A special event to encourage restaurants, pubs, and cafes in the Horsham District to ‘Plate Up Local’ was held at Wiston Wine Estate this week, with guest speakers including celebrity chef and MasterChef Winner Kenny Tutt.
The event formed the initial steps of the research phase for this new initiative, bringing together Horsham District hospitality businesses and producers with a view to enable more local produce to be served on local menus.
The event proved successful, with an audience of some fifty local food and drink producers and chefs.
Nick Hempleman, founder of The Sussex Produce Company, shared his wisdom on how, in these challenging times, it is vital not to compromise on quality of ingredients and explained what is expected from the supply chain, emphasising that no local supply chain is a linear process.
Kenny Tutt, founder of two successful restaurants in Worthing, explained why serving superb local ingredients and highlighting your sourcing on your menu was good for business because customers want it and are willing to pay the price for really good food.
Rachel Knowles, who runs Trenchmore Farm with her father, creating Wagyu X Sussex Beef and Silly Moo Cider, explained how to build relationships with your customers through honest and open communication, sharing the challenges you face along the way.
“The over-riding message coming out of this event was that food tastes better when you know more about it and where it comes from. It is what customers want and it makes sense for the environment and the local economy to serve local produce,” said Cllr Jonathan Chowen, Leader of Horsham District Council and Cabinet Member for the Local Economy.
“We will be following up on the success of this session today aiming to assist our wonderful local producers and the places that serve and sell local produce to get more local food onto menus and into outlets across the Horsham District.”
Kirsty Goring from the Wiston Estate introduced Wiston sparkling wine and served up smoked trout, cured in their own Wiston Gin, to guests, giving a tour of the estate’s spectacular new winery, tasting room and Chalk restaurant, which serves delicious local produce.
Commissioned by Horsham District Council, the event was organised by Natural Partnerships CIC, who run the Sussex Food & Drink Awards and Sussexfoodanddrink.org, which is a directory of local food and drink.