Restaurant launches ‘epic’ gourmet food boxes
- Credit: Archant
Forage Kitchen’s monthly Discovery Box is filled with ingredients, recipes, artisanal East Anglian products and lots of edible treats.
While other restaurants sprang into action from July 4 (Super Saturday) welcoming customers back with open arms, the team at Forage Kitchen in Rougham took their forced period of hibernation as a chance to put some ‘blue sky thinking’ into action.
This week, as a result, they launch their trial Discovery Box, with plans for a full subscription service to come in October.
Unlike typical ‘meal kit’ type boxes (think Gousto and Hello Fresh), this tantalising package of goodies offers recipients the chance to discover, taste and learn more about East Anglia’s treasure trove of ingredients and products.
Each one is crammed full of treats from the Forage Kitchen chefs and the most delicious, exciting foodie delights the team can get their hands on. In addition, a mini ‘catalogue’ inside offers inspiration, tips and stories relating to its contents, as well as unique QR codes leading to specially made videos.
A very enticing offer indeed. And, priced at £49.95 plus delivery with a limited curation of boxes available, one that Forage Kitchen owner Mel Evans hopes will pique the interest of food-lovers both locally and nationwide.
“When lockdown first came about we didn’t want to have a knee-jerk reaction. A lot of people did takeaways and farm boxes but we wanted to sit back and take a considered look at what we can do to benefit the business going forward.,” he says. “Whatever we were going to do had to be long-term. It had to be something we could carry on doing. This Discovery Box is something we’ve been working on for about a year and lockdown was a catalyst to speed the process up.”
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Each box will contain 10-12 food carefully curated food and drink items with a focus on ‘exploring’, ‘wild, seasonal and artisan produce’ and ‘sustainability’ - on that note, almost all the packaging (including any vac pac bags) are compostable.
The Discovery Box is split into three parts.
Part one provides everything you need to make a Forage Kitchen-style dish at home, with links to video instruction. This will, says Mel “include new flavours, methods or techniques.
“It’s not like the big recipe boxes. That’s not what we’re doing. It’s more like a ‘hot ticket’. There are foodies out there who like to experiment, but also we get customers through the door who don’t cook very often but love food. We hope this box will inspire them. It might be the one meal they make every month that gives them a huge feelgood factor.”
The second part of each box will be items sourced from some of East Anglia’s best producers - the majority of them enhanced by a video link. “For example, we’ve been to Dingley Dell pork and filmed with Mark and talked about the science behind his charcuterie and curing. With the video you’ll get to see that story and listen to Mark while actually tasting those products. We’ve also done some footage with Hodmedods and we’re talking to Butterworths about putting in their loose-leaf tea and an infuser. We’d then maybe film how to forage for nettles to make your own nettle tea. Just building up that experience for the customer.”
A selection of things made by Forage Kitchen chefs rounds off the Discovery Box offering, with Mel citing their mixed seed flour, quirky butter flavourings (like oniony mugwort), gourmet cookie dough for the freezer and handmade soda as examples.
“The whole thing with these,” Mel explains, “is we don’t want to make it too much like hard work. Customers will open their box and it’ll feel like Christmas. Where will the box take you that month? What stories will it tell?”
Trial Discovery Boxes are available now with a no-obligation subscription service being set up to launch in October. A limited run of just 250 boxes is being put together each month. Find out more and subscribe here .foragerskitchen.co.uk