Lee Clarke: Celebrating British Food Fortnight in Peterborough
Great British Bake Off returned to our TV screens last week and there's definitely a sense of pride in the air for the great food our little country produces every year. This month I'll be getting involved in an event to celebrate this pride - British Food Fortnight.
British Food Fortnight, held from September 17 until October 2, is the biggest annual, national celebration of British food and drink.
It was established in the wake of the Foot and Mouth crisis in response to the fact that, though there are numerous food initiatives, projects and events taking place across Britain, there was no overall flagship event to bring them to the public’s attention.
Since it was established in 2002, it’s grown to become one of the big events on the food calendar and now boasts Raymond Blanc as one of its leading ambassadors.
This year at my restaurant Prévost we’ll be getting involved with a special PE Post Code Menu for the whole two weeks. Our three course menu will only use ingredients sourced locally within the Peterborough post code area – ingredients like eggs, pork belly and plums will all feature.
The whole three courses will be available for £20 per person.
It’s not just us getting involved either - The Dog in a Doublet near Thorney is sourcing its produce more locally than ever as they move into game season, where they’re working with local hunters to produce their great game pie. We hope more independent restaurants will be putting their spin on things over the fortnight.
The restaurant scene in Peterborough has always been a strong supporter of local produce and last year we won the Love British Food 2015 Harvest Heroes competition, run in conjunction with The Telegraph, when a whole weekend of events culminated in 500 people taking a seat in the city centre to eat together.
You can see my recipe for Peterborough sourdough, which was eaten on the day, on the Telegraph website where it was featured last month.
There’s lots of ways that you too can get involved with British Food Fortnight. The best and simplest way is to keep an eye out for local British produce on your next shop – you can visit a local, independent greengrocers or butchers; or your local market.
If you don’t have access to those then keep an eye out for the famous Red Tractor logo in supermarkets – this certifies British food grown to the best standards.
Beyond that, even just gathering the family for a meal or trying a local beer at the pub – it’s all a step towards supporting British food, which should be a source of great pride for us all.
Columnist Lee Clarke is head chef and owner of Prevost in Priestgate, Peterborough.