Tue, 10:20

Josh Eggleton, winner of ‘Chef of the Year’ at the Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards 2018, gives us an exclusive recipe for his Pear & Ginger Chutney

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Catherine Courtenay visits a rather special restaurant in the heart of Clifton

Read more
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Somerset’s county town has more than its fair share of good pubs, and a myriad of wonderful walking routes between them, as Laurence McJannet discovers

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Jane Clark finds modern style mixed with warm hospitality at a pretty village pub

Read more
Friday, October 19, 2018

Excited guests gathered to celebrate the region’s food and drink industry at the annual Somerset Life Food & Drink Awards…and here we announce the worthy winners

Read more
Thursday, July 19, 2018

For the ‘Pub of the Year’, readers nominated establishments that offer exceptional food and drink including a wide range of locally brewed real ales. It also needed to have a menu which champions local food and provide a warm welcome to all

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Barrel-aged beers, small batch nanobrews, even breeding their own hops, Somerset’s craft brewers are building a reputation for innovation, discovers Chris Allsop

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

An award-winning pub where a warm welcome awaits with lots of good, local produce.

Read more

If there’s one way to wake people up and get a message across, it’s staging a world record breaking attempt.

Read more
Friday, September 28, 2018

When a town can boast having three community orchards offering free fruit for all, you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. Laurence McJannet marches to Wellington for some culinary surprises

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

As well as free talks and workshops, there will be ticketed masterclasses and food-related arts and crafts

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Two city bankers ditched their corporate careers to run a pub and found a clever way to fund it

Read more
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

subscription ad

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search