I have been so lucky over the two years of being in Tuddenham that I have some really good farmers who really put the graft into their livestock and crops which give me the riches to put on the menu.
Addiction may be a strong term for how I feel about sourcing produce in Suffolk… but the more I find and come across, the more I keep digging further into the county to un-earth more. Addiction, and more of it please…
When I shook the hands of Greg and Gareth I knew I had met my match when it came to delivering produce that has real identity and a purpose of being where it is today. Two chaps who really make it happen when it comes to field to fork deliverance. I was kindly invited by them both to come down to their recently re-vamped butchers shop in the Medieval town of Lavenham and embark on a Ford ranger mini tour of some local Suffolk farms to see some Suffolk cattle.
Will Walterer who helps run Bridge Farm with his mother in Halesworth was kind enough to show us across the stunning clover-filled pastures and see what grazing in Suffolk was really like. Angus bulls and Limousin heifers are crossed to create a superb eating beef enriched with the clover to give a beautiful depth of flavour. Will insists he farms the cattle on horseback to ensure less stress on the cattle. Sounds like a something out of A Fistful of Dollars but this to me is what it’s about. Difference and real quality coming through in the produce. I honestly came away feeling like I had hit beef jackpot.
Showcasing quality and doing it with difference and understanding is a real art in my opinion. It takes courage to believe in your product and sell it every day in the way we envisage it without being swayed through opinions. These guys have their difference and it is sold over the counter in Lavenham High Street.
-- Lee Bye is head chef at Tuddenham Mill. Follow him on Twitter: @leebyechef