Wild boar anyone? Chef seeks out hidden local delicacies

THE chef at an upmarket hotel is on the lookout for local wild boar meat, locally foraged mushrooms and other food specialities.

Justin Kett’s employer, Thorpeness & Aldeburgh Hotels, has joined forces with a regional food organisation to help it link up with artisan producers, setting him on a quest for “unexpected” local ingredients for his dishes.

Tastes of Anglia is sharing its resources and expertise with the group, which wants to tap into more quality local produce.

Grahame Tinnion, operations director for Thorpeness & Aldeburgh Hotels, which scooped the Business of the Year title at this year’s Archant Anglian Business Awards, said the Tastes of Anglia link helped enhance its offer.

“By joining Tastes of Anglia for a modest annual fee, we are participating in a committed forum of food and drink producers and retailers along with restaurateurs and hoteliers like ourselves as well as affiliated service providers, who together create a cohesive interactive community of like-minded businesses in the regional food scene,” he said.

“This gives us a greater ability to build the right relationships to assist us in developing the quality of our food and beverage offer as well as helping with our business practice.”

Tastes of Anglia is now planning for a ‘Meet the Buyer’ panel with the five head chefs from the group’s hotels so that local food and drink producers can present their product samples and business details to them on a one-to-one basis.

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Justin Kett, head chef at the group’s Brudenell Hotel, said he was looking forward to discovering new produce.

“I am passionate about finding excellent produce on my doorstep here in the Alde Valley and in the wider area around Suffolk and East Anglia as a whole,” he said.

“We already have close links with our favourite suppliers, such as Pinney’s of Orford for our excellent seafood and smoked fish, Sue Allen at Thorpeness Leaves for her organic salads and tomatoes and Cleveleys for their fresh meat and game at this time of year.

“I am especially keen to find growers and producers of wild boar, organic vegetables and locally foraged mushrooms as well as the some unexpected specialities I am not familiar with,” he said.

Tastes of Anglia chairman John Cousins said it was “very rewarding” to be working with the hotel chain.