Right back at the other end of summer I was lucky enough to catch a morning with an old school friend, Tommy Banks, who is now Britain's youngest Michelin-starred chef and runs the Black Swan in Oldstead, North Yorkshire. We went on a foraging hunt for jelly ear mushrooms and wild garlic, while Iona Crawford Topp, who also works at the Black Swan, took some gorgeous photos of our findings. You can read the full interview I did for Munchies here.
While we were out discussing meadow sweet and pineapple weed, I happened to mention to Tommy how much my vegetable bag in London has changed the way I think about food. He offered to make me a Yorkshire version from his own kitchen garden to take back to my parents, and so ensued one of the tastiest lunches I've had this summer, ground to plate in all of two hours.
Driving back from Oldstead into York, my Mum wanted to know exactly what I would make with the Maris Bard potatoes, radishes, kale, fennel, turnips and carrots now stored in the boot. Perhaps for a non-vegan, the options to cook the vegetables into something else might be more tempting, but I wanted to keep it as simple as possible. So we had steamed new potatoes with fennel, then crudités. Of course, it was all delicious. But there was also something else in just leaving everything at the peeled and sliced stage, without mixing in filler or a load of herbs and spices. After talking all morning about the produce Tommy and his restaurant spend so much time cultivating, any other processes felt unnecessary. Here's to keeping things simple.