Upton Magna, Shrewsbury, UK – At a time when the region’s food industry is in the spotlight – following Heart of England Fine Foods (HEFF) announcement that it is to close – an award-winning Shropshire chef has highlighted the difficulty in easily sourcing locally-produced, high-quality ingredients for his restaurant and is calling for the region’s producers to make contact with him.
Martin Board, chef and owner of Basil’s Restaurant, the AA-Rosette establishment that has recently moved to the newly-renovated Upton Magna coaching inn, The Haughmond, said: “If you ask anyone about the availability of good-quality regional produce, they’re likely to have a perception that there’s an abundance of supply.”
“Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic, award-winning suppliers out there, but I’ve found it very difficult to easily get hold of the quality of locally-sourced ingredients that I’m looking for and all the wholesalers seem to supply food that’s been produced outside the county. I really want to keep things local – celebrating British cuisine.
“I’d dearly love to hear from anyone that can offer excellent produce and ingredients and I’m happy to build my menus around them – it’s that important to me.”
This ethos is demonstrated by the restaurant having established its own kitchen garden in the grounds of The Haughmond, where it is growing a variety of fresh ingredients, such as salad leaves, root vegetables, herbs and even rhubarb.
“Items like charcuterie and smoked produce would be great to have close to hand – but whilst running a busy restaurant, there’s just not the time available to spend hours researching and contacting all of the artisan producers – most of whom are as equally busy as me.” Martin continued.
“There’s definitely a need for a central organisation that can help draw all of these producers together and make it easy for kitchens to buy from a single source – which will be of great benefit to all and enable the county’s produce to reach many more consumers.
“There’s been a well-publicised food revolution in this country, but unfortunately the supply chain has failed to keep up. Consumers demand much-higher quality than in previous decades and they are more in tune as to issues such as food miles and local provenance – so we need to ensure that the excellence right here on our doorstep can reach customer’s plates.”
Anyone wishing to contact Martin Board, can do so by calling 01743 709 918.
Notes to Editors
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The Haughmond, Upton Magna
Fittingly re-named as ‘The Haughmond’ to celebrate the local popular landmark, Haughmond Hill and avoid any further confusion with a similarly-named pub in nearby Uffington, the rejuvenated coaching inn has returned to its rightful place at the heart of the local community.
The Haughmond’s new owners, husband and wife team Martin and Melanie Board, have big plans for the site, that is not stopping at merely re-opening the bar and restaurant, but creating a new village store, coffee shop, accommodation and a large function room with a dedicated catering facility for events such as wedding receptions.
Food is served at The Haughmond’s bar six nights per week
The award-winning Basil’s restaurant is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, offer four-course, set-menu dining with a selection of wines available, or the option for guests to bring their own – in return for a nominal corkage fee.
For further information and bookings, please visit the website www.thehaughmond.co.uk or telephone 01743 709 918.
Telephone: 01743 709 918