Joey O’Hare and Katy Taylor are on a mission – to put modern Suffolk food on the table.  

At their new cookery school (in a converted farm building at Thorington), the couple, who upped sticks to the county four years ago, want to convince diners, through their pop-up suppers and classes, that we needn’t look beyond the county’s borders for really good food. But to do that, we have to be more resourceful and inventive with the produce growing in our fields, woodlands and gardens. 

Joey and Katy officially launched Husk at this year’s Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival, plying potential customers with mouthfuls of game nuggets. It was, they say, a revelation. So many festival-goers were interested in their concept. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Joey and Katy of HuskJoey and Katy of Husk (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Trained chef Joey began her career with a three-month course at Darina Allen’s beloved (by cooks around the world) Ballymaloe Cookery School. A placement she said made a “massive impression” on her, with its ethos of fresh, homegrown and organic. She would go on to work in Michelin starred restaurants in London, winding up working as a private and development chef in the city. 

Joey appeared on Masterchef: The Professionals in 2015, later launching a successful supper club. 

Though not a chef by trade, marketing pro Katy has grown up surrounded by food lovers. “My parents are fantastic cooks,” she says. “I learnt to cook from a very young age. Mum is Cornish, so I was taught pasties, of course, then Victoria sponges and all kinds of things. My dad worked abroad a lot and would always come back with interesting recipes for us to try. And then I did lots of travelling in my 20s, and cooking abroad – in Mexico, Thailand and India. So Joey is more classically trained, and I’m a passionate home cook. I love cooking. I find it very pleasurable.” 

“Katy comes up with the flavours, and I pull together all the finer details and recipes,” adds Joey. “All the creativity behind this is her.” 

East Anglian Daily Times: Making pickled chilliesMaking pickled chillies (Image: Charlotte Bond)

East Anglian Daily Times: Making kraut for ChristmasMaking kraut for Christmas (Image: Charlotte Bond)

This autumn the pair hosted their first Husk supper club, limited to 12 people (new dates are on their website for December), and showcasing what’s on the doorstep – literally. Much of what’s on the menus has been picked in their garden and orchard, otherwise being sourced from farms, butchers and fishmongers a short drive away. 

Coming in the New Year will be courses in fermenting and pickling – something very close to Joey’s heart, and something both of them agree should be higher on most of our agendas. We have, they say, as a nation lost our big tradition of preserving seasonal food. 

Guests at their sessions will learn a multitude of ways to transform even the simplest of produce into complex jars of goodness. 

“I’d been fermenting for a while before we came here,” says Joey. “And when we arrived there was so much beautiful fruit. We didn’t want any of it to go to waste, so we’ve spent our time finding new ways to ferment and preserve what we have - three varieties of apples, damsons, plums, gooseberries. We’ve been foraging the hedgerows for blackberries and sloes and rosehips too. We’re very much inspired by the landscape.” 

There’s a leap to think ‘gut health’ every time fermenting is mentioned. “But the key and most important thing for us,” she adds, “is while that’s a lovely angle, for us this is much more about flavour. Fermented foods are multi-layered in taste, and addictive. They’re a way to elevate dishes. A little bit of pickled chilli on cheese on toast, or some fermented gooseberry on mackerel – that takes the flavour to the next level.” 

You can find out more about what’s on offer at Husk at 

East Anglian Daily Times: Joey and Katy moved to Suffolk four years ago and have launched Husk - a pop-up supper club and cookery schoolJoey and Katy moved to Suffolk four years ago and have launched Husk - a pop-up supper club and cookery school (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Joey and Katy’s pickings and picklings 

1. Make your own vine leaves for mezze. Rinse tender leaves well, ferment for a week in brine, then store in brine, wrapped up. We fill ours with Suffolk venison, Hodmedod’s grains and local cheese. A lovely mouthful. 

2. If you’ve got sharp, unripe grapes in your garden, pick and crush them to make your own ‘English lemon juice’. We use this to season lots of dishes. 

3. We had loads of plums this year – and not a lot of them ripened. But there is so much you can do with them. Fermented, they are dynamite used in a salad dressing. And the skin can be dried out and turned into a powder, almost tasting like sumac. 

4. Dehydrated fig leaves grind down to the most amazing vibrant green powder. We use it almost like an English take on vanilla. It is delicious in custard tarts. 

5. Always sterilise everything. When you’re pickling and fermenting everything you use has to be super clean – from your hands to the fruit and veg, and the bottles and jars. It really is key and something a lot of people forget. 

Try these at home

East Anglian Daily Times: These pickled chillies are delicious with cheese on toast, or curryThese pickled chillies are delicious with cheese on toast, or curry (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Pickled chillies 

This is a very accessible recipe for anyone not used to pickling. And because it’s so quick, you don’t need to wait a month for the flavours to come together. Put it in everything, from egg fried rice, to curries, or even those Boxing Day sandwiches. Another idea is to elevate little Christmas canapes of goats’ cheese or smoked salmon toasts with a little sprinkle of these chopped on top. 


(Makes 1 jam jar) 

12 chillies – 6 red, 6 green 

50g sugar 

125ml white wine vinegar 

125ml water 

1tsp salt 


Start by sterilising a medium-sized jar. Preheat the oven to 140C. Wash the jar in soapy water and rinse away the suds. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes until bone dry. Allow to cool before using. 

Finely slice the chillies into rings and scoop into your jar – there's no need to de-seed them as the hot and sweet brine will mellow their fire. 

Combine the sugar, vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and pour into the jar of chillies. Once cool keep in the fridge where they will last a month. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Under ripe plums from this year's harvest were turned into 'olives'Under ripe plums from this year's harvest were turned into 'olives' (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Plum olive salsa 

At Husk we serve this with our venison carpaccio starter. It brings a lovely clean, green, saline flavour to the dish, along with great zing from some verjus which we make from our green grapes, though lemon juice would work equally well. It is also fantastic with almost any grilled fish, and brilliant on top of a warming bowl of tagine as well. 

In early July we ‘green harvested’ a huge batch of young green plums - these are rock hard and very sour. Green harvesting helps to thin out the crop, and allows the remaining plums to ripen very well. We fermented these green plums in a brine for several months, and they are now kept in the fridge. The process is rather lengthy but the great thing is that this salsa is equally delicious made with firm green olives. 


(Makes enough for four servings) 

12 green olives, or plum olives, de-stoned and sliced thinly 

8-12 sprigs of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 

2 shallot, finely diced 

1 x padron pepper, finely chopped 

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

1 tbsp olive brine  

1 tbsp red wine vinegar 

2 tbsp verjus, or lemon juice 

¼ tsp flaky sea salt 


Muddle the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Lightly chill and use within 24 hours. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Kraut has a tangy flavour that goes with most meats and cheesesKraut has a tangy flavour that goes with most meats and cheeses (Image: Charlotte Bond)

Christmas kraut 

As well as offering myriad health benefits, sauerkraut has a wonderfully pleasing savoury tang, making it a brilliant condiment for so many dishes. It’s fantastic in sandwiches, on top of rich meaty stews and bean chillies for a bit of crunch and tang, on the side of buttery jacket potatoes, with burgers and hotdogs in place of slaw. 

Sauerkraut is incredibly cost-effective to make, the process is great fun, and it’s really rewarding. We still get excited that a simple combination of cabbage, salt and time can create such complex, delicious flavours. 


(Enough for 1kg) 

1 large red cabbage 

20g flaky sea salt 

8 cloves 

1lt flip-flop lid Kilner jar 


Wash your hands, the cabbage, your chopping board and your knife very well – it's important that no harmful bacteria are involved in the process. 

Sterilise your jar using the method described for the pickled chillies – removing the rubber seal first – to treat this pour boiling water over it. 

Cut off the base of the cabbage and keep to one side. Discard the two external leaves, and quarter the cabbage. Cut out the central core (set aside) and finely shred the cabbage. 

Weigh the cabbage – you only need 1kg. The kraut needs 2% salt to cabbage – so 20g of sea salt is needed for 1kg – adjust your recipe if you have more or less cabbage. 

Sprinkle the salt over and scrunch. Slow, strong and steady works best. As the cabbage bruises it will soften and release around a cup of water. This will take around 10 minutes. 

Once the cabbage is soft and there’s lots of free liquid in the bowl add the cloves. 

Pack into your jar a handful at a time and compress well to remove air pockets. 

Pour over the excess juice from your bowl. Make sure no bits of cabbage are pocking out of the liquid. Trim the reserved cabbage base until it fits neatly in the neck of the jar – this will act as a ‘bung’. If you need a little extra height to fully compress the cabbage, use an offcut of the central core. The shredded cabbage should be encouraged to remain below the liquid line. 

And now to ferment. Stand your jar in a bowl and leave at room temperature for three to four weeks – away from sunlight and central heating. You'll need to ‘burp’ your jar each day to allow carbon dioxide to escape – or it could explode! 

After three weeks the cabbage will be pleasantly acidic and bursting with gut-healthy bacteria. It will last in the fridge up to six months. Just remember to use a clean spoon each time you dive in.