Why The Rose blooms in the Garden of England

Abigail Englefield, Project Manager, One Planet Plate

Known as the ‘Garden of England’, Kent has an abundance of produce available on its doorstep, and Executive Chef Nuno Mendes and Head Chefs Luke Green and David Gadd’s menu at The Rose in Deal celebrates just that. They have an ever-changing menu designed to champion locally, available ingredients from both the land and sea. From foraging to supporting and working with local businesses. We sat down with Luke and David to find out what really inspires their menu and hear their advice for diners who share the same passion. Their local crab with heritage tomato tonnato One Planet Plate, uses crab fresh from the Kent coast, as is garnished with sea fennel from the beach in Deal. 

Head Chefs Luke Green and David Gadd

What do you enjoy most about working with your local greengrocers, fishmongers, and butchers in Deal? 

Not knowing what will turn up!

Who are your favourite local producers to work with, and why?  

Lizzy at The Black Pig, her amazing produce is the backbone of our breakfast, and her nose-to-tail philosophy pushes us to be more creative. Her generosity also extends to the occasional bag of wild garlic! Also Andy at the Merchant of Relish, his zeal for finding the best of local produce and his background in hospitality make him a joy to work with.

Kent Crab with Heritage tomato tonnato

How does working with local producers change the way you create your menu?

Creating the menu becomes a collaborative effort when ingredients are affected by the expected seasons, local factors, weather, etc.

Some people might be intimidated about using seaweed and herbs etc. What advice would you give them?

There is a wealth of information available online. Wild Food UK is a good place to start in terms of knowing what you can and can’t take. And Miles Irving of The Forager in Canterbury’s The Forager Handbook is also great.

What local ingredient do you think is the most underrated, and how do you use it on your menu? 

Currently, wild fennel is in abundance. The throngs and pollen are amazing as garnishes or pickled.

What advice would you give diners who want to discover seasonal produce from local producers? 

Go in and talk to people! Local producers are generally enthusiastic, passionate people eager to share their knowledge. 

Kent is known as the garden of England – if you had to choose one item of Kent produce, what would it be and why?

Apples are in use in our kitchen year through, from desserts in autumn to fermented with oysters in the spring and reduced and used as a vinegar to baste our fish in the summer.

To discover more participating One Planet Plate restaurants like The Rose, near you, visit our website www.oneplanetplate.org.

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