Renowned Northumberland-based vegetable grower Ken Holland and former North East Chef of the year David Kennedy both feature alongside some of the UK’s most famous culinary names in a new food book published this month.
Ken and David, who are both based at the Vallum Farm artisan hub at East Wallhouses on Hadrian’s Wall in the Tyne Valley, have been included in the new hardback book, Kitchen Garden Experts, which showcases recipes and growing tips from chefs and growers nationwide.
Other names featured include Raymond Blanc and Anne-Marie Owens of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Sir Terence Conran at Barton Court, and Simon Rogan at Cumbria’s L’Enclume.
Ken’s garden where he pioneers micro-veg and leaves is just yards from David’s kitchen at his restaurant at Vallum, which he supplies.
The book details their joint commitment to traditional methods and to keeping food miles to a minimum.
“The book features great gardens and restaurants of the UK, focusing on the close relationships enjoyed by chefs and gardeners, and it’s great to be involved,” says Ken.
“Vallum Kitchen Garden supplies many leading chefs, and David’s restaurant is certainly the closest. We don’t even deal in food miles on site – just food yards!”
Kitchen Garden Experts also includes tips on choosing, growing, harvesting and cooking, including recipes devised by David using Ken’s veg like uchiki kuri squash soup and roasted wedge, and North Shields crab, Florence fennel and toasted sourdough.
Ken and his team, which includes his wife Tracy and brother-in-law Mark Purvis, are renowned for their experimental ‘forcing’ polytunnels, where they nurture crops of pea and broad bean shoots, clamped beetroot leaves and nasturtium leaves.
Kitchen Garden Experts by Cinead McTernan is published by Frances Lincoln at £20 and includes stunning images by leading gardens and food photographer Jason Ingram.