Is foraging set for the masses?
Foraging is a tradition as old as time, but for many years it has been a rare activity in our modern lives – more a hobby than anything we might actually do to use in our cooking. Between the easy access of our modern supermarkets and not having the knowledge of where to go or what to look for, it has become the reserve of those few who have the knowledge, and often the time, to explore.
But is that all about to change? Is foraging about to become available to everyone at the touch of a button? Well, chef René Redzepi – world-famous founder of the Noma restaurant – certainly seems to think so. His non-profit organisation MAD, taken from the Danish word for food, has just launched an app that could revolutionise the foraging and wild food world.
VILD MAD is a comprehensive and free app for the public to learn about and sustainably explore wild food. The app encourages adults and children alike to get outdoors, to identify what’s edible, to harvest sustainably, and to cook with recipes that reflect the seasons and the landscapes. So there’s no longer any need to go reading a hundred books and carry them with you when you’re out and about.
The opportunity an app like this presents for learning and discovery, especially for children, is really special. With our young ones now growing up in a world of supermarkets, there can be a big disconnect between them seeing food in the supermarket and knowing where it’s come from. An app like this gives us the chance to show them how even something as simple as the bushes and hedgerows they pass every day can provide ingredients for cooking.
I know what you’re thinking – I live in a city, I can’t be driving out to the countryside all the time, and what if I pick the wrong thing and poison everyone! Well, VILD MAD has thought of that too, with a ‘risk of mistake’ box featuring on any ingredients that might be easily mistaken for others – and all terrain is covered, from cities and towns, to beaches. So now you can take the little ones out around the neighbourhood and still come up with some unique finds – from common sorrel and chicory to wild cherries and even daisies!
A few important things to remember when foraging are never take the roots, don’t break branches and spread out your picking, making sure to not take all of your berries from a single bush. This is key to making sure that plants can thrive and grow back, and it also means you leave something for the next person.
Foraging is really important in the Prévost kitchen, with a host of our dishes since we opened featuring locally foraged ingredients – and it can be the same for you. So try getting out in your local neighbourhood, or take the family to Nene Park, and explore the foods that are right on your doorstep. You may be surprised at what you’ll find!
We are still offering a free bottle of wine per 2 guests for Dinners pre booked on a Thursday night on our 5/9 course options.
All your need to do to take advantage of this great offer is book early.
Philip Amps will introduce some of our exclusive wines from the South of France.
The wines will be matched to five courses of incredible cuisine.
An evening of sheer indulgence!
South of France Dinner menu
Snacks / Canapes Blanquette di Limoux
Beetroot & Ewes cheese Cracker
Octopus, tomato & nigela seeds
La Soula Blanc 2012 Roussillon
Mullet, Red Pepper & olive
Occult Lapidem Blanc 2015 Roussillon
Norfolk Quail, Cumbrian air dried ham, Roasted Asparagus & Thyme
La Soula Red Roussillon 2011
Onion tarte tatin with goats cheese
Occult Lapidem 2015 Roussillon
Chocolate, sour cream & Cherry
Banyuls 2015 Bila-Haut
Booking is essential. South of france booking
Please note that we do not issue physical tickets for events.
Please advise us of any dietary requirements at time of booking.
Event tickets are non-refundable, but can be exchanged for a gift voucher to be spent of wines or other events, up until 3 days before the event.
On good Friday we will be Friday we will be holding a fish 3 course menu special.
It will be £32.50 and include a glass of wine, 3 courses, and sweet treats.
You will be able to enjoy
Crab and brown shrimp fishcakes with home made spiced tomato puree
Potted Organic var salmon, apple, dill crispy toast.
Cod loin fish & chips tartare sauce, minted pea puree
Banana & chocolate loaf.
We hope you will join us.
So March is on the way and we are starting to get the menu together so this is some of the dishes you can expect to see….
mixed seeded loaf with fermented butter
Jerusalem artichoke & Malt,
Veal tongue, burnt onion and anchovy,
Bancaster mussels, apple & Cucumber
Salsify, caper & Nasturtium
Leek, smoked hens egg, wild garlic & morel mushroom
Scallop, yuzu & sea fennel
King Edward & Parsley soup with Snail toast
Pork belly, scotch egg & line caught turbot
Lord of the hundred, pear and dandelion leaf
We still got some work to do so keep an eye out for updates. We are lucky enough to have secured Lavinton Lamb for April so very excited about using that again.
hope to see you soon
As of January 2017 we are moving to monthly changing menus. this is to improve consistency and the quality of what we offer. Over the 2017 break we will be looking at our menu and how we offer it and look to push forward in maybe a new direction. 2016 was amazing and the support we received was truly amazing and for that i wish to say thank you all for your support with Our little restaurant thats has big dreams
thank you all
Lee & Teresa
On Monday, we were thrilled to find out that Prévost has made it into the 2017 Michelin Guide. This was a huge achievement for our restaurant, having only been open for six months.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to the whole Prévost team for all of their hard work so far – and to anyone who has passed through our doors for lunch, dinner or a drink.
Big congratulations must also go to those other great local restaurants that made it into the Guide – The Beehive, The Blue Bell – who also received two rosettes from the AA Guide – The Crown Inn, The Falcon Inn and The William Cecil in Stamford, who also received two rosettes from AA.
Together we show that there’s fantastic food being produced in and around Peterborough every day.
There have been some fascinating stories emerging from this Guide season – from Heston Blumenthal re-gaining his 3-stars after a brief sojourn with his restaurant to Melbourne, to the Singapore street stall selling 1-Michelin star food at $2 a time.
But, one of the most notable trends has perhaps been those places not receiving stars – Manchester was omitted again, with no stars there since 1974, and looking across the East of England there are only five or six Michelin star restaurants across the East.
It’s an interest question to pose – it can’t be said that the food isn’t good enough across the region, as there’s some fantastic food and innovation to be seen.
So are the guides favouring more densely populated areas? And why are some guides visiting our area less and less?
These are questions for food critics and writers to debate – for us chefs and food-lovers, all we can do is keep striving to make the best food we can and keep visiting and supporting independent restaurants.
Peterborough should be immensely proud of its expanding culinary scene and while we didn’t get any stars this year, seeing so many restaurants listed is a great statement of intent.
Over the next year, this is our chance to shine and show that the East has something unique and individual to offer – that our food is too good to miss.
Lee Clarke is head chef and patron of Prévost in Priestgate, Peterborough.
When I first opened Clarkes on Lincoln Road back in 2011 I remember one of the first people I got to know was Renny from The Green Backyard. Listening to his enthusiasm about this project, about community gardening and growing your own, had me intrigued and excited and after remaining in touch I soon received an invite to take a look for myself.
As I walked around The Backyard I understood what Renny had been so passionate about – there were nigella seeds, tomatoes, salad leaves and squashes everywhere. I’ve been inspired by gardens and allotments like it ever since, and so when I got my own space behind Prévost, I knew exactly what to do with it. With the help of my friend and garden designer, Jenny Cairns, we started my first restaurant garden.
Six weeks in we have Rosemary, Golden Oregano; Pea shoots sprouting, strawberries coming through and micro salads, broccoli, asparagus and beans coming in daily. This garden and these ingredients will drive my menus over the next three to four months.
When looking for new ideas I also took inspiration from local farms; seeing what they were growing at the time so that maybe I could grow my own. Hill Top Farm was particularly great, with their Pick Your Own service; a great option for budding cooks with little ones.
So when people ask me where I get my ideas from I tell them about these places and how they help me decide on a dish. I see an ingredient, it sparks an idea and off I go, and with my inspiration now in my own garden I find it much quicker to think of new ideas.
We are lucky to be surrounded by so many great producers locally, miles of hedges full of berries and plenty of parks for foraging mushrooms. It’s a great time to be a chef in Peterborough, and never too late to start finding inspiration in your own garden or allotment.
© 2017 Prévost