Our third annual Chef’s Open Day was held at the farm on June 21st. Herbs Unlimited was not just celebrating the best of British and Yorkshire farming this year, but also a special anniversary – it is 25 years since Alison, our MD started supplying the UK Catering industry with freshly cut herbs. Customers, food writers and other local producers joined us for tours of the farm, growing tunnels and greenhouse, as well as food tastings and product demonstrations.
Celebrity Chef and Food Consultant Steph Moon of British Menu fame prepared an enticing menu to show case our speciality herbs and edible flowers for guests. The menu this year made use of other quality Yorkshire produce from customers including Yorkshire Wagu Beef & Bleikers Smoked Salmon, however, we did not just stay with local British dishes like Whitby Crab with tomato jelly and bronze fennel, but also used fresh flavours influenced from overseas too, reflecting our wide range of speciality herbs and we welcomed more than 60 guests to enjoy the more far flung (**more about that later!) orange thyme scallops with jasmine rice cooked in their shells, and lovage and tamarind Gol Gappa with lime mint garnish. For those who missed out, recipes and accompanying mouthwatering images of the dishes will be available here and via our social media.
Fresh herbs are not just used in restaurant dishes, and the cocktail and chocolate making industries have realised the benefits of using fresh cut herbs in their products – the growing trend for edible flowers and speciality herbs behind the bar and in chocolate and ice-cream making has attracted new markets to include fresh herbs in their offer, so Steph and Alison cooked up some drinks inspiration too, with apple mint tisane, breakfast martinis made with Yorkshire’s Slingsby gin, and a lemon verbena slush puppy mocktail, which were much needed on a hot day in our greenhouses. In addition, special anniversary truffles were specially created by Yorkshire chocolatier Andrew Thwaite, inspired by his visit to our greenhouses.
The objective of the day was to inspire chefs from our wholesale customers with some foodie inspiration for their own kitchens, and we have had excellent feedback and increased enquiries for our speciality range, particularly orange thyme, edible flowers, speciality salads, and of course our award winning oxalis. With supply to fresh produce wholesalers across the UK, food manufacturers and caterers, we are mainly a business to business fresh produce supplier, but keen home cooks can also purchase smaller amounts of our products via our online shop with next day courier delivery.
**For those kind customers and visitors who have asked after Ruby, from our customer sales office, who tripped while she was delivering the tray of scallops to customers, she has fully recovered from her fall and is back in action on the phone, encouraging orders by 10am latest and helping our customers with advice on their orders**